How to write your book’s acknowledgements page

The world is divided into two types of people – those who pore over the acknowledgements page at the end of a book and those who don’t even glance at it.

If you’re an aspiring author, whether of fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry, I recommend you join the first group (if you’re not already there).


Because one day you’ll need to write your own acknowledgements page and you’re going to need some footsteps to follow.

Recently, I had cause to write my fifth acknowledgements page, for my thirteenth published book. That’s right – an acknowledgements page is not a given for every book you write.

Mine have generally been for the first book in each new series – The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, The Maven & Reeve Mysteries – one non-fiction book with a co-author and, now, my new standalone middle-grade novel, The First Summer of Callie McGee.

So, writing an acknowledgements page is a privilege not always granted – and it’s not always easy.

What is an acknowledgements page?

The acknowledgements page is a dedicated spot for the author to thank everyone who’s had a role in the creation of the book. In my experience, the acknowledgements page has always lived at the back of the book, but I have seen examples where it’s positioned up front.

If you’re an author looking for an agent or a publisher, the acknowledgements page of your favourite authors’ books is a great place to start looking for names to research.

Who do you need to thank in the acknowledgements?

The answer to this depends very much on the author. Some authors will have three pages of acknowledgements because they have multiple teams working on their books across multiple countries.

Others will thank their Mum, their editor and their cat.

Taking a logical approach can help.

1. Make a list of everyone who’s been involved in the creation of this book – ask your editor or publisher for a list of the in-house team, think about the people who’ve inspired or mentored you, add friends and family you want to honour

You need to mention people by their full name, and remember people who may have helped you with research, or interviews, or inspired an idea.

2. Divide the list into two categories – professional and personal

3. Edit the list if you can – the longer the list, the less likely it is anyone will read it, and the more likely it is that you’ll leave out someone important. Rather than listing every member of your writers’ group, for instance, can you say ‘the members of the We’ll Get There Writer’s Group for getting me there – you know who you are’.

4. When I’m writing my acknowledgements, I put the professional thanks – my agent (if I have one), publisher, editors, book design team et al – up front. To me, the acknowledgements page is the ‘movie credits’ for these professionals so I give them a spotlight

But other authors begin with the personal, particularly for a debut novel. There’s no ‘right’ way to list your thanks – think about what’s most important to you.

5. Don’t get too personal. Remember that people will read this page – and your eight-year-old may not thank you for revealing his family nickname to the world.

What to write in your acknowledgements

The best way to decide your approach is to read a selection of acknowledgement pages from writers in your genre. Then, be yourself.

Acknowledgements should be a succinct expression of gratitude in your voice. A typical acknowledgements page is just that – one page, perhaps two.

Writing and publishing a book is hard, and none of us could do it without the support of our people. This is your chance to let them know how much you appreciate them.


Author bio
Author Allison Tait smilingAllison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al is currently editing her latest middle-grade novel The First Summer of Callie McGee. Find out more about her at

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