How To Write A Book Dedication


My first novel, London Calling, is coming out this month and now I’m down to the nitty-gritty of getting it primed for Kindle & all that schizzle I’ve come to the conclusion that writing it was the easy part – it’s the rest that causes pain. For instance, what exactly do you write on a copyright page? Where do you get an ISBN number? And crucially, who should I dedicate the book to without sounding like a complete sap?

Don’t get me wrong, I know the tradition of the book dedication: namely to tip your hat to your partner/spouse/dog/parents or others who’ve helped you along the way. But am I the only one who thinks that most of them end up sounding a bit trite? A tad garish? Surely if you’re a writer you can come up with something else that fits the bill, something filled with sentiment without being sentimental hogwash? So that was my task last night.

I sat down at my desk, flexed my frazzled fingers and focused. Then I focused some more. And finally, after an hour of sitting, fiddling, focusing and saying “fuckity fucksticks” quite a lot, I turned to my faithful friend Google and inspiration struck. I now have my book dedication that’s got both sentiment & humour, but you’ll have to buy my book to see what it is.

In the meantime, in my search for great book dedications here are a few that caught my eye. You see, it can be done…

Tobias Wolff’s dedication for This Boy’s Life:

“My first stepfather used to say that what I didn’t know could fill a book. Well here it is.”

George R R Martin’s dedication for A Storm Of Swords:

“For Phyllis, who made me put the dragons in.”

Tad Williams’ dedication for Otherland Vol 1:

“This book is dedicated to my father Joseph Hill Evans with love. Actually, dad doesn’t read fiction so if somebody doesn’t tell him about this, he’ll never know.”

Gillian Flynn’s dedication for Dark Places:

“What can I say about a man who knows how I think and still sleeps next to me with the lights off?”

Mark Twain’s dedication for Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn:

“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR.”

 Joseph R Rotman’s dedication for An Introduction To Algebraic Topology:

“To my wife Marganit and my children Ella Rose and Daniel Adam without whom this book would have been completed two years earlier.”

Judging by that last one, I’d wager that Joseph really wants to write a more interesting book than An Introduction To Algebraic Topology…

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  1. Ooh, it is getting exciting now! How about you just put ‘fuckity fucksticks to you all’? Should cover all bases…

  2. You’re such an awesome writer! I really want to read your book now, but is it only available on Kindle?? (I don’t do this technology thing very well, and can’t find print version anywhere)

    1. Hi Jen, glad you like the blog!My book will be out in paperback in May – look out for it on Amazon. I ‘ll also announce it on my blog so subscribe and you’ll be sure to hear. take care! Clare

  3. Loved your book the minute it opened, and couldn’t put it down either. I hope you are doing more stories xx

    1. Hi Chantelle – really lovely of you to stop by and say! So glad you enjoyed the book. Busy working on book two right now – should be out in the autumn. Sign up to the blog to be sure to get updates! Clare

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