You may have wondered what a foreword is, and who should write it. Those questions are answered here.
What is a Foreword?
A book’s foreword has an important purpose, and plays a key role in preparing the reader for what’s to come. The foreword can even help you market and sell your work.
Basically, the foreword of a book sets the stage for the readers, and lets them know in a few solid paragraphs what the book is about and why it is important or significant. Essentially the foreword prepares the reader for the content and provides a context for the material. The foreword also acquaints the reader with the author.
Who Should Write the Foreword?
Typically, the writer of the foreword is not the author. The author usually extends that invitation to an experienced and qualified individual with noted credentials, to help substantiate the work and vouch for the credibility of the author.
Some authors don’t plan for the foreword, and make it an afterthought. Some think about it well in advance and give the writer of the foreword ample time to craft this important element of their book.
If you are asked to write the foreword, you can now say “Yes,” because provided here is a basic but proven formula to help you hit the mark! After all, writing a foreword could become a real headache if you don’t know how to approach it (and simple is best, since simplicity gives room for clarity).
Write a Great Foreword!
To connect meaningfully with the reader from the start, your foreword should be engaging, informational, an even enticing. Make it powerful by being straightforward (never vague) and avoiding “fluff.” the foreword does not have to be wordy to be great. Just a few pages in length is enough, perhaps one to three.
If you are asked to write the foreword of a book, here is an easy but proven success formula to help you hit the mark!
- As you prepare to write (and as you write) the foreword, think in terms of grabbing the attention of the audience (reader). What do they most want? Why do you think they picked up the book? What do they hope it will it solve for them or help them to understand or accomplish? How will the book benefit them?
- In terms of the length of the foreword, go for about one thousand words, give or take a couple of hundred.
-Start the foreword content with a “hook,” which is a concise introduction to your subject matter that captures the attention of the potential reader and quickly draws her towards wanting to get to that content.
- Next, establish your credibility as the writer of the foreword. You accomplish this by communicating how or why you have a personal or professional connection to the book’s topic. Your words and statements should be crafted to focus on the significance of the book’s content. Point everything back to what’s in the book. Share your expertise as it relates to the book; don’t ramble on about yourself, and certainly don’t use the foreword as an opportunity to overly-boast about your credentials. Make the foreword all about the book and its relevance or benefit to the reader. Your job is to give the reader a glimpse into how the book can help them, and why reading it is vitally important.
- End the foreword with your name, title, title of a recent book you have written, and the city where you reside. Here is an example:
Margo DeGange, M. Ed.
Founder of Women of Splendor and Splendor Publishing
Best-Selling Author, The Art & Science of Loving Yourself First
College Station, TX.