A dedication copy is any book inscribed by its author to someone, usually for whom they feel great appreciation or debt of thanks. Dedication copies may include published books and manuscripts or unpublished works that contain such dedications.
Dedication copies date back to the early days of book printing when it was common practice for authors to present copies of their work to anyone who assisted in producing it. Sometimes, this included wealthy patrons who provided financial support.
Since history began, many notable dedication copies have been produced and presented as gifts – among these is the Gutenberg Bible, which was presented as a gift to Pope Leo X. Other examples include John Milton inscribing a copy of Paradise Lost for his wife as well as Adam Smith giving one to King George III of England.
Dedication copies were once an increasingly frequent practice; however, due to digital publishing’s increased adoption. Yet some authors still dedicate their work as keepsakes to particular individuals; these books become treasured keepsakes over time.
Dedication copies are used within the book publishing industry to refer to documents given as gifts from authors to individuals who have made significant contributions to their book, usually on the book’s dedication page (usually the first page). Authors often include short statements, poems, or even just their names when giving these unique copies away as tokens of gratitude for their assistance in creating them.
Dedication copies are essential for authors to show gratitude towards those who have helped create their books. Dedication copies may be presented as gifts to family, friends, editors, or anyone who contributed significantly towards its creation. Dedication pages also serve as an excellent opportunity for authors to build personal connections with readers; often, one of the first things readers see upon opening any given book is its dedication page!