Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Romance With a Dose of Sweet Sugar and a Dash of Steamy Spice!

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Book Dedications vs Dear Readers Letters: Which Do You Prefer? (Plus Samples and Writing Tips)

As an author, I am always torn between whether I should write a dedication or a Dear Reader letter in my books. As a readers, I love both! Lately I've been toggling between which to include in each of my novels. Keep reading for deets, tips, samples and more!

So I've been chatting with both my reader and writer friends about book dedications and Dear Reader letters. Readers seem to love them both. They enjoy the sentimental touch of a book dedication, where authors share a sweet message honoring those who've played a role in their lives, writing journeys, etc. Early on in my career, I'd dedication my books to my mother, who played a HUGE part in my career, along with other family members, friends, industry colleagues, etc. These days, I've really enjoyed dedicating my books to the readers. Here's the dedication that I included in my women's fiction/romance novel, SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS:
"This book is dedicated to women from all walks of life who are working hard to love themselves, overcome obstacles and fulfill their dreams...💖"

As for my upcoming romantic thriller, COLD CASE TRUE CRIME, I dedicated it to my mother:
"To my mother, who’s the most glamorous bookworm I know. Thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of Harlequin all those years ago."

I oftentimes get stuck trying to figure out who to dedicate my books to, and once I lock someone in, I'm sometimes stuck on what to say! So recently, I've begun thinking about each individual project, and figuring out who was pivotal during the writing process. It may be a good friend who was extremely supportive, a significant other who gave me inspiration, or an industry exec who helped secure the deal. Once I nail down the "who" and the "why," coming up with the right words is that much easier.

Now when it comes to Dear Reader letters, however, that is a completely different situation. The first Dear Reader letter that I wrote was for my 2020 holiday romance, LOVE AT THE ICICLE CAFE. I was so excited when I decided to go with a letter instead of a dedication. But when I sat down to write it, I was completely lost! So I did a little research and read other authors' letters. Then I thought about my own experiences when writing the book, and was able to come up with something I was really proud of. Here it is:

Dear Reader,

Happy holidays to you and yours! Thank you so much for joining me on Mina and Scott’s journey in LOVE AT THE ICICLE CAFÉ. Developing these characters and telling their stories was such a pleasure, as was watching them transform from the first page to the last.

LOVE AT THE ICICLE CAFÉ takes place in the snowy, fictitious town of Gosberg, Germany. I was inspired to create this cozy community by my father, who was based in Germany while serving in the U.S. military.

Another fun fact: Mina is a patent attorney who loves to bake, and Scott is a gourmet chef. By the time I’d finished writing this book, I had deemed myself an expert in both patent law and German cooking! 😊

I hope you enjoy reading LOVE AT THE ICICLE CAFÉ as much as I loved writing it. If you’d like to learn more about me and stay up-to-date on my new releases, here’s where you can find me: On Instagram: @denise_wheatley_writer, on Twitter: @DeniseWheatley. My author blog is I love chatting with readers and look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for your support!

Happy reading,

Denise N. Wheatley

P.S.—Keep an eye out for my contemporary romance series, A FEARLESS FAIRYTALE, coming in early 2021!

When writing this letter, the first thing I realized was that there are no rules when it comes to writing Dear Reader letters. This is a personal message from you to your audience that comes from the heart. It embodies things that only you can share as the creator of your story. These letters are a thank you to your supporters. While they’ll make your readers feel special, they can also offer up tidbits about you, your characters, and your storyline that they may not have known otherwise. You can also keep your audience up-to-date on what new projects you'll be releasing, where they can follow you on social media, etc.

After dedicating SHE GETS WHAT SHE WANTS to the readers, I decided to write a Dear Reader letter for the sequel, SHE GETS WHAT SHE DESERVES, as well. Here's that letter:

Cover Reveal Coming Soon!

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for coming along on Devon Jacob’s journey in Book 2 of my Fearless Fairytale series, SHE GETS WHAT SHE DESERVES!

Devon’s story is close to my heart. It’s one that I’d been wanting to write for years. So bringing it to fruition, then turning it into a trilogy, has been such a pleasure.

This series was inspired by my love of California and the entertainment industry. That love developed back when I was a preteen, obsessively reading Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series. Her vivid descriptions of southern Cali stuck with me, even after all these years, as I plotted out my own characters’ LA love story.

I am oftentimes asked what I’d like for readers to take away from my books. I’m hoping that SHE GETS WHAT SHE DESERVES will inspire people to pursue their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. I also hope it promotes the pursuit of self-discovery and self-love, and the idea that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Lastly, my wish is that the book will encourage strong, positive female friendships and healthy romantic relationships.

I hope you enjoy reading SHE GETS WHAT SHE DESERVES as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you’d like to learn more about me and stay up-to-date on my new releases, here’s where you can find me: On Instagram: @denise_wheatley_writer, on Twitter: @DeniseWheatley. My author blog is I love chatting with readers and look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for your support, and happy reading!

Denise N. Wheatley

P.S. Keep an eye out for upcoming holiday release, CHRISTMAS IN FULL BLOOM, coming this fall!

As you can see, I decided to discuss the inspiration behind my FEARLESS FAIRYTALE series in this letter. I also shared what I'm hoping readers will take away from the heroine's experiences.

So again, Dear Reader letters can include anything you'd like to share with your audience. For Book 3 in the trilogy, SHE GETS A HAPPY ENDING, I'm going to write another Dear Reader letter and discuss how my main character's journey has come full circle.

CLICK HERE for more tips and ideas on what to include in your Dear Reader letter, and CLICK HERE to follow me on my writer's journey!

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