Have you ever wondered how the front material gets into a book? Some readers ignore those pages entirely, others read them with great interest. I was always one to read the dedication and acknowledgements; as I grew to knew more writers and publishing professionals, it became more and more fun to recognize names and the connections between them.

In the case of my books, the dedication and acknowledgements get forgotten about until some time after the manuscript has been submitted. Then I remember that all those people I wanted to remember to thank have not been thanked, and I need to send their names in to my editor, hopefully not too late to appear in the actual book.

There are so many people to list. I usually decide on the dedication pretty early in the process, thinking of the manuscript in progress as, for example, “Lorrie’s book.” But the acknowledgements are harder; I hate to leave anyone out. One’s editor or editors and agent are important, of course. Anyone who critiqued the manuscript will make it in. There are those who contributed titles or character names or the ideas for vital scenes. Also, I make sure to include a nod to the production people who are often ignored, but whose contribution to the final book is incalculable. But what about smaller contributions? Whom to include and whom to leave out?

Next time, I’ll send the dedication and acknowledgements in with the draft. I’ll have kept a running list of the relevant people as I write. Right? Right.