This snappy, clever, pithy, succinct, and concise little guide will help you quickly create a great book dedication in four easy steps. The book’s dedication, if written properly, can, in its own subtle and understated way, help you cleverly make an emotional connection with the reader.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn how and why a book’s dedication can help you make an emotional connection with the reader.
2. You will learn how to decide who to dedicate your book to.
3. You will learn that by simply adding just a few extra words of explanation to your dedication, you can dramatically increase its marketing power.
Finally, your book is approaching the finish line. And now you may be agonizing over the book’s final title, the cover design, the acknowledgment’s page, and the dedication. And everyone has an opinion about all of that – except for the dreaded dedication.
But don’t worry. With a little bit of planning, the dedication can be one of the easiest things to create for your book. So don’t let yourself get stressed over your next dedication. Follow this helpful little guide to creating a great book dedication for your book.
Step # 1. Pick The Right Person Or Persons For Your Book’s Dedication
This process isn’t as difficult as it might seem at first. You already know who the important people in your life are. Such as family members that had a major impact on your earlier life, or much more recently.
You also know who was instrumental in helping you get your book started and finished – such as with emotional support, financial support, or actual physical help in putting your book together. If this is your first book to be published, you’ll most likely want to dedicate it to someone within your immediate family.
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If you have a spouse or partner, and children, you already know the answer to this one. But beyond this, think about an important business partner, colleague, college professor, book editor, research assistant, sibling, or close friend, for example. This is a very personal choice, so there really is no wrong decision.
If there’s a second person that’s equally important to you and your book, then don’t be afraid to dedicate your book to two people. But you must limit it to no more than a couple of names. If you dedicate your book to more than this, you’ll diminish the importance of your dedication.
And don’t forget, you still can list all the other important people who you want to give recognition, within your book’s acknowledgment section. After all, the dedication should be reserved for someone that played an important role in your life and your book.
(FUN FACT: The word ‘acknowledg(e)ment’ is typically spelled with this extra letter e outside of the US and Canada. Inside of the US and Canada, we typically don’t use that extra letter e. Not all spellcheck programs will catch this since both are technically correct. -JCK)
Step # 2. Use The Appropriate Title For Each Person
After you’ve decided to whom you will dedicate your book, you’ll need to decide how you’ll identify them. This is also not a difficult process. This step will also be based on your personal preference, based on your relationship with that person.
The title can range from formal to informal, or something in-between. On the formal side, your dedication could be addressed to Dr. James Freeley, or Mr. Deke McClelland, for example. On the informal side, your dedication could be addressed using someone’s nickname such as “Jimbo”, or “Bubba”, for example.
There’s also in-between formal and informal in which your dedication could be addressed to Jim Freeley, Mom and Dad, or My good friend Gene, for example.
Step # 3. Explain Your Reasoning For Your Book’s Dedication
Here’s your chance to explain why you chose the person you did for your dedication. Why are you honoring this particular person? This will double as an explanation to that person, as well as to your readers. And by explaining your reasoning to your readers, you’re helping to create an emotional connection with your reader.
Although your explanation for choosing this person might only be a very small opportunity to make an emotional connection with your reader, you must NEVER pass up an opportunity for a chance to make an emotional connection with your reader. Remember, everyone reads the dedication.
“In order to have a financially and critically successful book, you must make an emotional connection with the reader.” (Tweet)
A. Why Make An Emotional Connection?
You must never forget, that in order to have a financially and critically successful book, you must make an emotional connection with the reader. In order to get book buyers to buy your book in the first place, and then get them to read the entire book, and then like what they read, and then want to buy more of your books, you MUST make an emotional connection with them.
Therefore, don’t waste this opportunity. Don’t simply write “For my wife and kids”. This isn’t enough. It comes off as being lazy and standoffish to the reader.
B. How To Be Creative And Forthcoming
Instead, you should be more creative and forthcoming. For example: “To my wife Michele – it’s a privilege to share my business, life, and love with you. And to my children Eric and Erin – your growth provides a constant source of joy and pride.” It’s this openness that will give the reader a small insight into your life and character – which is what will, in its own little way, help solidify the emotional bond between you and the reader.
But a word of caution here. Don’t write a funny anecdote or private joke about the person here. This could easily backfire on you, and potentially make you look silly and unprofessional – unless you are a professional comedian and a joke would be appropriate here.
“The book dedication can be a subtle way to cleverly make an emotional connection with the reader.” (Tweet)
Step # 4. Address The Dedication
This is the simplest and easiest step of the process. Here are a few simple examples: “This book is dedicated to . . . “, “To . . .”, “For . . .”, “I dedicate this book to . . .”, “In loving memory of . . . ”, or simply just start writing your dedication without any formal address. I’m sure that you can think of other ways to address your dedication. But the general rule here is to keep it simple and respectful.
As you can now easily see, with a little bit of planning, the dedication can be one of the easiest things to create for your book. But it can also be a subtle way to cleverly make an emotional connection with the reader.
And, you must never forget, that in order to have a financially and critically successful book, you must make an emotional connection with the reader. So please, don’t underestimate the potential power of your book’s dedication to helping you sell more books.
Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Please share with us a book dedication that you have written.
2. What kind of feedback, if any, have you received about your book’s dedication?
— Elizabeth S Craig (@elizabethscraig) December 17, 2016
— Cecilia Lewis (@ceciliaedits) December 17, 2016
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