Finally, your book is approaching the finish line. And now you may be agonizing over the book’s final title, the cover design, the acknowledgement’s page, and the dedication. And everyone has an opinion about all of that – except for the dreaded dedication. But don’t worry. With a little bit of planning, the dedication can be one of the easiest things to create. So don’t let yourself get stressed over your next dedication. Follow this helpful guide to creating a great book dedication.

1. Pick the right person or persons for your book’s dedication
This process is not as difficult as it might seem at first. You already know who the important people in your life are. Such as family members that had a major impact on your earlier life, or much more recently. You also know who was instrumental in helping you get your book started and finished – such as with emotional support, financial support, or actual physical help in putting your book together. If this is your first book to be published, you will most likely want to dedicate it to someone in your immediate family. If you have a spouse/partner and children, you already know the answer to this one. But beyond this, think about an important business partner, colleague, college professor, book editor, research assistant, sibling, or close friend, for example. This is a very personal choice, so there really is no wrong decision.

If there is a second person that is equally important to you and your book, then don’t be afraid to dedicate your book to two people. But you must limit it to no more than a couple of names. If you dedicate your book to more than this, you will diminish the importance of your dedication. And don’t forget, you still can list all the other important people who you want to give recognition to, in your book’s acknowledgement’s section. After all, the dedication is a very high honor.

2. Use the appropriate title for that person
After you have decided to whom you will dedicate your book to, you will need to decide how you will identify them. This is also not a difficult process. This step will also be based on your personal preference, based on your relationship with that person. The title can range from formal to informal, or something in-between. On the formal side your dedication could be addressed to Dr. James Freeley, or Mr. Deke McClelland, for example. On the informal side your dedication could be addressed using someone’s nickname such as “Jimbo”, or “Bubba”, for example. There is also in-between formal and informal in which your dedication could be addressed to Jim Freeley, Mom and Dad, or My good friend Gene, for example.

3. Explain your reasoning for your book’s dedication
Here is your chance to explain why you chose the person you did for your dedication. This will double as an explanation to that person, as well as to your readers. And by explaining your reasoning to your readers, you are helping to create an emotional connection with your reader. Although your explanation for choosing this person might only be a very small opportunity to make an emotional connection with your reader, you must NEVER pass up an opportunity for a chance to make an emotional connection with your reader. And everyone reads the dedication. You must never forget, that in order to have a financially and critically successful book, you must make an emotional connection with the reader. In order to get book buyers to buy your book in the first place, and then get them to read the entire book, and then like what they read, and then want to buy more of your books, you MUST to make an emotional connection with them. Therefore, do not waste this opportunity. Do not simply write “For my wife and kids”. You must be much more creative and forthcoming. For example: “To my wife Michele – it’s a privilege to share my business, life, and love with you. And to my children Eric and Erin – your growth provides a constant source of joy and pride.” But a word of caution here. Do not write a funny anecdote or private joke about the person here. This could back-fire on you, and potentially make you look silly and unprofessional – unless you are a professional comedian.

4. Address the dedication
This is the simplest and easiest step of the process. Here are a few examples: “This book is dedicated to . . . “, “To . . .”, “For . . .”, “I dedicate this book to . . .”, “In loving memory of . . . ”, or simply just start writing your dedication without any formal address. I’m sure that you can think of other ways to address your dedication. But the general rule here is to keep it simple and respectful.