Readers often wonder why they have to sift through page after page when they want to get to Chapter 1. As it turns out, these sections do have importance, which iUniverse looks forward to explaining below.
The following guidance relates to works of fiction:
The foreword is mainly a marketing strategy. It is not written by the author, but by someone renowned in the author’s field or one of his or her well-known friends. The foreword endorses the book and the author, as its main aim is to provide a sense of credibility. Publishing companies may ask a celebrity to provide a foreword, often putting the celeb’s name as large as that of the actual author!
When self-publishing, a foreword is of course up to you. If you happen to know someone famous, it is worth asking him or her to help.
Unlike the foreword, the preface is written by the author. It generally relates the genesis of the book – what inspired the writer to create the story and the characters. The preface may also acknowledge any people that contributed ideas, research, or any other support to the book, though these may be include in a separate section called “Acknowledgments”. One preface which literature students often remember is that in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
In contrast to the Foreword and Preface, the Introduction is not a personal piece. It is a way of introducing the story itself, allowing the writer to get various details out of the way in order to start Chapter 1 with a bang. While this can be useful, few things are more tedious in the world of books than a lengthy Introduction!
While the Intro can be of use when you are getting started, iUniverse advises ignoring the preface and foreword until you have finished the book. Focus on getting that excellent story of yours on paper – we look forward to seeing it!
Feel free to let us know a preface, introduction, or foreword that you think was especially effective. In the meantime, make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter.