Hello Cruel World
Saturday, July 23, 2005
No Thanks: Why your Acknowledgement Page sucks
By Emily G.
Look, no one is denying that writing books is Hard Work. And no one, least of all me (I'm an editor), is denying that a lot of people are involved in the making of a book, a lot of gratitude-deserving people at that. In many cases, it has taken a near-literal village of agents, editors, publicists, designers, production managers and sub-managers, angelic hand-holders all, many of whom have actually been more instrumental in the writing of the book than the person whose name is on the spine. So what I'm saying here is not that these people don't deserve to be thanked. Far from it. I'm saying that they sure as hell don't deserve to be thanked stupidly, floridly, incoherently and just plain badly.
To appease the geeks and industry insiders who really need to know who agented, edited, publicized and so forthed the book, I propose a straightforward film-style list of credits on the last page. No adjectives will be necessary. No author will ever again burst through the fourth wall, effusively praising and faux-modestly protesting and thanking and thanking like a weepy Gwyneth Paltrow in ill-fitting Ralph Lauren, because it just won't be the thing to do anymore.
Also, a rainbow-maned unicorn will fly me to work each morning.
OK, so acknowledgments will continue to exist. I suppose all I can do is provide a list of DON'Ts to help make sure that they do not continue to suck as ridiculously and egregiously as they do now ...
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