How to Write the Dedication & Thank You in a Book

Updated November 21, 2016

A book dedication page is the place to leave a permanent thank you to the people who helped you survive the creative and editing processes. The page is typically short and your chance to step out of character and show some of your personality and wit. Often personal mentions are devoted to the dedication page and professional thank you notes are made on an acknowledgements page. Once the book is published, you cannot take back or make additions to a dedication; therefore it is important to include everyone you intend to from the beginning.

Make a list of all the people who helped you write the book. Include those who supported you emotionally, provided advice, editors, experts and sources you interviewed.

Prioritise and narrow down your list, combining names into groups if necessary. For example, instead of listing each member of your writers' group, list the group name. Consider dividing your list into two. On one list, add personal names, such as family and friends. List sources, experts and editors on the second.

Write the dedication, thanking the people on your list. Remember to write with wit and style. Show personality. Use the first list to create the dedication and the second list to create an acknowledgements page.

Edit for grammar, content and, if necessary, length.

Let it sit. Give yourself time to reflect on what is written and to remember any missed names.

Review once more and submit.


The dedication is typically no longer than a sentence or two. Check with your publisher regarding any word count limits. Humour is subjective. Get input on your dedication to ensure what you think is funny is not offensive to others. Unless the person you are thanking is a public figure, avoid listing last names. Keep the book dedication upbeat and professional. Verify name spelling.


A dedication is a permanent record of your thoughts. Avoid making statements that are defamatory in nature or may offend readers or the people mention in the dedication.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Printer
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