Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction: A Guide For Self-Publishers

View the infographic version of this post by clicking here.

Introduction
It is essential for a self-publisher to understand the differences between the foreword, preface, and introduction of a book. Each section plays a vital role in the critical and financial success of the book. Without these three sections, a non-fiction book is incomplete, and not giving the readers their money’s worth. Therefore, I have laid out some basic definitions of each section to help give new self-publishers a starting point before beginning their first book.

Thank you to Danielle de Valera for posting and linking to my post "Foreword v. Preface v. Introduction" on her great blog "The Manuscript Assessor"

Thank you to Danielle de Valera for posting and linking to my post “Foreword v. Preface v. Introduction” on her great blog “The Manuscript Assessor”

Thank you to Barbara Pittman for linking to this article from her website PittmanLettersProject.com

Thank you to Barbara Pittman for linking to this article from her website PittmanLettersProject.com

1. The Foreword
(Why the reader should read the book)
The foreword is the place for a guest author to show the reader why they should be reading this book. The foreword of a book is a major selling tool for the book. If it is written properly, and by the appropriate person for the job, the book’s author will gain a lot of credibility in the reader’s eyes. It is important to remember that the author of the book should not write the foreword. Instead, the author of the book can use the preface as well as the introduction to say what needs to be said about the book. Forewords introduce the reader to the author, as well as the book itself, and attempt to establish credibility for both. A foreword does not generally provide the reader any extra specific information about the book’s subject. But instead, it serves as a reminder of why the reader should read the book. The foreword must make an emotional connection with the reader.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #67

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #67

Thank you to Laura Lee for linking to this article from her website StressManagementForWriters.WordPress.com"

Thank you to Laura Lee for linking to this article from her website StressManagementForWriters.WordPress.com”

2. The Preface
(How the book came about)
The preface is a place for the book’s author to tell the reader how this book came into being, and why. It should build credibility for the author and the book. The preface is very similar to the foreword, except that the preface is written by the book’s author. The preface is also an important selling tool for the book. Here the author should explain why they wrote the book, and how they came to writing it. The author should be showing the reader why they are worth reading.

Thank you very much to Kristan Lukasak of GettingOnTop.WordPress.com for linking to this article.

Thank you very much to Kristan Lukasak of GettingOnTop.WordPress.com for linking to this article.

3. The Introduction
(About the content of the book)
The introduction introduces the material that is covered in the book. Here the author can set the stage for the reader, and prepare them for what can be expected from reading the book. The introduction is a way for the author to grab the reader, and intensify the reader’s desire to find out more, and hopefully devour the entire book. In the introduction the author can quickly and simply tell the reader what is to be revealed in much greater detail if they continue reading.

Conclusion
As you can see, it is imperative to understand the basic differences in these three book sections in order to produce a professional looking and complete self-published book. Each section is clearly different, and each performs a specific function in the book. Therefore, a self-publisher will need to put a lot of thought and effort into producing these three vital sections.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Click here to view the original post.

Thank you very much to Billi Joy Carson of EditingAddict.com for posting and linking to my post "Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction: A Guide For Self-Publishers"

Thank you very much to Billi Joy Carson of EditingAddict.com for posting and linking to my post “Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction: A Guide For Self-Publishers”

Thank you to Elizabeth Spann Craig for sharing and linking to my post "Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction."

Thank you to Elizabeth Spann Craig for sharing and linking to my post “Foreword Vs. Preface Vs. Introduction.”

This article is also featured in Joel Friedlander’s online publication The Carnival of the Indies – Issue #67
This article is also posted on Danielle de Valera’s blog The Manuscript Assessor
This article is also posted on LinkedIn.com
This article is also posted on EzineArticles.com
This article is also mentioned on Barbara Pittman’s website PittmanLettersProject.com
This article is also mentioned on Laura Lee’s website StressManagementForWriters.WordPress.com
This article is also posted on Kristan Lukasak’s website GettingOnTop.org
This article is also posted on Billi Joy Carson’s website Editing Addict.com

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Share Button
Print Friendly

About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

Author, educator, business owner, husband, and father of twins. Kunz is also a digital-media junkie fascinated by the intersection of media, design, education, and technology. Kunz is the founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company.
This entry was posted in Book Marketing, Foreword, Front Matter, Introduction, Podcast, Preface, Promotion, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *