Author Topic: Does anyone read the dedication?  (Read 2321 times)  

Offline Ken Magee

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Does anyone read the dedication?
« on: February 19, 2012, 09:28:19 am »
Since I published my book last November, I've had a few friends and relatives who have 'commented' about the dedication I wrote. Mainly they were complaining (gently) that they had been left out, although there was one, who had been included, who felt that a different comment might have been better.

READERS - Do you actually read the dedications?  

« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 10:03:51 am by Ann in Arlington »
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    Offline anguabell

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #1 on: February 19, 2012, 09:34:41 am »
    As a reader I always do, although I can't quite explain why. But I've always thought it must be a bit tricky for a writer - like those Oscar acceptance speeches :)

    Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #2 on: February 19, 2012, 09:51:01 am »
    When I read DTBs, I generally glance at the dedications while going to the beginning. With ebooks, I never see the dedications, because ebooks almost always skip over the material at the front and go directly to the first page of the work.

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    Offline Ann in Arlington

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 10:06:26 am »
    I skim them. . .if they're short. . . .more than a few lines and I probably move right along. :)

    But, Mike is generally right about placement.  If the ebook is set to open at 'the beginning' that's usually the first chapter.   Sometimes you can miss an important prologue.  I generally go to the cover when I open an ebook so that I can be sure to see what else might be there.  I'm guessing a lot of run-of-the-mill readers don't realize this and never see any of the front matter.

    Incidentally (switching to moderator hat) here in the Book Corner the discussion should be about the reader response; if there is a desire to discuss dedications from a writer's point of view, the proper place for that is the Cafe. :)
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    Offline sherylb

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 10:25:18 am »
    When I read an ebook I go to the cover and start from there, so if there is a dedication, I always read it.  As Ann said, it can be kind of hard to FIND the cover though.


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    Offline Rick Gualtieri

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 10:59:18 am »
    I typically read cover to cover, so yes I read the declarations although I don't really dwell on them.
    « Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 12:57:48 pm by Ann in Arlington »


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    Offline Jorja Tabu

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 11:00:52 am »
    I always read them--I think they are much more revealing of the author's character than any bio that makes it past the PR test!   ;)

    Offline Seleya

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 11:01:40 am »
    Always: I go to the cover and start there and I love to read the dedications, some are just as memorable as the books they are in.

    Offline acellis

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 11:27:58 am »
    I always do.
    « Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 12:58:07 pm by Ann in Arlington »

    Offline psychotick

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 01:46:57 pm »
    I mostly read them. They tell me a little about the writer which I find interesting, and sometimes they can be quite witty too.

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    Offline joshtremino

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #10 on: February 19, 2012, 03:11:11 pm »
    I do, but only if I'm also very bored. =-)
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    Offline Todd Young

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #11 on: February 19, 2012, 03:22:33 pm »
    It's interesting to see how many people go to the cover. I do it also, and it really annoys me the way ebooks open at the first chapter. As for the dedications, I don't pay too much attention to them.

    Offline churlishfellow

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #12 on: February 19, 2012, 03:30:15 pm »
    It's often difficult to read the dedications because it might be talking about stuff you're not familiar with in regards to people you've never heard of.  What's touching for an author and the people he/she is thanking, is (to me) kind of like hearing about a fatal car accident on the news involving ... you're just not as affected because it's events beyond your personal horizons. 

    BUT ... I think they're important.

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    Offline Phyllis Lily Jules

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 04:12:27 pm »
    These days I read from absolute start to absolute finish. I always pay attention to the dedications. It gives me a glimpse into the author's real world. But when I was first starting out on the Kindle I didn't understand the navigation system, so missed everything except the story. Now I know better. One author even included the book description, which I felt was very thoughtful. It reminded me of why I bought the book.

    Offline NogDog

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 07:21:03 pm »
    I usually see/read it if it's there, but 99% of the time* it either means nothing to me ("To <insert first name here>") or is too cliche to reveal anything about the author or book ("For my loving <parents | spouse>"). In other words, the vast majority of time it adds about as much to my personal reader experience as the title page does, and I probably would not notice if there were no dedication.
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    Offline Sean Patrick Fox

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 08:47:50 pm »
    I usually read it, mostly because I pass it to get to the actual story. But I'm also interested in who authors dedicate their books to, and what they say. Partly in the name of research, partly because I'm an inquisitive guy.

    Offline gina1230

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 09:47:52 pm »
    I tend to skim over them.

    Offline Ty Johnston

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 11:24:53 pm »
    I always read them, but never remember them. So why bother? Every once in a while there's a surprise.

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    Offline LilianaHart

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 11:26:44 pm »
    I always read the dedications. Sometimes they're as interesting as the book. Julia Quinn always writes great dedications to her husband.

    Offline soyfrank

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 12:30:12 am »
    I always read them in paper books, but on my kindle, either there haven't been many or kindle pushes me ahead of them automatically. I'll have to pay attention better, because I do enjoy reading them.
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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #20 on: February 20, 2012, 12:32:17 am »
    I do. Every author has those who help them in their journey, and I find it sweet and revealing of the author and his loved ones. The author becomes so much more than just a name on the book, but a person.

    Offline Carl Ashmore

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #21 on: February 20, 2012, 12:37:04 am »
    Yes definitely :)

    Offline Math

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #22 on: February 20, 2012, 01:16:17 am »
    Yes I do - I think I am being rude if I don't! (Or at least a bit flippant)

    I view it as a private message that I am given the privilege to read, or a reminder of how the author has put their time, effort and love into creating a piece of work with a particular person in mind.

    Offline jumbojohnny

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #23 on: February 20, 2012, 02:15:13 am »
    Always. I am curious to see if the family member / friend / colleague who may have provided so much help and encouragement to aid the author in getting the book published, is duly acknowledged. I don't know these in advance of course, but when you read '. . . and not forgetting Geoff in the office at Shoemaker and Diddlebury's, this book would not have been published without him...' Straightaway you get visions of a patient ( or even at times impatient) editor, egging the writer along, suggesting that killer gerbils taking over the world is not what they are looking for, and maybe a tale of trust and betrayal set in Milton Keynes would be better, that sort of thing.

    Offline Harry Shannon

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    Re: Does anyone read the dedication?
    « Reply #24 on: February 20, 2012, 07:14:07 am »
    Always do. They mean something to me when I make the, so owe it to an author to read them as well.

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