Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Acknowledgments Matter

As a young reader, I rarely paid much attention to the Acknowledgments page. I usually read the Dedication, because it was short. But in the Acknowledgments the author always thanked a long list of people I had never heard of—and I was always ready to get to the story.

Once I became a writer, the importance of thanking people who played a role during the creation of a particular story was a task I took very seriously. After all, you can't dedicate the book to everyone. That diminishes the poignancy of a dedication. But there are so many people who are important. I think that must have been why the Acknowledgments page was created in the first place!

So when I knew "Second Chance" was going to be published, I kept a running list of people who should be thanked for one reason or another. I wanted people who had encouraged or contributed or questioned or supported me to know they were appreciated. But I honestly didn't believe it would mean that much to anyone besides myself and the people mentioned.

WELL, I was wrong....

A friend called me today.

"I just had a lady at my house who was singing your praises!"

"Really?" I said.

"Yes. She had a copy of your book in her hand. She said all the ladies where she worked had just been raving about it, and she was so excited to finally get to read it."

"That's great!" I said.

"She said the ladies were wanting to find out how to get in touch with you, being a local author—they wanted to try and book you for a speaking engagement."

"Cool!" (I'm getting more excited with each sentence.)

"What's so funny is, the lady said, 'I opened the book to the Acknowledgments page, and the first name on the list was yours [referring to my friend]! I couldn't believe it! I thought, "I know this woman!". So do you think you could give me the author's phone number so I could get in touch with her?'"

By this time I was laughing right along with my friend, who of course obliged the lady and gave her my phone number. Who would have thought a simple "Thank you to my dear friend..." printed at the beginning of my book would have led to a contact with a group of ladies who want to meet me?

Trust me when I say, "Acknowledgments matter." ...in more ways than one!

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