When you open the first pages of a book, then you can find the title page with the book’s name and the author. You may even see a foreword or a prologue.

But what is the foreword in a book? The foreword at the beginning of a book simply introduces the author and his work.

In this article, we take a closer look at what a book foreword includes and who should write the foreword.

What Is A Foreword?

The forward in a book is a piece of writing that gives the reader an introduction to the author and the book.

A foreword often acts as an endorsement for the book which means that it is usually not written by the author himself.

Forewords may be written by other authors, journalists and famous people who already read the book and recommend it.

This being said self-published authors can also include their own foreword explaining why they wrote the book and their connection to the work.

A foreword is always near the beginning of the book and it often sits between the title page and the first chapter.

A foreword is relatively short and usually doesn’t exceed more than a couple of pages.

A reader can easily find the foreword in a book as it is often labeled with Roman numbers. It can also have no page number at all, especially when it appears on a single page.

Do You Need A Foreword For Your Book?

No, writers and publishers don’t have to include a foreword. There is a large number of books that don’t have forewords.

However, a foreword is a good opportunity to provide more context to the book. This is the reason why many non-fiction books often contain a foreword.

Nonfiction books usually need some elaboration as they are more complex. This being said, some novel writers choose to add their own foreword, including Stephen King. 

How To Write A Foreword

Whether you already completed your book or you are nearly done with writing, it’s time to consider if you really need a foreword.

If this is your first novel, then you may not need a foreword at all. If your book is a non-fiction piece, then you can include a foreword explaining the context and background of your book.

If you want to write a foreword for your own book or someone else’s then there are some things that can help you put a foreword together.

Consider what you or the author are looking for and know the style of the book. Then, you note down what you may want to write about in the foreword.

Make sure that you connect the author, the book and your own credibility as well as experience related to the book.

Make sure to sign your foreword with your name. If you have written famous books related to the topic, then you can also include a couple of your own book titles.

Once you have written the foreword, you can check with the author for any feedback. 

You can then make any changes as requested and provide the final foreword to the author or the publisher.

Who Should Write A Foreword?

Not just anyone can write a foreword. While a foreword can be written by a number of people, they should have experience with the book’s subject matter.

The foreword writer should be an expert in the subject or know the field very well to endorse the book.

This is the reason why many fiction authors don’t write their own forewords. The social proof comes from other people who know the field well.

What Should Writers Include In The Foreword?

Every foreword is unique because it is written about the individual author and book. There are a few common elements that often appear in forewords.

Foreword writers can include their relationship to the author and the specific expert field they share. They may even talk about how the author’s writing inspired them.

It’s also a good idea to include your professional opinion of the theme of the book or the characters.

If the book is a new edition, then a foreword writer can write about the differences between the new edition and the previous version.

It’s essential for foreword writers to use a similar language and tone to the book. This means you should avoid a serious tone if the book is witty (and vice versa).

What Is The Difference Between An Introduction And A Foreword?

A foreword can appear in both fiction and non-fiction books. On the other hand, an introduction is always written by the author and it is reserved for non-fiction literature.

An introduction explains the content and gives context to the book itself. Some introductions also summarize the book.

A nonfiction work can also have both an introduction and a foreword, whereas the foreword is an endorsement of the book.

What Is The Difference Between A Foreword And A Prologue?

The prologue of a book is specifically reserved for works of fiction. They take place within the story’s world. In comparison, a foreword is always outside of the story itself.

A fiction novel can have both a foreword and a prologue but the foreword comes before the prologue.

Plus, a prologue is never signed, whereas a foreword usually is signed by the writer.

What Is The Difference Between A Foreword And A Preface?

If an author wants to introduce his book, then he usually opts for writing a preface. A preface includes what the writer wants to achieve with the work and what inspired him.

Unlike a foreword, a preface is always written by the author and they do not have a signature.

A book can have both a foreword and a preface but the foreword is always before the preface.

Final Thoughts

A foreword is a brief introductory text at the beginning of a book. It introduces the writer and the book itself. Forewords are often endorsements and recommendations for a written piece.



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