Don't Forget to Thank Your

everyone who helped make your book

Hi Friends,

Happy (American) Thanksgiving! I hope there is pie in your future. My family always had a cherry pie for Thanksgiving, rarely pumpkin, but I am pie agnostic. All pies are welcome at my table.

Speaking of thanks, I want to give you some info today to bookmark for later. I hope that one day you will be writing the acknowledgments to your book and you will panic and think oh no, who am I forgetting?????? This is a lovely kind of panic, because the solution is to think of all the people who helped you get to where you are.

You’ll probably do the acknowledgments after you finish revising your book, along with any dedication or epigraph, etc. If you’re organized, you could keep a running list as you go. But here is a cheat sheet of who to thank. Some of these might not apply to you, and that’s ok. You get to choose who to thank! Here are the ones that are largely customary.

  • Agent (duh), any assistants that help, your agent’s boss, if applicable

  • Editor, editor’s assistant, your editor’s boss

  • The imprint’s publisher, and/or editorial director, if different from above

  • Marketing contact, (including those in school and library marketing), any assistants that help, head of marketing

  • Publicist, any assistants that help, head of publicity

  • Copyeditor (Don’t forget this one!!)

  • Book designer, Art director, others in production

  • Anyone in sales who’s been a particular champion

Outside of the publishing process, you might thank:

  • Your friends

  • Your writing group

  • Your family

  • Any library or librarian or anyone who helped with research

  • Any specific sources (person or text) that made your book possible

  • Any residences, prizes, or awards that made writing possible or easier

Some more lighthearted things people thank:

  • Coffee

  • Bands, musicians, or playlists that got you through the hard parts

  • Coffeeshops or other venues where you wrote a lot

  • Various muses, sincere or playful

Your team may or may not ask for your acknowledgements, so it might be on you to remember to provide them! You can always ask your agent and editor for the names (and the correct spellings) of anyone who’s helped you. It’s ok if you don’t know them off the top of your head. There are many people behind the scenes you won’t talk to regularly, and you might not even have met your marketing and publicity team when you’re writing these. It’s ok to ask.

If you forget someone, forgive yourself. Perfection is not the goal here, just acknowledgment. You can get them on the next book.

Happy day, turkey,