Foreword, preface, and introduction are terms for the “pre-chapters” of your book. Every book is different, so not all books will include all three of these elements. It is the author’s prerogative to have all, some, or none of them. Since these terms can be confusing, we offer you an explanation so that you can decide which, if any, you want to include.


The foreword is usually written by someone other than the author. It extols the author’s work and credibility and is intended as an assurance that the author knows what he or she is talking about.


The preface is written by the author. In this section, the author would explain why and how you wrote the book. It does not discuss the topic of the book. Sometimes, this is where the author thanks friends and those who have given support, in lieu of an “acknowledgement” page.


The introduction, as its name implies, introduces the topic of the book. It can be a brief summary or teaser, telling the reader just enough to whet the appetite. The introduction is more an extension of the actual text of your book. Often, when picking up a book off the shelf, a reader will look to the introduction to get a sense of what the book offers.

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