Rather, this is a more detailed look at a part of the publishing process most of us only dream about. With that in mind...
Oh, snap. So you've got your book deal, you're about to send in the final draft, and you've been thinking about this moment for years. (Just the way ten-year-olds of the theatrical persuasion stand in front of mirrors with a play crown and gold toy and practice thanking the Academy.) But--uh-oh. You've written a 300 pages (I know you're too bright to have included acknowledgments with your proposal/partial/full--really, really you are), but this suddenly seems darned stressful. Whom do you thank? How much space do you have? Do you have to thank everyone? (No.) Should you thank your agent? (You'd better.) What about your preschool teacher who handed you your first piece of lined paper? The second-grade teacher that taught you cursive? Well....
You get about three pages. Sorry, that's the absolute max. It costs money to print extra pages in your book, you know.
Here, the obvious contenders:
- Your agent (duh)
- Your editor (also duh)
- Writing teachers/professors/coaches
- Anyone who read a draft before the final one
- Anyone who helped you find your agent
- Anyone who helped you significantly in your submissions process
- The agent's assistant. After all, except in very rare cases, were it not for him/her, the agent would never have seen your work. Whether they chatted with you on the phone, sent you long emails about how much they love your work, etc., is irrelevant. When I was an assistant, the vast majority of authors were very grateful and put kind words in their acknowledgments. But there was one writer (who I helped more than usual) who didn't. I'm still a bit displeased about that.
- Ditto with assistants at the publishing house. Really, thanking anyone who works in the industry is just going to make you look gracious.
- If you love your cover, and know the name of the designer, you can thank him/her by name.
- Consider, basically, anyone whose name you learn throughout the process.
"Not only does [the editor] have the patience of Mother Teresa, but she can keep more balls in the air than any juggler I know, and never drops a single one. She personifies grace under pressure. If [she] weren't an editor, she'd make a great emergency room doctor, or head of state."
Questions? Responses? Discuss.