Acknowledgements. Those lists, usually at the front of the book - the equivalent of an award winning actor thanking everyone from their mother to the man on the 48 bus.
Do you read them - or just skip over them to get to the good stuff?
I read them. I'm nosey. I look in other people's baskets in the supermarket to see what they've bought. And at books other people are reading, to see the title. On the Tube last week (Got let out for good behaviour and ran off the the wicked city overnight, to do romantic novelist stuff) I went as far as asking the man sitting next to me what his book was. He got out at the next stop. I hope he wasn't too far from his actual destination.
Aspiring authors are told to read acknowledgements because the published author might have thanked their editor and agent and this might give Aspiring Author hints about who to follow on Facebook and Twitter, to advance their own career.
Acknowledgements can be intriguing, when the author thanks people for the information on llama farming, or shark fishing, or hot air ballooning. They can be sinister, like the thanks for information on famous poisoners. There is usually a list of people who have helped write the book, which sometimes reads like the cast of a Hollywood block buster, except books don't seem to have best boys and key grips. Sometimes the author has held a contest to name a character and you get to find out about who and what.
There are some author's acknowledgements that I particular enjoy. Harlen Coben is one, as his are often funny, which is a contrast to the thrillers that he writes. And Jane Lovering's are also likely to make you laugh.
That's why I read Acknowledgements - because they can be informative and are often amusing. And, speaking as someone who has written them for her own books, they are a genuine expression of appreciation to all those people who have helped with the book. It's nice to get the chance to say thank you.
I've written acknowledgements and I read them, but I never expected to be in one. But if you read Georgia Hill's Millie Vanilla's Cupcake Cafe books, which have just been amalgamated and released in one volume, you'll find my name, along with fellow author Wendy Lou Jones, credited for helping with the inspiration for the books. The three romantic stories are all together now, full of fun, but also with a share of heart break and, of course, with lots of delicious cakes.
Finding my name in the acknowledgements was a lovely surprise.
If you want to find out more about Georgia's books click HERE