How To Write A Book Foreword: Step by Step

Synopsis: How to create and write a powerful book foreword that will help build your credibility and status, AND help the book’s author sell more books. The process of writing the book foreword is reduced down to four easy steps.

A. The Foreword Is An Important Selling Tool

The foreword of a book can, and should be, a very important selling tool for the book. If it is written properly, and by the appropriate person for the job, you and the book’s author will gain a lot of credibility in the reader’s eyes. I have assembled some information about the foreword that will give you a basic idea about what should typically be included.

It is important to remember that the author of the book usually 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.

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B. The Foreword Establishes Credibility
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 serves as a reminder of why the reader should read the book.

Writing a foreword can be a lot of work, but it can prove beneficial for the author of the foreword as well as the author of the book. With the foreword, you are trying to make an emotional connection with the reader. You want the reader to like you and your story. This will help get the reader to believe and trust what you have to say about the book’s author and the book itself.

“The foreword of a book can, and should be, a very important selling tool for the book.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)

C. The Typical Foreword Is Short And To The Point
Typically, a foreword is one to two pages in length – 750 to 1,500 words. As the author of the foreword, you can go longer if you have an interesting story to tell about the book’s author or about the book itself. There should be four sections of a foreword: the introduction; the middle, or main body; the conclusion; and then the name of the foreword’s author.

Here are the basic sections of a book’s foreword, reduced down to four easy steps:

Step 1. Foreword Introduction:
Introduce yourself and your connection to the book’s author

The first section should introduce yourself in a few short sentences and then describe the connection you have with the author and the book. But if you don’t know the author personally, explain how important the message of the book is for the reader.

This provides credibility to the author of the book. Making a foreword personal also lets the reader make an emotional connection. Remind readers who you are. Tell them what you are famous for. Tell them why you are the right person to be writing the foreword for this book.

Step 2. Foreword Middle:
Discuss the book and why this author is the best one to write this book

The middle section should explain the contents and benefits of the book to the reader. The reader should know why the book is relevant to him. Therefore, you should give the reader an intriguing reason why this particular book is unique or important. Connect the book to experiences that a reader might face in everyday life. Mention the good points about the book and what the readers will get out of reading it.

Be sure to give a very brief synopsis of the book. Try to use short anecdotes about the book and the author. This could be anything from a chance meeting with the author to a realization that the book was able to help you solve a problem. Try to include a real-world example that illustrates the theme of the book. This is a way to show the reader that the author of the book is credible on the subject matter.

Lindedin - How To Write A Book Foreword

Linkedin – How To Write A Book Foreword

Step 3. Foreword Conclusion:
Remind readers why you are writing the foreword and why it matters

In the conclusion, remind the readers why you are writing the foreword, and why it matters. This is important for both the author’s career as well as your own career. For the author, it will boost the credibility of the book and help sell more copies. For you, it will remind the public of your career and improve your credibility for your next book or article.

This will keep readers motivated to continue on to the book because you, the expert, is telling them that the book is a worth reading. Bring the foreword full circle. If at all possible, you should reference something from your first paragraph in your final paragraph. This will add cohesiveness to your foreword.

Step 4. Sign Your Name
Type your name at the bottom of the foreword. After your name, add your title. If you have several titles, add the most relevant one. You can also add the title of your most recent, or most famous, book that you have written. Then add the city where you live, and the year.

It is essential that you remember that the foreword of a book is a very important selling tool for the book. It must establish credibility for the author and the book. It must be short and concise. You can help make the reader want to read the book by making an emotional connection with the reader. Talk to the reader as if you were talking to a friend. Keep it engaging and tell an interesting story. All of this will play an important role in helping to improve book sales.

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Have you ever been asked to write a book foreword? Was it from a colleague, friend, etc.?
2. Did you read the entire book before, or after, you agreed to write it?
Let me know in the comments section below.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in November 2010 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Click here to view the original post.

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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 near New York City. @jckunzjr
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