Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Matter. Does it Matter?

What exactly is book matter? Front matter or back matter, it includes everything that is not your actual manuscript pages. In fiction it includes:
  •  Excerpt page/s
  •  Copyright page
  •  Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Bible Verse
  • Author bio
  • Author Letter to the Reader
  • Bible Verse
  • Reader Discussion Questions
  •  Publisher advertising
  •  Excerpts of your next novel (or someone else's novel)
Every publisher is different and the book matter varies.Let's talk about a few of my favorite's.


The dedication isn't the same at the acknowledgment. It is usually preceded by the words to or for. I think of dedications as a small window into the soul of the writer.

Like these:

"For Colin Firth–You’re a really great guy, but I’m married, so I think we should just be friends." Shannon Hale, Austenland

"To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliffhanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA! But seriously, I love you guys." The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

And of course Neil Gaiman's now famous dedication in Anansi Boys: 
 "You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not to you.

Not this time.

Because we haven’t yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven’t seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other….

This one’s for you.

With you know what, and you probably know why.


Whether found in the front of the book or the back of the book the acknowledgement page is basically a thank you letter from the writer.
However..not everyone feels as I do.  There are those who believe an acknowledgement is like an Oscar's acceptance speech and shorter and more succinct the better. The New Yorker calls it a "gratuitous supplement to the dedication page."

I disagree. To me, the acknowledgement is a form of social media. It's a way to connect with readers and share your humanity and let the reader know where you are coming from. It's also a glimpse into the writer's life and I am grumpy and  disappointed when the acknowledgements are skimpy. 

A note of acknowledgement wisdom-keep track of who you want to thank as you write the book. Don't try to remember those important people at the end when your brain is fried. You will forget someone, as I have, and then of course you have to write more books that they can help you with, which can be time consuming (ah...kidding on that point.)

 Then there's Nelson Demille's acknowledgement in Wild Fire....

“…There is a new trend among authors to thank every famous people for inspiration, non-existent assistance, and/or some casual reference to the author’s work. Authors do this to pump themselves up. So, on the off chance that this is helpful, I wish to thank the following people: the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England for promoting literacy; William S. Cohen, former secretary of defense, for dropping me a note saying he liked my books, as did his boss, Bill Clinton; Bruce Willis, who called me one day and said, “Hey, you’re a good writer”; Albert Einstein, who inspired me to write about nuclear weapons; General George Armstrong Custer, whose brashness at the Little Bighorn taught me a lesson on judgement; Mikhail Gorbachev, whose courageous actions indirectly led to my books being translated into Russian; Don DeLillo and Joan Didion, whose books are always before and after mine on bookshelves, and whose names always appear before and after mine in almanacs and many lists of American writers—thanks for being there, guys; Julius Caesar, for showing the world that illiterate barbarians can be beaten; Paris Hilton, whose family hotel chain carries my books in their gift shops; and last but not least, Albert II, King of the Belgians, who once waved to me in Brussels as the Royal Procession moved from the Palace to the Parliament Building, screwing up traffic for half an hour, thereby forcing me to kill time by thinking of a great plot to dethrone the King of the Belgians.

There are many more people I could thank, but time, space, and modesty compel me to stop here."

   And of course, the acknowledgment for my June release, Safe in the Fireman's Arms. 

"Many thanks, to Nancy Connally, the beta reader for the proposal of this book. Thank you to Joe and Jessica Russo, real backyard agronomists, who answered my call for help. Thank you to my husband, Tom who does so much to support my writing. I am also indebted to Kellogg’s for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts.

Thanks to my prayer partners on this book, Tessie Russo, Anne Russo Penaz, Missy Tippens and Mary Curry.

I always thank my agent, Meredith Bernstein and my editor, Giselle Regus, because I know how blessed I am to have them on my team."

Author Letter to the Reader

The reader letter is the author's opportunity to speak directly to the reader and share a little insight into the writing of the book. Not just sharing why you wrote the book but also sharing the journey of the book creates an intimate conversation between you and the reader. It's also where you thank them for getting to this part of the book matter. It means they read the book. Please don't rush this love letter to your audience. They often include story **spoilers** which is why they're at the back of the book.

Here's my reader letter for Mending the Doctor's Heart, my 2014 Carol Award winning release.
Dear Reader,

Welcome to Paradise. I hope you enjoyed Ben and Sara’s story. They’re head smart physicians who must learn to listen to their spirit and the leading of the Lord, who will never let them down. As we all do, they find themselves struggling with fear and condemnation and getting a little lost on the path to God’s perfect plan for their lives. During those times we are the most confused, the answer is simple: trust in the Lord for the answer.

I never actually planned to write a medical story, but now that I look back, I think all my stories, published and unpublished, have a medical thread. I just didn’t realize it.
When the editors at Love Inspired asked me to consider writing a book with a medical theme, I knew I was ready.
 Drop me a line and let me know what you think. I can be reached at tina@tinaradcliffe.com or through my website, www.tinaradcliffe.com.

There you have my thoughts on these elements of book matter. But the question remains..

Does book matter matter? DOES IT MATTER TO THE READER? Do you read the book matter? What's your opinion? Any favorites you'd care to share?

Leave a comment for an opportunity to win a print pre-release copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms- Or an e-copy of With This Kiss Contemporary Collection which features, No Time For Love, my novella contribution. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition. 

Fireman to the Rescue

Running away from her sheltered life, Maggie Jones wants to start fresh. Instead, she finds trouble in Paradise, Colorado. Within days she's on the radar of fire chief Jake MacLaughlin. And when her family starts to play matchmaker, Maggie's plans for a quiet life are turned upside down. Though he's the small town's most eligible bachelor, Jake is far from a playboy. The widower isn't interested in dating. But when Maggie transforms from mousy to magnificent, and suitors start lining up, the fireman can't resist a rescue. Pretending to be a couple rekindles their spark for life…and for love.

No Time for Love 

 Nicki Baldwin's on the career fast track, until things come to a screeching halt courtesy of the mystery man who bought the property she has slated for a coffee shop out from under her. Steven Smith has met his former lifestyle in Nicki. Can he convince the beautiful hard hat to slow down and taste the pasta? (Includes a family recipe too!)

Tina Radcliffe is delighted with her new home in Arizona where the weather consists of two seasons: hot summr and cold summer. If you're going to RWA NYC do check out her workshop on Friday, July 24th from 2-3pm.

Fire Up Your Focus! Strategies for ADD/ADHD Writers Speakers: Alison DeLaine, Tina Radcliffe, Jessica Scott, and Jeannie Watt.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is an all-too-common problem whose symptoms present challenges for anyone with big dreams—none more so than writers. In this fast-paced interactive workshop, successful ADD/ADHD authors share the systems and strategies that help them maintain a rewarding writing career while managing the daily challenges of ADD/ADHD.

 You can check out all the 2015 RWA Conference workshops here.


  1. Book matter definitely matters to me. I like to see the acknowledgements. I remember the first time I actually read an acknowledgement. I was floored with how much it took to write a book. I also love when an author includes a Bible verse. I love whenever I get to see God's word through someone else's eyes. :)

  2. I've long been a fan of book matter, particularly the dedication, acknowledgements and reader letter. In the days before I began actively pursuing publication, I dreamed of being a writer. Those three elements fueled my dream.

    I used to imagine who I would dedicate my book to, who I would mention in the acknowledgements and what I would say in my dear reader letter. I dedicated my debut novel to my incredibly supportive husband and my first LIH to my mom. I'm already imagining future dedications. Since I have so many names on that list, I'd better get busy cranking out more stories.

    I'm curious. If you have yet to publish a book, who would you dedicate your debut novel to? Would your dedication be silly or serious?

  3. I like the acknowledgements. I read them to see who's being acknowledged. I'd love to win a copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms. I love Tina's books.

  4. I've never heard it called "book matter" before, but then I'm a reader not a writer. I do love to read the dedications.

  5. Yes, Tina, Book Matter does matter. I read it. I look forward to it. I love the dedications and Bible verses but I really like it when an author includes a letter to the reader, telling them why they wrote the book or maybe a little more 'history' if it is a historical. If a book doesn't include any book matter I sometimes feel 'cheated'.

    I would love to win either of your giveaways.

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  6. "I was floored with how much it took to write a book."

    I know, right? It's not just done in a weekend?? LOL

  7. ?I'm curious. If you have yet to publish a book, who would you dedicate your debut novel to? Would your dedication be silly or serious?"

    I love this Keli! Hey, and I had to resist the urge to use eschew in this post. Serious here. LOL. You've got me hooked on that word.

  8. I agree Mary P.

    And YES, Cindy W. Skimpy dedications and acknowledgements make me sad.

  9. I've always loved "book matter". When I was young, it offered me a glimpse into the writer's mindset, his/her life, their personal thoughts on life, family and why they wrote the story... I've always loved that glimpse!

  10. Keli, great question! Some of mine are serious, my first book was to my mother, an amazingly talented/brilliant/gifted woman who lost the fight with alcohol and depression for thirty years... But I've had some fun ones since, just because I can, LOL! And I tend to have the book matter reflect the mood/essence of the book, so that's a factor for me.

  11. I agree, Ruthy. I like being a bit of a voyeur, peeking into the life of authors.

    And again, agree..GASP! that I like the matter to reflect the voice and tone of the book.

  12. I didn't always read book matter. Not sure when I started, but now it's the first thing I read before I start in on the book. It's this wonderful anticipatory ritual before the read begins.

    Keli's question: who would you dedicate your debut novel to?

    Since I'm a closet writer it would go something like this: To my closet for putting up with me hanging around day in and day out all these years. Your patience finally paid off and now you can have your space back. :-)

    What do you mean, it needs work?!

  13. LOLOLOL on the floor laughing, Kav.

  14. Hi Tina,

    Your new picture is lovely.

    I like to read every word written. Every word 'matters' to me. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to win a pre-release copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms. You all are always so generous. Thanks!

    I hope you all have a great day!

  15. Kav, I love it beyond words, LOL! Come out of the closet, Kav!


    Tina agreed with me.


    Happy dancing in sunny upstate!

  16. I have an Acknowledgement story. One of my favorite non-Seekerville authors, Karen White, put out a note on her FB page needing help with Hungarian. I made an introduction between Karen and a wonderful person I know in Budapest, who was delighted to help. In the acknowledgements, I was mentioned for my assistance with Hungarian phrases.

    About a month after the book was published, a woman approached my wife at work, held up the book (open to the page), and asked, "Is this your husband?"

    1. Walt!!! How cool is that? If you put your name in an Amazon search you can see how many books you are acknowledged in!!

  17. Keli, I plan on dedicating it to my wife, Mo. And, I would say the same thing, even if Stephen King hadn't once mentioned that he looks for spousal dedications in the books of debut authors.

  18. I love the glimpses into an author's heart and life.

  19. Sometimes I'll read the book matter pages even when I don't read the book for days! What, the letter may contain spoilers, TINA?!!!! Loved SAFE IN THE FIREMAN'S ARMS, and yes it was the first book I read of the bunch.

    1. Check is in the mail, Marianne. Are you back in Canada? How's the weather??

  20. I love book matter. The dedications, acknowledgements, reader letters and bible verses offer a peek into the writer's personality. Is the dedication serious or playful? Does the reader letter sound genuine or robotic?

    I've not written a reader letter or anything, as I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I do keep an acknowledgements list for each book that I've written. I don't want to forget anyone who helped in anyway to make the manuscript successful.

    Thanks for the post, Tina.

    1. Good plan, Rhonda! I do the same when reading the author letter!

  21. Book matter definitely matters. My favorite is "About the Author." I want to know these people who work so hard to give me enjoyment in reading.
    I might dedicate a book to my Mews, Jake the Cat. For Jakie who never lets me write a word alone. His constant purr keeps me going and I will never know how many words I could have written if not for being forced to stop and pet him. And please forgive me for putting a dog in my story instead of a cat.

    1. Muse versus mews, Cindy!! One dedication I read said to my wife and child. Without whom this book would have been completed two years earlier! Lol!

  22. Book matter DOES matter. I enjoy reading the dedications, the letters to the reader, the acknowledgements and the author bios. I don't always read the book discussion questions, but sometimes I do.

    I'm like Rhonda. I haven't created a letter or dedication. But with every book I write, I keep a list of people who've helped me. And if/when I get published, this will definitely be part of my acknowledgements.

    Great post, Tina!

  23. Thanks, Tina! I create book matter while working on each project, although I've never heard it referred to that way, either. But then, my short stories have been part of a whole, so the publisher only requested my bio.

    I now have a new title section for my WIP notes on OneNote and won't have to play dumb when my time comes. Yippee!

    1. Anita!! Good to see you and with you and Jeanne that's two more votes for DOES matter!

  24. I guess it depends on the book if I read the book matter.
    If I love it, I want to know about the author because I get it in my head what they are like.

    If I'm ever mentioned in someone's dedication, it will be a real big deal to me. :)

  25. Tina, fun explanations and examples of Book Matter. As a writer, I like providing it and as a reader, I never skip it so Book Matter matters, at least to me. But, I'd never have the nerve to be funny with it. Perhaps because I'm not funny. LOL

    An editor told me to use the Dear Reader Letter as an opportunity to reveal something about myself that will build connection with my readers. Your call to medical stories fits that beautifully, Tina. Thank you for this post and for your books.


  26. TINA!!! Just this week I commented on the Seeker Loop how there are only so many subjects we can cover in Seekerville, and more than likely each one has been done at least 2 or 3 times.

    Thank you for proving me wrong ... AGAIN!! ;)

    I LOVE this blog today because it's a subject that nobody talks about and yet it's VERY important. At least to me ... and to the publisher!

    You said: "To me, the acknowledgement is a form of social media. It's a way to connect with readers and share your humanity and let the reader know where you are coming from. It's also a glimpse into the writer's life and I am grumpy and disappointed when the acknowledgements are skimpy."

    Oh, AMEN AND AMEN!! Reading a great dedication or acknowledgment, for me, enhances the enjoyment of the novel. Because that author has just spent months of his or her life trying to communicate with me emotionally and speak to my soul, so I want a private and personal glimpse into their heart as well. And that is exactly what the dedication and acknowledgments do, so YES, YES, YES, they are extremely important to me as both a reader and a writer. Thank you for addressing this subject. The examples you gave were hilarious!!


    1. Julie, I was going to add yours and Ruthy's acknowledgements to this post but I was short on time and yours were wonderfully LONG!!

  27. Walt, I love Karen White.

    I love Karen White.

    I found her years ago, and it's been Ruthy-stalks-Karen ever since!


    That was my highlight, LOL! Forget the classes, it was MEETING KAREN IN PERSON!

    Oh happy day!

  28. Oh, super-great post, Tina! I'm getting ready to write my first Love Inspired reader letter, so I'm taking notes!

    One addition I'd make to your list is "Author's Note"--a back-of-the-book message to readers about your research. Typically found in historical novels but also in any book that required a great deal of in-depth research into a setting, event, real people, specialized career, etc.

    And yes, I agree. I always read the "extras" in a book to find out more about the author, her/his inspiration for the story, and other fun details!

  29. Connie Queen, you made a great point. If the book doesn't grab us, why would the extra matter matter?


    You're right, I find myself wanting to know more about the author when I love the book!

    Thank you for mentioning that!

  30. Ruthy, I do, too. Karen once made me a character in one of her books and I didn't find out about it until after I read it. I e-mailed to ask why she hadn't let me know. She responded that it was late at night and she was under deadline when she did it.

    So, in addition to speaking Hungarian, I'm also an orthopedist with a medical degree from Emory.

  31. TINA ASKED: "Does book matter matter? DOES IT MATTER TO THE READER? Do you read the book matter? What's your opinion?"

    Well, I gave my opinion on this in my comment above, but I felt the need to expound.

    For me as an emotional person, I want a book that will move me emotionally, so if the dedication doesn't do that, I kinda worry the rest of the book won't either.

    Like many people who pick up a book because of the cover, then glance at the jacket blurb on the back, and finally read the first page, I also include the dedication in my perusal because that gives me a true glimpse into the author.

    Most of my dedications in my books make me tear up or smile, but then they are very personal to me, so I would expect that. But hopefully they touch the reader as well, not to mention the person to whom the dedication was written.

    To me, the jacket blurb is a sneak peek into the book, but the dedications and acknowledgments are a sneak peek into the author, and I personally like to have both to thoroughly enjoy a novel. :)


  32. First and most importantly: LET'S HEAR IT FOR BROWN SUGAR AND CINNAMON POP TARTS!!


    Tina, I loved this post. I really enjoyed the beginning examples you showed. Am cracking up over Nelson Demille's. :)

    I have an admission to make. My first Dedication/Acknowledgments page for Love Inspired got sent back to me to shorten because they needed it to fit on one page!! It about killed me to shorten that. LOL But I managed. I had about 12 years worth of people to thank, though. :)

    1. Amen for a Pop Tarts. I have an evil food for every book deadline!

  33. Kav, I do that, too! I read the front matter first!

  34. Walt, that's so cool!!

    Yes, I definitely thank my spouse and kids. Which was difficult for me the first time because I have always kept their names private on social media. So it was really unnerving for me to call them out by name in a book!! :)

  35. Hi Tina:

    You may call it 'book matter' but as a marketing person I call it 'ambiance'.

    Example: consider a fine restaurant. You enjoy a $100 meal in the most splendid setting possible. This is a setting worthy of celebrating any major wedding anniversary.

    Now take that same meal and have it served on a card table in a back corner of the noisy kitchen. While the food is exactly the same as served in the elegant dining room, the experience is destroyed by the devastating ambiance.

    The food is your story.

    The book matter is the ambiance.

    The book matter should be crafted to enhance the story. There should be a perfect fusion between the author, the story, and the book matter.

    Dedication: should be romantic. An ideal dedication for a romance would be showing love for your spouse. The dedication should show the reader that: "This is an author who lives romance and love. This is an author writing from the heart and from experience. This is NOT an author whose only experience with romance is thru the vicarious enjoyment of writing about it."

    Missy writes my favorite dedications.

    Acknowledgement: This should show the reader that the author has done her research. Writer's Digest once wrote that the difference between a $50 magazine story and a $500 story was research.

    It is said that we read fiction so that we can know what it is like to live other lives. That vicarious living experience is enriched when we know that the author has researched the material to be as accurate as possible. It's part of the ambiance. I love midwife romances. I've read many of them from the Harlequin Medical series. The first thing I would read was the acknowledgements. Did the author research the material? Is it authentic or could any author have written this story?

    Not to acknowledge anyone is like an author saying, "I'm winging it. I didn't need to consult anyone on this story."

    I think not having an acknowledgement is fictional criminality. If you don't have one, get one. Also having well qualified acknowledgements has a way of impressing reviewers -- especially if they might otherwise wonder if your story events are true to life. There is also the benefit of having the people you acknowledge act as friendly word-of-mouth generators.

    An acknowledgement can be a real plus to the total marketing effort.

    Tina writes excellent acknowledgements.

    Dear Reader: This serves as the lagniappe for the reader. This is where the HEA can pick up a booster charge. A reader just having read your romance, who still feels warm and fuzzy about the story, now gets to have the author tell the rest of the story. This telling brings the fictional into the realm of the real. It can serve as a clarion call to buy the author's next book!

    Ruth writes great 'Dear Reader' letters. She did this to perfection in her "The Lawman's Second Chance". This "Dear Reader" is headed straight into the Hall of Fame.

    Of course, these comments are from the POV of crass materialism. Ambiance can sell books and make the marketing department's job easier. If you don't care about selling books, do what you wish. : )


    P.S. All that said, the most memorable dedication I ever read was for a travel book which read: "For all those who have always dreamed of traveling thru Europe…and their husbands."

  36. I always read the acknowledgements and the author letter. I enjoy reading the insight into the making of the book. Please enter me in the drawing for With this Kiss. I have already won Safe in the Fireman's Arms.

  37. Than you, Vince! I'm printing out your comment and framing it!

  38. I love the book matter, especially the acknowledgements. Many times, it's better than social media because authors will mention relationships that they don't talk about online. :-) From a writer's perspective, it's also interesting to see how many others were involved in the final product. Thanks for a great post, Tina!

    1. You are soooo right, Meghan Carver! It gives you the inside scoop!

  39. Great blog. I love all that matters -- front and back!

    Also love your explanations and examples!

    Pre-publication, I kept a small composition notebook in my purse, like the ones I now give as SWAG. Anytime I passed a store bookshelf, I'd check the dedications and acknowledgements, searching for the names of editors and agents, which I'd jot down in my notebook. I soon learned which agents were selling the type of books I wanted to write...and which editors were buying.

    I still have that little notebook tucked away somewhere in my office. Finding it might be a challenge! LOL!

  40. I enjoy book matter when it isn't generic or cliche, but shares something unique and interesting, enhancing the reading experience of that particular book.

    I have a copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms, so please enter me for With This Kiss! Thanks :)

  41. Hi Tina,
    I love reading both the acknowledgements and dedications, although I have wondered what the difference is. Now I know. :) Thanks for the chance to win your book. I absolutely loved Mending the Doctor's Heart. Also, I'm excited about your workshop. I think the older I get the more ADD I get. Or maybe it's just from teaching kindergarten for 15 years and it's rubbing off on me, lol.

  42. BTW, I'd like Vince picking up the tab for my meals! 100 $ dinner!!!!!

  43. Kav, I got a kick out of that dedication to your closet. I laughed so loudly that my cat gave me The Look.

    Tina, I'm eschewing the use of fifty-cent words today, aside from eschew itself, of course. ;-)

    Ruthy, I'd be disappointed if some of your dedications didn't showcase your unique (and much appreciated) brand of humor.

    Walt, how cool that you were mentioned in the acknowledgements for your Hungarian connection. I'm sure your wife will be thrilled to have your debut novel dedicated to her. I mush out when I read spousal dedications. I know very well how much support a writer's other half provides.

    Cindy, as a fellow cat lover whose Mews is snoring away in the chair next to mine right now, I LOVE your dedication. Especially the apology at the end.

  44. Vince, your insights so often provide the lagniappe for me as I peruse a Seekerville comment trail. You outdid yourself today!

    (I know that's a fifty-cent word, Tina, and that I just promised you I wouldn't use another one today, but this one was so good that I couldn't resist. =D )

  45. Kav you must use the closet writer dedication, especially if that is your "normal" humor. seeing that in your book would make me an instant fan, 'cuz you made me laugh with something clever. I love clever.

    Vince Had to look up lagniappe. thanks for providing the learn something new everyday item.

    Thanks for this post. I read book matter, but have never really thought about filling out the book matter once I actually have a book published. this is probably due to my lack of confidence in actually reaching the pubbed goal (my tiny confidence is growing, bit by bit with the help of Seekerville, btw) I will begin to contemplate book matter matter forthwith.

    I know my hubby and family will fit in somewhere on the dedication page. Acknowledgements in a debut book will have SEEKERVILLE front and center, 'cuz if I ever do make it, it will be because of all y'all (well, and God and my eventual stubbornness to keep at it...)

    I'm still laughing over Kav's closet dedication.

    Best laugh ever.

  46. oh, bother...

    please put my name in the draw for Tina's book and/or the With This Kiss collection. I covet both. That's not sinful... is it?

  47. Rethinking acknowledgements after reading Vince's comment. :)

  48. I love book matter, Tina! I read all of it in every book I read! It's so interesting to me! I know it takes a WHOLE lot to write a book! Thanks for the info! I can't WAIT to read your book! I already have With This Kiss!

  49. I always read what is in the front of the book. I was surprised last month when I received my early copy in PDF format that the book was dedicated to me since I am part of her street team the Buggy Bunch. In today's mail was the actual print copy of the book. As a reader I felt so honored even though it didn't mention me by name. As I am writing I am taking note of what I see and who I should acknowledge etc so when the time comes and I have a book published I will know what to do.

  50. I like to see the acknowledgements and other book matter. I haven't written any yet, so we'll see if I still like them when I have to write them :)

    I'd love to be put in for a chance to win.

    On another note, I entered the Unpublished Maggies!

    (My reCaptcha was asking me to pick the pictures of soup!)

  51. Quick grab a squirt gun and shoot that eschew from Keli G.

  52. Okay, let's get to the pop tart of the matter...

    Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts are to die for.

    Just sayin'

    I keep several boxes on hand for my 5 yo great-nephew. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  53. I love the front and back matter of books. I always find it interesting who an author dedicates a book to, who they acknowledge, and getting a glimpse into why they wrote the book. I know as a writer, I've been told to look at the acknowledgments in books I love to find an agent or editor who might be interested in my work, so there's also an alterior motive in reading acknowledgements. I really love the bible verses as well. They give me a clue to the theme of the spiritual arc of the story, something to look to see illustrated by the story.

    When I'm having an especially trying time writing, thinking about the reader letter, acknowledgments, dedication or bible verse I would choose when this story is published keeps me going. I practically have the "matter" for my Blurb to Book entry all figured out. Now to write the book...

    Your story sounds wonderful, Tina. Please enter me in the drawing. Either way, I can't wait to read it.

  54. LOL Pam.

    It's the chocolate fudge ones for my 5 yr old son and 50 (05 yr old in reverse) hubby.

    That's MY story, and stickin' to it. *grin*

  55. Keli mentioned Vince's gift.

    Seems Keli has given us a lagniappe, as well! :)

  56. Ohhhhh, yeah!! Love Pop Tarts. Survival Foid!!!!

  57. I forgot to mention that I loved the acknowledgement for the poptarts.

    I am wondering if those of us who don't get to go to the RWA conference will get the information that is given out. I have ADHD. I know it effects the way I write and the way I read. I would love to know any ways I can improve in those areas.

  58. I've never seen all these book matter things put together. I never realized there's a lot more to a book than just the text. There really is a lot to consider.

  59. Yay, Becky! So glad you entered!!

    Vince--thank you for your kind comment. But I hope you're not disappointed on the most recent LI book! The pediatrician who I interviewed preferred not to be named personally. So I just had to do general thank you's to that person and the one who helped me with the general contractor stuff (although he'd said I could use his name if I wanted). So the page looks a little blank. Which I definitely noticed!

  60. Oh I love to read book matter. It's so much fun.I especially enjoy looking at the book dedications, fun. I would enjoy winning a copy of Safe in the Fireman's Arms. I have never read any of Tina's books and I need to get cracking doing that !

  61. Great post, Tina.

    I attended a workshop Karen Hawkins was giving and she said she dedicates all her books to Hugh Jackman because all her heroes look like him. I thought it was funny. I checked the dedication page of one of her books and she had.

    Now, I have a new book about a fireman to go buy. ;)

  62. Great blog! I definitely read all the matter. I would have to include my mom in a dedication. She made sure I had a copy of heart song presents book 1 and subscribed them for my birthday gift each year until she passed away a few years ago. I loved those books. I'm going to miss them. They got me hooked on inspirational romance. Please enter me in the drawing for the contemporary collection. I've read Tina's book....my husband now buys me a subscription to L I.

  63. I'm always a little hurt when you put out a book and don't dedicate it to me.

    I know I'm not your ONLY friend and helper, but still......... :(

  64. My main interest in most book matter is checking the copyright date so I can read series in order.

    I clearly must change.

  65. I may have missed some comments.

    Did Pam say she dedicated her last book to Pop Tarts?

    That's a refreshing and original direction to go.

  66. I can't believe people eat Pop Tarts. Not when God gave us so much else on the planet!!!! Now, if it was TOASTER STRUDEL???? BIG GRIN!!!!

    Ode to Pop Tarts:

    Oh, Cinnamon tart, you are mine
    Your brown sugar innards are just so fine.
    As I munch you warm, or straight from the pouch
    I'm reminded that you make my waistbands say OUCH!

  67. Dear Tina,
    Thank you for your post today! I agree that the Book Matter does matter, indeed. I love finding out a whisp of a favorite author's insight or interests in the material. I've really held close to Jan Karon's intro to her book, "The Mitford Bedside Companion," where she reveals how she was first inspired to write her books with a dream. Her inspiration reminded me of mine, and was encouraging to me in following the dream. Great when an author's journey mirrors a facet of your own.

    I've missed visiting here. Am sending out my manuscripts, so it's been pretty busy. Thank you once more I'd love to read your work if I get selected, too!

  68. And I'd dedicate my books to my long-suffering and patient family who've gotten to know and love my characters, too. And the kid readers who provided great feedback to the story along the way. Support makes such a difference in the journey, so it just seems right to acknowledge how grateful we are. Doesn't it?

  69. Becky!! Congrats on entering the Maggie's!!!!! And pS -- you can skip the Captcha

  70. I love book matter! It offers the reader so much context regarding the author's perspective and approach to the book, and what the book means to the writer.

    I like having that connection to the author, and getting to see his/her personality through the extra material.

    I do read the 'book matter,' and I especially enjoy excerpts or promotions for other works/authors.

  71. and I'd love to be added to the drawing

  72. Great post, Tina!

    I love book matter and read every word before I start the book. It's like an instruction booklet when you buy a product—you read it first. :-)

  73. Awe, thanks, LeAnne. You missed a book in between. Stranded with the Rancher. Which is actually a fun thing to be.

  74. Ms. Zey Zey, where did that name come from? And didn't your copy of the Fireman book arrive yet?? I mailed it last week.

  75. Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth. Yes, families are long suffering. Lots of pizza!!!

  76. YES!! Mary Hicks. Although I don't read manuals on my electronics. So bad, I know.

  77. Mary the next book has a rancher again so once again you and Ivan will be plagued with non stop questions and yes, an acknowledgment.

  78. I'm nosy. I like to know who someone's agent and editor are. And their BFF.

  79. Oh my gosh! That one Acknowledgments page was just hilarious! Thanks for sharing that. So funny. :-) Great post, Tina!!! You just reminded me of someone I forgot to put in MY acknowledgements!!!!!!!!! I'm always so afraid I'll forget someone who helped me!

  80. Everything but the kitchen sink, Melly!

  81. Mary Connealy is obsessed with reading books in order btw.

  82. KD Fleming--THAT IS HILARIOUS. I probably should dedicate all my books to Jason Stratham, and Henry Cavell and Aaron Eckhart and Josh Lucas...

  83. It is a big deal Connie Queen. I agree.

  84. Janet, thank you. YOU ARE FUNNY. You have a dry wit that is hilarious. You just don't know it.

  85. Now I'm feeling totally left out because Tina didn't even acknowledge that I commented--three times!

    Crying in Georgia!

  86. Yes, all that matters to me. Usually I read the book matter first, even the reader letter, because of what you mention, Tina...insight into the real person behind the author. I especially like to read which Bible verse is selected in inspirational books. Your examples are such fun!

    My favorite? My DIL's dedication to my husband and me for encouraging her writing....and her dedications to her husband and their two little ones.

    Thank you for an interesting post! I plan to NEED this information one day.

  87. Dedicated my first book to my parents, second to my husband and third to my first two grandkids. I need another book. I have three more grandkids who need to see their names in print.

    Love you, Miss T.

  88. DEBBY!@ I'm still trying to figure out if I eat a lagniappe with ice cream or ketchup.

  89. Sherida has a dtr in law who is a big name author, btw.

    Very cool!

  90. Congrats to Lyndee, Kelly Goshorn and LeAnn Bristow (aka Traci) for finaling in the FAB 5 contest!!
    Fabulous Five Writing Contest

    Fabulous Five Contest WisRWA is pleased to announce the finalists in the Fab 5 contest. Congratulations to all finalists! And thanks to everyone who participated. Winners will be announced in June. (** indicates WisRWA member.)

    Lord Sebastian's Honor – Mary Carson
    The Trouble with Misbehaving – Pat Eckhoff
    The Secret Affairs of a Duke's Daughter – Jan Leyh
    Celestina's Burnings – Annemarie Schiavi Pedersen
    His Selkie Bride - Jennifer Rupp **

    The Magical Librarian – Nancy Coiner
    The Devil's Cradle – Cynthia Jacob
    Untouchable Lover – Dawn Linse
    Demon's Wager – Jeanne Oates Estridge
    Connections Crossed - Mary Vitas

    Romantic Suspense
    Now and Then – Carla Conrad
    Touched – Amy Carter
    Melting Point - Nicolette Pierce **
    The Silent Nobles – Sofia Ula
    Dark Horse – Janet Walden-West

    Single Title
    Rescuing Mr. Gracey - Eileen K. Barnes
    He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not – Nichole Burgdorf
    Down to Business – Michelle Dayton
    Sometimes You Need a Hot Highlander – Melonie Johnson **
    Buckskin Cody – James Montgomery

    Women's Fiction
    Weaving a Life – Kate Bowman **
    If by Chance - Mary Hawley
    Long Overdue – Joyce Hunt
    The Last Resort – Kerry Ann Morgan
    Pressing Concerns – Lisa Whitaker

    Young Adult
    Secrets of a Not-So-Perfect Middle School Life – Jill Bevers **
    The Sumerlin Curse - Ashley Hearn **
    One on One – Tif Johnson
    The Virtue of Sin – Shannon Schuren
    Frozen Hearts – Pamela Stewart

    Building Benjamin – Barbara M. Britton **
    A Love Restored - Kelly Goshorn
    Return to Chestnut Ridge – Lyndee Henderson
    Lilly's War – Joan Koster
    The Rebel's Search – Traci Rhodes

  91. Oh, wait. Eileen Barnes finaled too.

  92. I love the author's note, especially in historical fiction (you know, where it tells all the background and history related to the story). And it's terrible of me, but sometimes I just HAVE to jump ahead to read it, because I have to know RIGHT NOW if what just happened in the story happened in real life.

    For someone who never particularly enjoyed history classes, I absolutely love history.

  93. Tina, I was on Seekerville earlier today to search for back blogs on synopsis writing and knew I had to come back later to give your blog a more in-depth reading.

    First, when I was in Pennsylvania last summer, someone asked me to try shoo-fly pie and I replied that it tasted just like a Brown Sugar Pop Tart. So if you've never tried Shoo-Fly Pie, you might want to try it sometime.

    Second, I love reading the dedication and acknowledgments. I don't think many unpublished authors haven't dreamt of who they'd like to thank in the acknowledgment section of their first published book.

    I've finished the contemporary collection of With This Kiss. I hope it's not a spoiler for your story when I say I wish I liked eggplant (actually I've never tried it), but your story made it sound phenomenal. So please don't enter me in the drawing for the contemporary collection, only for the preorder.

    Thanks for the post.

  94. I have a horrible, near-criminal confession to make, but I used to never read the "extra stuff" in a book. *gasp*

    I know. I'm ashamed of it now. Jane Austen's "dedication" of Emma to the Prince Regent broke me of that. I now read the "extra stuff."

    One recent favorite author note was at the back of The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance. The author letter carried a deep emotion and nostalgia that made me want to read the book all over again and recommend it to everyone I saw. Not sure if the feeling was simply spilling over from the novel's ending or was intently woven into the author note as well (probably the latter), but I loved it. It almost made me cry--I teared up actually--and I don't cry easily at books. :)

  95. Congrats Fab Five contest finalists!! :)

    *waving at Lyndee*

  96. Hi Natalie! Thanks for the note.

    Thanks, Tina. ;)

  97. I am obsessed with reading a series in order, Tina. As is any thinking person!!!!

  98. LOL, Rachel, your secret is safe with me..(I read the last page of the book first!) shh!

  99. Thanks for the kind words and the pie recommendation, Tanya!

    Eggplant Parma!! Yummy! And don't forget to leave a review on Amazon!!

  100. Well, Miss Who I forgot in the Acknowledgments...now I have to go read Brandy's book. Thanks for the heads up.

  101. I love Book matter. LOVE!! I read it all and love to know the story behind the story. I love to be in the know. :-)
    I would love to win a copy of Safe in Fireman's Arms.


  102. Tina, I just finished SAFE IN THE FIREMAN'S ARMS last night, reading between commercials and finishing in bed before lights out. Kudos! Such a satisfying ending for Maggie and Jake. :) Loved your post on book matter and the fun examples you gave. No one ever talks about those extras. Thanks for the great info.

  103. I read the Book Matter.. Nothing better than for a reviewer to see a mention of her review. What?? The author actually read my review! Caryl M. actually put my review in her book.. awesome! I enjoy seeing acknowledgements & dedications.
    Please put me in for Kiss, contemporary.. Dee S

  104. I do love book matter. It gives you insight into the author's life

    Rick Riordan's dedication in "House of Hades" we totally deserved that apology, LOL. --He must have gotten a ton of fanmail over that cliffhanger (leaving the most beloved characters he's ever authored in such uncertainty). I know I let out "Oh no, you didn't!" when I had reached the end of his previous book. =P

    The best dedication I read from an author recently was Dina Sleiman's Dauntless (a YA medieval historical) it was so encouraging:

    "To my readers: My prayer is that you will be strong and courageous. Follow the path god has laid before you wherever that might lead. Be a doctor, a lawyer, a professional athlete, a wife, a mother, or even a president. Chase after your dreams, and if a handsome knight in shining armor should happen to come alongside you, headed in the same direction, and you should happen to fall in love ... then join together and become partners in your quest. But please remember --you are complete, you are beautiful, and you are dearly loved by God just the way you are."

  105. I love that, Jennifer F (Artist Librarian). Thanks for sharing.

  106. You're in the dish as is Deanna!!!

  107. Thanks for the kind words Barbara. From you, it means enough to keep me smiling for a week!

  108. Oh, what a post! Some of those where just hilarious. Thanks for the insight, Tina. Seriously enjoyed it.

    I do find myself skimming and at times stopping to read the book matter. So I can see how it matters if it's done well.

  109. Well, hi, Crystal! Great of you to stop by! Love the hat.