Creating An Acknowledgements Section

Plenty of books these days come with acknowledgements sections near the back, where the author lists everyone from research assistants (should you happen to have any) to agents (should you have one) to God (should you have one to worship). Not all novelists have them, but I find they are useful things to have. Not only do they show who was instrumental in the creation of the book, but they are also a great way of saying, “Thank you for helping me in the creation of my book. Without your part, this novel wouldn’t have been written and you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this”.

When I write acknowledgements sections in my books, I try to follow a few guidelines to make sure the sections are as nice, neat, and presentable as possible (though I sometimes forget my own rules. Nobody’s perfect). Here’s what I try to do:

1. Make a list of who to thank. You want to thank everyone who’s been instrumental in the creation, polishing, and publication of the book. Sadly, human memory is not as good as we’d like for it to be. So keep a list, so that when the time comes you won’t forget anyone.

2. Organize. I usually thank people starting with people who helped with research and writing, followed by editing, then publication. After those people, I thank my family and friends, and then I thank God. And finally I thank the reader, because honestly they deserve thanks for picking up my book and deciding to read it. It doesn’t generally have to follow this order, but keeping things organized in groups usually helps.

3. Sometimes I include a little story. One that relates to the main novel, of course. Maybe it’ll be about the process of writing, or maybe it’ll be about what created the main story of the novel in the first place. It depends upon the story in question. Of course, not every novel gets a story. The story of the novel can be enough sometimes.

Whether or not you include acknowledgements in your novels, knowing how to make one is always a handy skill. I hope you found this helpful in creating your own acknowledgements section (though if you did, you don’t have to acknowledge this blog or its writers in your next book. It’d be flattering, but it’s not what we’re here for).

6 Steps to Publishing on a Shoestring

A while ago I did a article about 14 Tips to Marketing and Promoting on a Shoestring, I thought to continue my thought process by writing an article about Publishing on a Shoestring.

I grew up in a poor family with parents who worked hard and didn’t have extra money to spend. Now I can go into a lengthy story of the whys, whos, and whatfores, but I’m not going to. Needless to say, we were a DIY family that lived on a shoestring. In most ways, now that I have my own family and business, I’m still a DIY person living on a shoestring.

In 2007 I was going the traditional route because the only thing I knew about self-publishing was from vanity presses and I wanted nothing to do with them.So I didn’t need to know anything about book cover design, interior book formatting, etc.

Fast forward 6 months. I met Ruth (Ruth Ann Nordin) and we started talking. I learned a lot about self-publishing and I started looking more into it. In 2008 I decided that was my route for a number of reason, the biggest one being time restraints. I can publish at my own rate with self-publishing, not so with traditional publishing if I want to make money at it.

My husband is uber-supportive of my businesses, both as a writer and a book cover designer, but that doesn’t mean that I had money to spend. That first year (2009) my hubby and I decided that we couldn’t afford much for start-up money. So I had to do everything I could at free or the lowest possible cost.

Basically my income from my writing and a little start-up money my hubby and I agreed we could remove from our tight budget would have to do me for a year. It almost didn’t support my writing habit. 😀

I learned a few lessons that year about publishing a book for as close to free as possible:

1. Write the book. This costs you nothing but time and effort, but it’s necessary. You can’t publish without a book. 😀 Articles on Writing Basics

2. Learn to format your book yourself. There are people who will for a price format your book for print and ebook. If you go with out of these people make sure they know what they are doing before you contact them. Also look for someone who doesn’t charge an arm, two legs, and your first born child. Some people can’t format, but they’ll charge you anyways. If you want to DIY it, there are some great articles provided by the eStore and print companies that will tell you exactly what you have to do. Articles on Formatting

3. Create a dynamic cover. You need a great cover to sell books. Drawing your own covers doesn’t always cut it. Yeah, I know some people can draw. More often then not, people can’t and will still draw their own cover. Taking your own pictures doesn’t always work either, Don’t believe me? Let me show an example. (Clicking on the covers will send you to a page where you can view a bigger version, no buy links.) Articles on Book Covers

My Lord Hades: the first cover was a picture of a friend of my sister who I cropped and changed his eyes. The image was blurry. The cover doesn’t work for the genre. The second cover was a buy, the image was sharper and people responded more favorably to it.

Persephone: The first cover was a picture I took on a snowy, foggy day behind the house, I added a picture of a girl given to me by a friend. I liked the concept, but it needed more color. The second it a copy of the cover that I’m working on now. It works better for the genre and the book.

5. Edit your book. You can hire someone to edit your book, but make sure you hire someone good and don’t be surprised if you still get “this book needs editing” comments. I know a few authors who have been burned by editors that don’t really edit and still cash the check. I would suggest having people look over or book and point out the grammatical they see, or problems in the plot or characters. You can use Articles on Editing & Rewriting to help you.

6. Publish your book. I start with print and upload my files to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. I wanted to use Lightning Source, but it was too expensive and out of my league of expertise. It’s still a great place to go if you have the money and everything formatted for print. Or you can use places like Createspace. It cost nothing to upload a print books on their site and sell them. Articles on Publishing

Hope this helps and good luck! 😀