When writing children’s books, the title page and copyrights page form are an essential part of your book – apart from the story itself. While this is an industry-standard, it also makes your book look professional, but what about acknowledgments? Should you include them as well?
Most children’s books have acknowledgments but are included on a dedication page instead. However, there is no rule against having them. Including this section allows you to give tribute to people who supported you when writing the book. These include your family, friends, assistants, and editors.
Read on to find out more on this topic, including why you might need to include acknowledgments in your children’s book. You will also discover factors that determine whether you can incorporate this section in your book and how to write your acknowledgments page.
What Is an Acknowledgments Page?
The acknowledgments page helps you show your appreciation to all the people that contributed to your book. It involves publicly thanking everyone who helped you in the course of writing your book. It also gives your readers a peek into your personal life, as the author.
For nonfiction work, this includes your sources and all the resources behind the research process. For fiction work such as children’s books, this could include the following:
- Your family – spouse and children
- The editor
- Your publisher
- Agent or manager
The other pages that you need to include in your children’s book are:
- Title Page. This should sport a similar font to your cover page and have unique artwork.
- Copyright. This includes details such as the publishing year, copyright author, contact information, the edition, ISBN, and the book author and illustrator.
- Artwork. Children love to color, so it’s a good idea to put color on every page – including the title page. Better yet, use a colored font.
- Author Page. This is not common in most children’s books. To make it more interesting to read, make sure to add some beautiful artwork here too.
Some copyrights include the book, author, and illustrator, giving them credit for their work. This could be because, unlike adult books, many children’s books do not have an acknowledgments page. These books often include a short dedication at the top of the copyright page.
Are Acknowledgments the Same as Book Dedication?
No, they are not. These are two different things. A book dedication is usually meant for a single person or a close-knit group and talks about one specific thing. It is personal, brief, and
confers great honor to a special person. For example, you can make a dedication to your wife.
A dedication is typically located at the beginning of a book. On the other hand, acknowledgments are usually written when you want to thank a lot of people. You will mostly find them at the back of the book.
Factors That Determine Whether to Include Acknowledgments
When writing children’s books, acknowledgments are not an industry standard. This means that you are at liberty to either include them or not. Having said that, several factors determine whether you can include an acknowledgments page or not. These include the following.
The Page Count
Your page count has a heavy influence on whether you can add extra pages or not. If there are extra pages available, you can place your acknowledgments on one of these pages.
What determines the page count?
The page count depends on your publisher. In order to publish your children’s book, the publisher might require the book to have a minimum number of pages, for instance, 30. Thus, incorporating acknowledgments will depend on your story’s page count and whether you need to add or subtract some pages.
The Printing Cost
After meeting your minimum page count, you might still have some additional pages to play with. You see, you may have a certain number of pages where it all costs the same to print, say 35-45. This could give you room to add extra pages, thus allowing you to include the acknowledgments.
However, if your book is already past the given page range, you might be looking at getting rid of some of the pages; hence you will not be able to include the section altogether.
Do You Need an Acknowledgments Page?
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to have this page. Nor is it an industry requirement. Again, not many children’s books include acknowledgments.
Some people think this page is unnecessary, while others think otherwise. A book is “a private conversation between author and reader,” Elizabeth Bluemle, a children’s bookseller, argues. She reckons that acknowledgments intrude into that space by ushering in the outer world.
But this is not necessarily so. Besides, a reader can opt to skip this section if they are so inclined. If you decide to go ahead and have an acknowledgments page, this is how to go about it.
How to Write Your Acknowledgments
When writing your acknowledgments, you want to make them interesting and informative. Furthermore, you can decide to separate it from your story text with a blank page or two.
Be sure to use a big font so that it stands out. You can also use a different color to make it brighter and eye-catching.
Do keep the following useful points in mind as you write your acknowledgments:
- Not many people read the acknowledgments section, but there is still a sizable number of them. Therefore, you need to make it count for those who read, particularly those you mention in this section.
- Begin by noting down a list of all the people you want to mention. Better still, use categories like family, friends, e.t.c. to ensure you don’t leave out anyone important.
- Be specific about the contributions of key people. For instance, you can thank your editor for putting up with your numerous ‘final’ drafts or your wife for being so patient when you had to work late. This special recognition will make the contributors feel valued and appreciated.
- Be genuine. Give honest and meaningful acknowledgments but avoid rambling on about what the person did.
- Keep it short. Acknowledgments usually take one page or more, but you may want to keep it short and sweet, given that you are writing a children’s book. Besides, you don’t want to bore the kids. Don’t forget to include artwork here as well.
All in all, acknowledgments are a delicate balance between saying too little and saying too much. Thanking too many people could water down your gratitude, while thanking a given few could mean missing out on someone important.
You can learn more about how to write your acknowledgments in the video below:
Where to Place Your Acknowledgments Page
Where do you place your acknowledgments page, at the front or the back?
Most authors recommend placing the section at the end of the book to not disrupt the readers’ experience. Still, some publishers place it at the beginning of the book.
Placing acknowledgments at the back might give you the chance of writing a lengthier one since it doesn’t distract your readers. It might also provide answers to questions that could come up from reading the story.
Acknowledgments are a remarkable way to give credit and show how grateful you are to the people who helped birth your book. Friends, family, and colleagues get deeply touched when they see their contributions acknowledged in a permanent format or as a tangible keepsake.
So go ahead and acknowledge the people who had something crucial to do with your children’s book. Make it cheerful and delightful – even funny. Acknowledgments are a thoughtful, kind gesture that goes a long way.