Acknowledging the Facts
It’s one of my favourite jobs, writing the acknowledgements. Partly because it’s a wonderful opportunity to thank those friends, family members and professionals who have helped me get the book to the printing presses, but also because it means my work on the damn thing is almost done and I can buy myself a celebratory donut and sit on the sofa watching Parks & Rec for a guilt-free half hour or so (before panic kicks in and I need to start on the next one).
So who gets in behind this literary velvet rope? There are several key categories to consider:
1. Publishing team
There would literally be no book without these people: from the original editor buying the book, to editing, cover design, proof reading, production teams, sales teams, marketing teams, publicity teams; no book would exist so well — if at all — without them. Thank them or you’re like an Oscar winner who only remembers to thank the acting teacher who said she’d never make it.
2. Pals who have enabled the book
Friends who have looked after my kids so I can hit my daily word count; friends who tell me immensely personal things knowing I’m researching a very upsetting topic they’ve lived through; friends who have clapped their hands with glee at the book jacket or the title; friends who have read early drafts; friends who keep me away from Goodreads; friends who have given me no-nonsense, hard-headed advice so I can finish the book; friends who have met me in cafés and made me laugh. They all get their mentions.
3. Family members
Anyone who gave birth to me; or to whom I gave birth; or other related figures. You May Also Pass.
4. Professional advice
Those hardy, foolish folk who spent their time getting qualifications and experience just so they can dole out their hard-won knowledge to novelists like me. Having said that, the looks I got this time when I asked around for a divorce lawyer felt like quite a price. Many thanks, you marvellous bunch.
5. Free fooders
Anyone who has ever bought me food throughout the whole process. The last time I gave a shout-out to my friend who’d taken me out to heaps of breakfasts during a particularly bleak period in my life, he said he suddenly realised he’d bought his way into the most expensive literary thanks in publishing history.
6. Actual food
Because it’s the best.
Congratulations! You have now completed an acknowledgements page and are on your way to that major literary prize.