Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why Do Books Need Dedications?

I'm nearly done putting together my next children's book, Fairy Christmas. The only thing holding me up at the moment is the dedication. I can't think of anyone to dedicate it to who will appreciate it! So far all of my books have been dedicated to various family members and relatives, with the exception of Fragments of the Moon, which I dedicated to myself (the reason being that I refuse to dedicate my poetry to anyone I know! Besides, it's kind of amusing -- at least to me, anyway -- to dedicate one's book to one's self.) But darn if I'm not stumped on who to dedicate this latest book to.

I don't know very many children in day-to-day life these days, and the ones I do know probably won't ever read my story, (do they even know I'm an author?) so a dedication to one of them would likely go unnoticed. I could dedicate the story to my youngest brother, but he's not exactly a kid anymore and probably wouldn't appreciate it, so I'll save a dedication for him for something he may actually read. The same goes for my step-daughter -- she's a teenager and likely wouldn't appreciate a dedication in a children's story, so I'll eventually dedicate something to her more along the lines of her reading level. But that leaves me with the dilemma of not having anyone to dedicate my book to! What to do, what to do?

Why do we need to dedicate our work to anyone, anyway? It's not like we're trying to procure patronage from sponsors like they did in the olden days. We aren't going to receive gifts or funding from the person we dedicate our book to, which was the original purpose of book dedications. And yet it's expected of authors, even if you have no one in particular to dedicate the darn thing to. And don't even get me started on acknowledgements! (Those are fine and all when warranted, but not every book needs them.)

Usually I don't mind dedicating my stories to a loved one -- in fact, I do so because I want to -- but for some reason this particular book is proving to be difficult. Maybe I'll just dedicate it to my cat! He won't appreciate it, but at least the problem will be solved. Although he may try to eat it (or at least tear it up with his teeth) if I give him a copy.

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