Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thanking all the little people

The best authors—those who need the least help—are the most profuse and inclusive in their thanks to all the people involved in producing their books. They go to the trouble of finding out the names of unseen functionaries and even spelling them correctly. The converse is also true. Those who need the most help mention the first name of one person at the publishing house and indicate with a sweep of the arm the nameless and faceless “team.”

If you are having trouble deciding how much of a book the named author actually wrote, count the names mentioned in the acknowledgments. The more names you see, the greater the author’s contribution.

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