When authors reach the joyful occasion of having any of their work published, they often need to consider many different things, from the title, cover, release date, and other such nuanced details. Compared to those considerations, including a dedication page may seem minute, but it is crucial. It’s imperative to decide whether or not you want to thank artists, editors, friends, family members, or anyone else who helped you on your authorial journey.
Every writer makes this decision, but there are many different paths you can take. Some writers don’t bother with dedications at all. Writers that do include a dedication page use it for someone special to the writer. Personally, I dedicated each of my novels to pets; my dog, cat, and my best friend’s cat (along with neglected pets everywhere.) Animals are an important facet of my life, as they’re so loyal that they’re always there for me. I found it important to give them a special thank you and eventual remembrance that will live on as long as copies of my books exist.
Loved ones such as family, significant others, or children are usually the ones receiving dedications, so most common readers will not understand the value and connection between the writer and these people. In fact, most people just skip right past the dedication page when they’re reading a book. However, as a reader, I always find it intriguing; it’s a view into the author’s world. Someone meaningful to the writer had a significant role in the creation of the tale or had such a strong impact on that writer’s life that the writer wanted to immortalize them. Intriguingly, this isn’t always the case, as some authors can also use that page to make a point in a few short words like songwriters do, or as can be accomplished with a brief poem. It’s comparable to including a critical message, a funny remark, or something completely different that means something to the writer, even if the reader doesn’t quite get it.
A funny and a little extreme one; Ana, I love you; will you marry me? By Peter Leeson. (I always wonder if he got the good reply, heh.)
Here are more that I enjoyed over the years:
• For my parents, who never once to my knowledge tried to kill me.
• This book is for my parents, who tried.
• For Beatrice– My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not. By Lemony Snicket.
There are many ways a dedication can benefit the writer or intrigue the reader with a brief insight into the author’s world… or, plain and simple, just add something funny. I might do one of those for my fourth book, coming soon…
Dennis Scheel has always had stories running in his head but was unable to tell them until after his accident, which left him mute and paralyzed on his right side. After he worked his way back through recovery, he wanted to try to tell his story once more after an acquaintance told him he was talented at writing poetry. Prior to that, his ex had convinced him not to write for ten years by insisting that he had no aptitude for writing. This time, Dennis tried writing his stories in English for the first time. Finally, he succeeded and has never stopped writing since. The effort has produced three stellar novels: