How Do You Properly Conclude an Author’s Note?

Writing an author’s note can be a fine line to walk, as it is your space to express anything that you can’t otherwise communicate through the narrative. Although it must contain essential information, it’s also a creative extension of yourself and your work. Whether to share your writing journey, explain certain choices or thank your readers and stand out from a sea of books, ending your author’s note effectively ensures a long-lasting impression on your reader.

Relevance of an Author’s Note

An author’s note, usually found at the end of a book, serves as a direct line of communication between the author and readers. Built upon the context of your story, it allows writers to share relevant background information, elucidate choices made during writing, shed light on interesting discoveries during the process, or point out elements that readers may have missed. Its primary aim is not just to enhance readers’ understanding but also to justify your narrative choices, enhancing the credibility of your work.

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What to Include in an Author’s Note?

    • Explanation of Choices: If you have deviated from historical facts or taken creative license, briefly explain why.
    • Your Discoveries: Share exciting research findings that informed your story but might not have been detailed in the text.
    • Interesting Parallels: Highlight elements that have been deliberately incorporated to echo or parallel other works.
    • Personal Experiences: Discuss experiences that influenced or informed your writing process.
    • Fact and Fiction: Clarify what is true, what is invented, or what facets you might have altered for the sake of the story.
    • Acknowledgments: Express gratitude towards those who supported your writing journey. Personal anecdotes attached to acknowledgments keep the note engaging.

Avoid overindulgence and maintain a conversational tone, without sounding self-centered. Building an emotional connection with readers through anecdotal instances from your writing journey can make the author’s note memorable.

Positioning and Length of Author’s Note

The author’s note traditionally appears at the end of a book but can also be positioned after each chapter, depending on its content. When you decide on the placement, maintain a balance. Be concise, with a preferred length of not more than a page and a half.

Overly-long notes risk being ignored by readers.

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Endnotes versus Footnotes

Don’t confuse Author’s Note with endnotes and footnotes as they serve different purposes. Endnotes appear at the end of chapters or the book, adding additional insights or citing sources. Footnotes, on the other hand, appear at the bottom of the same page where the reference is made.

Tones in an Author’s Note

Your author’s note should carry a personal tone, revealing a glimpse of your personality, inspirations, and motivations. Speaking in the first person, directly addressing the reader adds authenticity and allows a meaningful connection to form.

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To end an author’s note effectively, always consider the impression you want to leave on your readers. Closing your note with a thank you creates a sense of appreciation for your readers’ time and attention. Ultimately, an author’s note is your final opportunity to leave a mark on your reader, shaping their final impression of your work. When done right, it can create an lasting bond with your readers, increasing chances of them stepping into the worlds you create in the future.

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