Fabulous forewords

How to have a fabulous foreword

What good is a foreword?

No matter how good your book is the foreword won’t make the slightest bit of difference. It doesn’t contribute any additional information about the book’s subject matter, but it does serve as a way of validating the book and you as the author.

A foreword’s primary purpose is to boost book sales. It’s a means of introducing someone who may not be well known via an expert in the field or a celebrity who, by dint of being famous, is an expert on everything.

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A book will gain more from having a foreword written by someone that the general public recognizes more readily than the actual author. Added kudos can be gained by giving the foreword’s writer a byline on the cover. ‘With foreword by Ms Horse-Expert’ can actually sell you more copies than the all of the research and knowledge the book contains.

What is a good foreword?

The best forewords have a personal, chatty feel to them. The foreword writer may reminisce about how they know the author, thus adding weight to the author’s credentials.

Forewords also tend to involve anecdotes that– ideally– have something to do with the work at hand. These generally serve as a practical or real-world example of whatever themes or ideas may be expressed later in the book itself.   More importantly they simply reinforce that the writer knows his or her stuff.

But a foreword isn’t just about the book.  It can actually be a valuable a tool for the person writing it as for the author of the actual book. To begin with, writing a foreword keeps the writer’s name in front of the public, providing them with publicity for their own business or projects.  The foreword writer has the opportunity to remind people of why he or she is well known– or at least qualified to write a foreword to a work– in the first place.

How to obtain a great foreword

Certainly not all books have forewords and not all need them. But the right person to write your foreword can help sell your book, just as the back cover blurb does. A good foreword will establish your credibility. The writer should mention how they  knows you and can help establish you as an expert in your field.

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Having a well-known equestrian celebrity to write your foreword is always great as it can draw readership, as long as the link is clear. Either the person should be an expert in the field that the book covers, or the person should be someone that your core readers tend to highly respect or wish to emulate.  Ideally they should be a person who is well known to your readers, even better if they are known to the rest of the world

Just as your book blurb has to grab the reader’s attention, so does your foreword, so it makes sense to ensure that the writer does a good job. Once you have approached someone suitable and they have said yes, it is perfectly reasonable and very sensible to send them a note, or make a phone call and ask them to touch upon certain points in the book. These could include how they met, why they think the book is good and why it will help with certain issues. Tactfully done this will save your foreword writer time and save you the anguish of having a beautifully written foreword which doesn’t actually do anything to help the book promotion at all.  Once the book is completed make sure that you include the person’s title or credentials next to their name, this is just good manners and professional courtesy.