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What’s a Forward? Oops, What’s a Foreword?

“What’s a Forward?”

What's a forward?
What’s a forward?

A forward is the player on a team, who plays in front and helps score. Period.

If we’re talking books, the correct question is: “What’s a foreword?”

Be sure to spell it right if you’re asking someone to write one for your book!

A foreword is an introductory section in a book that establishes the author’s credibility and establishes the usefulness or importance of a book. The foreword helps provide motivation for the reader to buy the book or to continue reading it. The foreword is not written by the author but by either an authority on the subject or by someone your readers trust and admire.

“Who Should Write a Foreword?” “Whom Should I Ask to Write My Foreword?”

What's a foreword?
What’s a foreword?

The best person to write a foreword to your book is someone well known by your readers, someone they know, like and trust. It’s ideal if the foreword writer is an authority on your subject or a broader subject that encompasses yours, but they can also just be a person of renown who knows your work, knows you well, used your  system (or methods or teaching) that you share in the book, or knows people who have benefited from your work. Or perhaps they were not familiar with your work before you contacted them but they have a personal connection to the subject.

In the modern world of online search and Amazon, one of your best sales tools is having a bestselling author write your foreword. Why? Amazon considers that person a co-author. Therefore, when someone searches on the name of that well-known author, your book will also come up in the list. That means many more eyeballs that see your book on Amazon and more eyeball owners who have the opportunity to buy it.

Publishers and agents know this. A bestselling author as foreword writer will increase your chances of a book deal. No kidding. Click To Tweet An agent told me she’d sign my client if, and only if, the client was able to convince the bestselling author who had said he would likely write her foreword to provide a firm “yes.” Happy ending to that story. I’m glad the agent pushed.

If you have been asked to write a foreword, or wish to provide information to someone you’ve asked to write a foreword, here is a post that tells you exactly how to write a foreword.

Please share your questions or comments below!

Note: This writer cares about typos. If you find one, click here to be part of the EditMob – it’s anonymous.

 

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

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Comments

  1. Deanna says

    When considering to approach a celebrity or other high profile person to write a foreward for my book, it they ask to be paid, how much can I expect them to ask for ? If I cannot secure a deal without paying for it, should I offer it ?

    • Lisa Tener says

      Hi Deanna,
      This is a great question but the answer is not straightforward. Most bestselling authors won’t charge because it’s great additional pr for them–if they believe in the book and it resonates with their brand. If not, they’re not likely to say “yes” even if paid. Some bestselling authors or celebrities may ask to get paid. If so, It’s likely more than $1,000 (or they wouldn’t be asking for a foreword writer) but the amount can be all over the map. Perhaps make a list of several potential foreword writers. Before you approach them, so something good for them. If they blog, write comments on their posts and share their posts on Facebook and Twitter. Or share something nice about them on social media. Subscribe to their email list if they have one. If they have a book out, attend their book signing and share what you loved most about the book (something specific) and how it helped or affected you. The more genuine you are about it and hte more they feel that you are a part of their community, the more likely they are to say yes. If you want to share something about the genre or topic, perhaps I can be of more specific help with suggestions. Good luck!

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