Book Dedication Examples And 4 Ways To Make The Best One For Your Work

Authors don’t necessarily write a book by themselves. 

The writing process may be done privately, but writing a book often requires inspiration and support from those around us.

Perhaps it’s a family member, a spouse, a child, or an otherwise inspiring and important person, but whoever it is, their presence and support in our lives (or sometimes, their lack thereof!) influence the book’s creation.

Authors often choose to include a brief section at the very beginning of a book after the title page, known as a dedication page, on which they leave a personal note for or about that important person.

In this article, we’ll explore the nature of book dedications. We’ll include famous examples and tips for writing your own dedication page.

Book dedication examples

Here are some examples of book dedications to inspire you

CS Lewis – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

My dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result, you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather,

C. S Lewis

book dedication examples

Neil Gaiman – 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 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.

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

To my dear and honored Mother,

whose life, no less than her pen,

has been devoted to the welfare

of others, this little book is 

affectionately dedicated

The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie

To all those who lead monotonous lives, in the hope that they may experience at second hand the delights and dangers of adventure.

The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint Exupery

Leon Werth is a French writer and critic who’s also the author’s friend

To Leon Werth

I ask the indulgence of the children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up. I have a serious reason: he is the best friend I have in the world. I have another reason: this grown-up understands everything, even books about children. I have a third reason: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold. He needs cheering up. If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate the book to the child from whom this grown-up grew. All grown-ups were once children—although few of them remember it. And so I correct my dedication:

To Leon Werth, When he was a little boy

Cosmos – by Carl Sagan

The author dedicated his work to his wife

“In the vastness of space and immensity of time, it is my joy to spend a planet and an epoch with Annie.”

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

Dear Pat,

You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, “Why don’t you make something for me?”

I asked you what you wanted, and you said, “A box.”

“What for?”

“To put things in.”

“What kind of things?”

“Whatever you have,” you said.

Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts- the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.

And still the box is not full.

John

What is a dedication page in a book?

Dedication pages are found at the very beginning of a book. They are short pieces of text the author chooses to include to honor or show appreciation and gratitude to an important person or people in their life. 

These people have a positive influence on the author and the creation of the book.

Book dedications make the author a more real person in the reader’s mind. Knowing that the author took time to dedicate a message or thank you to someone in their life makes us, the reader, feel a more tangible connection to that author.

book dedication examples

How to write a book dedication page

Read through the examples above and search for more to understand what a dedication message can look like.

By looking at the examples, you’ll see that there are no hard and fast rules for writing a book dedication. 

It can be a line or a couple of paragraphs. It can be funny, heartfelt, or cynical – it’s entirely up to you. 

Below you’ll find some tips on how to write your own book dedication.

1. Choose your dedicatee

Choose a person or people to whom you’d like to dedicate your book. Often, authors choose one of the following types of people:

  • A spouse
  • A child
  • A teacher
  • A parent
  • A family member
  • A close friend
  • A significant place
  • A religious figure
  • A publisher or collaborator

Who inspired you to write this story or start writing in the first place? Is there someone whose support has been particularly significant to you? 

Who has helped you in your life, and where has that help and support helped you face significant challenges?

Whose criticism of you has motivated you to be your best? To whom would you like to prove something? 

A book dedication isn’t always a friendly and loving sentiment. Sometimes they center around spite, often with a touch of humor.

2. Make it meaningful

You can write a dedication in the first, second, or third person point of view. From whichever POV you choose to write your dedication, make it meaningful. 

Without meaning, a dedication lacks purpose altogether and is best left out. Don’t write a dedication for the sake of it. 

Put your heart into your dedication.

As mentioned, a dedication offers the reader insight into your thoughts and values as an author, helping them to connect with you and your work on a personal level, rather than considering you a faceless entity and exploring your work without an emotional connection to you as a creator.

3. Keep it short

Keep your dedication short and sweet. 

You don’t need to write a love letter to your dedicatee. If anything, the book itself is a sentiment of love for that person. 

While your dedication demonstrates your individuality and emotional sentiment as a person and a writer, you don’t need to indulge. 

The reader may very well appreciate your dedication section, but it’s not the story they’re looking for. Don’t make it so long that it distracts the reader from the story to come.

Write the sentimental message you wish to share, but don’t use your dedication section as an opportunity to acknowledge and thank everybody who helped you. 

Include such acknowledgments in the acknowledgments section.

4. Choose your tone

Your dedication can take any tone you like. As seen in the examples included earlier, sweet sentiments and expressions of gratitude make for heartwarming dedication and connect readers to the author. 

Equally, humor and cynicism can set the tone for the rest of the story, offering readers an understanding of the author’s sentiments during the writing process.

Conclusion

Remember that there’s no exact formula or template for your book’s dedication page. The only person who decides what your dedication looks like is you.

If you don’t know precisely how to write your dedication, read other dedications for inspiration. The more you read, the more likely you will find a dedication that resonates with you. 

Perhaps you like the style, the use of humor, or the sense of love and appreciation the author gracefully adds to the book’s opening message.

Find what you like and let it inspire you to write your own dedication.

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