How To Write A Preface That Will Make You Look Like A Pro, AND Get You More Book Sales
The preface is one of the important places for you to make an emotional connection with the reader. The more that the reader understands you, and can identify with you, and has formed some emotional connection with you, the more they will enjoy and learn from reading your book. This will translate into more sales, and help give your book a longer life span.
What You Will Learn
1. You will learn what a book preface is, and why it’s included in a book.
2. You will learn the basic structure of a preface.
3. You will learn why you must use the preface to help you develop an emotional connection with the reader.
There’s considerable confusion among some new authors, and some of the reading public, about what the preface is for, and why it’s included in a book. But, once a writer and reader understand the how, what, when, where, and why about the function of the preface, they will quickly come to understand its pivotal role in making the book a complete finished project.
Here are some questions that will help you better understand this important section of the book, and thereby enable you to write a preface that will help the reader have a better reading experience with your book:
Question #1: What Is The Preface? And What’s Its Purpose?
The book preface (PREF-iss, not PRE-face) is a short explanation about why you wrote your book. The book introduction, on the other hand, is all about the benefits the reader will get from reading your book. The preface is about you, and the introduction is about the reader.
But never forget, both should be written by the book’s author, and that both must show your passion and thereby make an emotional connection with the reader. In contrast to the preface and introduction, the book’s foreword is not written by the book’s author. It’s written by a guest author, generally, a person that is well known within a certain industry, that can bring third-party credibility to you, the book’s author.
Question #2: What Is The Structure Of The Preface?
The preface discusses the story of how your book came into being, or how the idea for your book was developed by you, the author. In order to be a successful marketing tool, it must be written to show your passion for the subject matter, and your inspiration for writing the book.
Here’s your chance to infect the reader with your passion for the topic you’ve written about. Show the reader that you’re a kindred spirit and have a passion in common. Here your aim is to make the reader empathize with you and identify your genuineness in writing the book.
Here You Should Answer Questions Such As:
1. How was the concept of the book born?
2. How did you think of writing the book?
3. Why are you writing about this topic?
4. What are you trying to achieve by writing this book?
5. What are your qualifications to write this book?
6. What other books have you written?
7. Why are you writing this book now?
8. What was your main source of inspiration?
9. Why did you re-write this book?
So What’s The Bottom Line?
The explanation to these questions can be autobiographical. You can tell the background, the context, and the circumstances that brought you to write this book. The bottom line must be, “Why did you write this book?” Be very clear and honest about this. No exaggeration or puffery. And always write in the first person, and in a friendly manner. Also, use your own voice when writing this way, and speak directly to your audience.
Question #3: How Do I Close The Preface?
The main body of the preface is followed by a statement of thanks and acknowledgments to people who were helpful to the author during the writing of the book. If the list of acknowledgments is too long, a separate section should be created just for the acknowledgments.
(FUN FACT: The word ‘acknowledg(e)ment’ is typically spelled with this extra letter e outside of the US and Canada. Inside of the US and Canada, we typically don’t use that extra letter e. Not all spellcheck programs will catch this since both are technically correct. -JCK)
Alternatively, some authors use both sections within the same book, and use the acknowledgments page for the most special contributions – and the lesser contributors are kept in the preface. Another alternative that some authors use it to combine the preface and the introduction into one section and label it as the introduction. And finally, the book preface is signed by the book’s author, along with the date and place of writing.
Now that you better understand the preface, and how it is put together, you can clearly see that it wasn’t as difficult to understand or write as you might have first thought. Remember, the preface is one of the important places for you to make an emotional connection with the reader.
Don’t waste this prime opportunity to help the reader better understand you and your book. The more that the reader understands you, and can identify with you, and has formed some emotional connection with you, the more they’ll enjoy and learn from reading your book. This will translate into more sales, and help give your book a longer life span.
Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. Let me know some of the topics you discussed in your book’s preface?
2. How do you, and the book, and the reader, benefit from the things you discussed in your preface?