I would like to discuss them, please. Remember when you were growing up and reading? Did books have acknowledgments then? I don’t think so, but it may have been that I just didn’t notice? I’m sure some did, however, it seems like it is mandatory these days. Like you can’t write a book without listing a bunch of people to thank. Kind of like winning at the Oscars. It is absurd to just thank lists and lists of people. Yet, it seems the thing to do these days.
What is interesting is that the preceding paragraph makes it sound like I am about to complain about acknowledgments. The funny thing is; I always read them. Yep, I’m a nerd like that. It’s like watching the credits of a movie. So many people were involved in making my entertainment happen, but the glory always goes to the writer…or the actors if it’s a movie. I figure the least I can do is respectfully give a few minutes of my time to watch the credits and a moment to read the acknowledgments. I always stay for the credits and I always read the acknowledgments.
So, there’s that. Here’s the thing though. Lately I keep finding myself annoyed at authors who don’t thank their readers. It bugs me. Your readers are the reason you have a job. If we don’t read and buy your book and talk about it and share it and get it noticed and circulated and discovered, then you don’t get paid to write anything else. We make your world go round.
Now, I’m not saying that they HAVE to thank the readers. It is certainly not a requirement, however, if you are going to take two or three pages listing names of people that I don’t know and certainly don’t care about, then you should give at least a courtesy nod to the readers. Or the fans, if you have produced a series. It seems polite.
When I read these pages in a book, I tend to focus on the interesting parts. Like if the author thanks her kids for not getting mad when Mommy would rather play with the voices in her head. It’s cute, and probably very true. But then I find people saying things like thanking the mailman for always bringing that timely interruption just when she needed another cup of coffee. Humorous, but if you have time to thank your mailman, you probably have time to thank your readers.
I don’t know why this has been on my mind so much lately, but it has. I find that I am more positively disposed toward the author and thus, the book, if they thank the reader. I take it as a personal thank you, like that author is truly grateful that I am reading their work. And it is nice to feel appreciated. Which, I understand logically, is ridiculous, it doesn’t seem to matter. It is how I feel. Then, when I read them and they ignore me, it feels like they care less, like this might just be a paycheck and, if they don’t care, honestly, why should I?
I know, I’m putting too much thought into something that most people never notice. But, maybe that’s the whole point. Some people DO notice and shouldn’t you acknowledge that?