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    Forewords - what are they and why are they there

    Date Posted: 23/05/2011 | Category: Editing, Self Publishing, Writing,

    Forewords - what are they and why are they there

    It might be a bit forward of me, but today I'd like to talk about forewords. Namely, what are they, why are they there, and why should you care? (I'm a poet and I don't know it). The foreword will be the first thing a reader encounters when they open your book, even preceding the introduction (providing they don't just skip both, of course). The foreword is used to introduce the reader not just to the book that they are presumably about to read but also to you, the author of the work in question.

    The foreword is therefore written by someone other than the author themselves, indeed these days it is common for a 'big name' author to write the foreword to a book by a lesser known writer and to even be credited on the cover of the book, sometimes in a bigger font than the name of the actual book author! (One instance that springs readily to mind is Stephen King, who I've seen gracing the foreword (and the cover) of some lesser-known horror writer to tell us all how brilliant this relative unknown is on a few occasions.

    It might be more difficult for us to get a name author to introduce our work, especially if we have selected the self publishing route. However, you don't need to have someone famous do the forward - in fact, being a "foreword" writer can be quite a lucrative sideline on its own, and I'll talk about that in a later column.

    p.s. Forewords are a way to obtain extra attention for your published work - and it's not at all forward.

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