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I’m sometimes asked how to write a foreword: What goes into a foreword?
I’m a big believer in not being overly formulaic, so the following are guidelines for how to write a foreword. Feel free to be creative.If you are writing a foreword for a self-help book or how-to book... Click To Tweet
- Share how you met the person or how you know them. This “social proof” establishes the connection between you and the author and helps establish the author’s credibility. Share what struck you about the person, and any particular skills, knowledge and wisdom they demonstrated over time. If you can open your foreword with a story, that’s particularly compelling.
- Give a sense of the scope of the problem this book helps to solve. You may use statistics and research to back this up or personal experience and anecdotes.
- Share some specific credentials of the author: that she teaches at Harvard, that he is one of the world’s most foremost researchers on deep sea creatures or that she is the first person to develop recovery groups for people addicted to scrapbooking—a pioneer in the field.
- Share how the author has helped others: the people in her scrapbooking recovery groups have gone on to develop healthier habits like stamp collecting or even married non-scrapbookers. Or share how you have referred scrapbooking addicts to this expert and have been amazed at the results and how these former addicts have gone on to lead normal lives, painting a picture of normal, of course.
- Give examples of what readers might find in this book and how it can transform their lives: the state of the art scrapbooking recovery model; tips for forming new, less-destructive hobbies.
Additional Tips to Write a Foreword
Looking for a few ways to have more impact with your foreword?
* Start the foreword with a “hook” that draws readers in. As mentioned, a brief story can provide a compelling hook. Other hooks can include counterintuitive information or something that piques the reader’s curiosity.
* Establish your own credibility around this particular subject, including any leadership roles you have played. If you’re a celebrity and your connection is your own experience or that of a loved one (i.e. you overcame your scrapbooking addiction, or your sister lost her home because of her scrapbooking addiction), share that (as long as you have your sister’s permission). Do this in a way that highlights the contents of this particular book and how it can help readers.
* A conversational tone can help draw readers in.
* Likewise, personal details, such as applying an aspect of the book to your own life, make a foreword compelling.
Please share your questions or comments below!
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