foreword

Foreword: What is a Foreword, Do I Need One, and How Do I Write One?

If you’re confused about what a foreword is, you’re not alone.

A new writer, especially someone looking to self-publish a book, has a steep learning curve ahead of them.

There are so many new skills to learn—building and managing a book launch team, finding a book cover design, making Amazon Marketing Services work for you, et cetera—and new vocabulary words to go along with them.

Here are the questions about forewords we answer:

  1. What is a foreword
  2. How to write a foreword
  3. Do I need a foreword for my book?
  4. Who should write a foreword?
  5. What should be included?
  6. What’s the difference between a foreword and introduction?
  7. What’s the difference between a foreword and a preface?
  8. What’s the difference between a foreword and a prologue?

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What is a Foreword?

A foreword is a piece of writing that serves to introduce the reader to the author and the book, usually written by someone who is not the author or an editor of the book. Forewords can also serve as a sort of endorsement for the book.

If the author does write the foreword, it might be to explain how the book came to be, or their connection between the work and themselves—like Stephen King often does for his novels.

The foreword always goes at the very front of the book (with one exception, which I’ll get into below), and it’s rarely more than a couple of pages long.

You may see a foreword with either lowercase Roman numerals or typical Arabic numerals, or without any page numbering whatsoever. That is between you and your book formatter.

How to Write a Foreword

You’re pretty sure you’ve seen forewords in books before, or maybe your favorite classic piece of literature has a foreword in the front. You’ve got a book now, or you’re well on your way to finishing it.

Do you need a foreword, too? Do you need front matter at all?

Then again, maybe you’re not new, and you’ve been around the proverbial block enough times to know your way around. Maybe you’ve gained enough recognition to be asked to write a foreword for someone else’s work.

And maybe you’re someone looking to write a foreword for someone else’s book and have no idea where to start.

Here’s how to write a foreword:

  1. Understand what the author is looking for
  2. Know the tone and style of the book
  3. Start with a list of what you want to cover in the foreword
  4. Make sure to mention your credibility
  5. Tie your own experience back into the worth of the book
  6. Get feedback from others and the author
  7. Make any necessary changes to comply with what the author is looking for
  8. Be honest about the book and its impact

Do I Need a Foreword for My Book?

Now that we know what a foreword is, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of whether your book really needs one. This is what you’ve been waiting for!

The first thing to note is that a foreword is certainly not necessary.

Plenty of books don’t have forewords, and never have them added on. Unless your book needs the elaboration and context a foreword provides, you won’t miss it.

What you really need to consider is whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction.

A nonfiction book is far more likely to need a foreword than a novel, especially if the topic is dense or interesting, or the author has passed on. Again, Stephen King does tend to produce forewords for his own fiction novels but this is seen far less in authors who aren’t as established.

For example, the fourth edition of The Elements of Style has a foreword by Roger Angell arguing that the guide is just as relevant today as it was the day Strunk and White turned the manuscript into the publisher.

foreword example

But if you are writing fiction, are you covering a period of history, or some other topic, in depth?

A foreword may be helpful if the reader needs a bit of background knowledge to sink their teeth into your book. Charles Todd wrote a foreword explaining just who was the titular character of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories.

It’s also not uncommon for works of great literary renown to have a foreword added onto the original manuscript, or added as a way of explaining the difference between the current edition and past editions.

Alice L. George’s foreword in the 150th-anniversary edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was written to illustrate why the book is so beloved all these years later.

Who Should Write a Foreword?

A foreword could be written by several people, but not by just anyone.

If you’re of the opinion that your work needs a foreword, approach an expert in the topic of the book or one of your peers in your field, especially if this person is well-known.

This lends the book social proof.

Unless you have something especially noteworthy to say, it’s probably best not to write your own book’s foreword. You may want to write a preface instead.

That being said, if you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, you may be asked to write a foreword for someone else.

What Should Be Included in a Foreword?

If you’ve been invited to write a foreword for a book, congratulations! What an honor, and what an impressive accomplishment to add to your resumé!

what is a foreword

Of course, every foreword will have needs as unique as the text that comes after, but here are some ideas for what you could include should you need to write one:

  • Your relationship to the author (if you are or were contemporaries)
  • How the author’s work affected you personally
  • Your opinion of the book, its protagonist, and/or theme
  • The book or author’s historical impact
  • Differences between the current and past editions of the book (if applicable)

It’s also important when writing the foreword to strike the same tone as the rest of the book.

Avoid writing a witty, humorous foreword if the book is more serious, and vice-versa.

You don’t want the writing styles to clash, or you risk jarring the reader when they turn the page.

What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and an Introduction?

The introduction is reserved for a book of non-fiction. It can be used to explain the content, but they can also be used to summarize the work.

The introduction is sometimes comprised of everything that comes before the bulk of the text, meaning the foreword would be nestled within the introduction.

Other times, the introduction is a separate section written by the author themselves.

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What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and a Preface?

If you’re looking to write something like an introductory statement to your own book, you may want to write a preface.

In a preface, you can include what your aim was in taking on the project and thank the people in your life who helped to make the book a reality.

Unlike forewords, prefaces are always written by the author, and they’re not signed. If your work happens to include both, the foreword comes first.

What’s the Difference Between a Foreword and a Prologue?

A prologue is always written for fiction, and it takes place within your story’s world.

Forewords never take place within your story’s world, unless you’re writing a fictional forward by one of your characters. You might do this if you’re writing as a fictitious person a lá Daniel Handler.

If your work happens to include both a prologue and a foreword, again, the foreword comes first.

And again, a prologue isn’t signed. (You can probably guess why!)

Forewords Can Be an Important Part of Your Book

Whether or not to include a foreword in your book is—as is most of the art of writing—a matter of personal preference, but not preference alone. Consider what your particular work calls for.

Only you can make that call.

Trust yourself that you’ll make the right one.

writing excuses

Writing Excuses: 9 Actionable Tips to Overcome Writing Excuses for Good

We all make writing excuses for various reasons and it slows down our progress for writing a book

Publilius Syrus once claimed: “Every vice has its excuse ready.” And writing is no different.

In this article, we will uncover the kind of excuses we make and provide you tips on how to overcome your writing excuses—so you can actually succeed like so many of our authors here at SPS.

So stay put! Learn. Practice. And soar.

Here are our tips for how to overcome writing excuses:

  1. Find your voice
  2. Avoid the “non-native” speaker debate
  3. Develop a writing habit
  4. Cut back on social media
  5. Don’t procrastinate
  6. Stop fearing the fall
  7. Disability is not inability
  8. Strive for progress
  9. Get rid of writer’s block

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What causes writing excuses?

There are a plethora of reasons writers give for letting excuses take over their work.

Sure, some are the real-life instances you may connect with, and others are cheesy ideas saved in your head.

You are likely to find reasons like toddler trouble, age, illness, time, little knowledge, to creativity blocks still making headlines in the writing community as the biggest launchers to writing excuses.

But do you know what? Only you can let go of all excuses—and we at Self-Publishing School are here to help you along the way.

The common excuses which prevent us from writing or self-publishing:

  • “I’m not a native English speaker, can I still write?”
  • “What is the right age if you want to self publish? I am 14 years old; do I stand a chance?”
  • Writer’s block (which we cover solutions to below)
  • I am still learning how to write.
  • “I have little vocabulary knowledge: what should I do first to be a writer?”
  • Life problems/disability.
  • Waiting for the perfect time to write.
  • Looking for good writing tips.
  • Fear of failing or falling.
  • Looking for a book genre or how to start a story.
  • Laryngitis.
  • “I want to write a script; what should I do first?”
  • I’ll do it later.

How to overcome writing excuses with ease

The late Great Louis La Moore, the prolific author of over 100 books, once said he could write on a busy street corner: that was years back where authors used a pen, a paper, or a typewriter to create text.

Imagine the benefits you can add to your writing in this era of the iPhone, tablets, and cloud apps that allow you to write on the go?

First.

#1 – Find your voice

Usually, we learn writing by imitation: but no matter how you view it, Laryngitis will only add poison to your book.

I know you may love how JK Rowlings writes or Neil Patel’s variety, but I can tell you that drifting away from your voice will be a bane to your book.

How?

Remember the creativity slowdown I mentioned earlier?

When the author completes his piece, you are blank, with no ideas for your essay. You have nothing fresh to add after you finish comparing your writing to the author you are reading.

The magic to fighting ensuing excuse from Laryngitis is finding your voice in writing. But that’s only half of it.

Here are other kick-butt methods to find your writing voice:

  • Writing more every day.
  • Write your draft freely without editing or looking at another person’s work.
  • Write and research later: or research but take a break before you engage in the writing process.
  • Plot all your plans for writing a novel and ideas on some paper or notebook whenever they pop.
  • Read more from different authors, publications, and manuscripts.
  • Get creative with your work or content.
  • Write with the buyer persona in mind.
  • Get laser-focused with your writing or content by selecting a niche and a language.

#2 – Avoid the native/non-native English speaking debate

Client: “Native English speakers only.”

Writer: “But I am not native!”

I hear this phrase a lot in the writing community, especially from clients who want their book/content written by Anglophone writers.

But frankly speaking, I have never understood the debate or the relationship between native and non-native speaking to writing unless one is writing on religion, culture, cuisine, or destinations nuance.

What should you do then if you are not a native English speaker?

Many great writers are native English speakers. However, writing should not only be in the English language but in other languages too! And being a native does not equal writing well.

Here is how to win this debate:

  • You can write in your native language and use a service like Google translate to translate phrases and words to other languages.
  • If you want to focus on English, read English books, the dictionary, thesaurus, and journals on the niche you want to write.
  • Practice writing in the English language.
  • Watch English films and movies (not the Housewives thing).
  • Stop using autocorrect while writing.
  • Invest in your education, learning the language.
  • Use online writing assistants like Hemingway editor to bring clarity in your writing.
writing excuses hemingway editor

You can also seek inspiration from the likes of Prof Ngugi Wa Thiong’ and Chinua Achebe who are not native English speakers yet, have published books in the English language and even received international accords for their persuasive writing.

#3 – Develop a writing habit and strategy

Planning is a necessary process in any person’s life – not only for corporates but writers too.

If you do not plan, you plan to make writing excuses! It is that simple.

The building blocks you create in the planning process will inspire you to reach your goal of completing that book.

It will help you avoid replacing writing with watching The Game of Thrones, buying groceries, browsing for advice and settling toddlers or cat mischief and excuses.

Tip on making a successful plan:

  • Designate a specific time for writing and reading.
  • Set targets.
  • Push yourself.
  • Create a content calendar and a place where you find writing prompts or exercise to kill writer’s block.
  • Test your progress – after a week or a month.
  • Make a list of what you want to achieve. It can be in sticky notes on a wall or laptop for affirmation.
  • Set reminders to give you the push and inform you when it’s time to do groceries, shopping, or writing.
  • Create realist goals on the number of words you want to write in a day. For me, I love using 750 words.com for setting and achieving my daily writing goals.

Here too are our favorite writing software you can use in planning, time management, improve productivity, and kill those writing excuses:

FREE Fiction Training! Learn the craft...  Learn how to write a strong fiction story readers love and launch your fiction  career...without compromising on quality (or taking YEARS to make it happen)!  YES! GET THE TRAINING!

#4 – Use social media less

How often do you use social media? Once a week? A day? Every minute?

It is true social media has got a tremendous influence and opportunities these days. It has created jobs, made communication, information, and knowledge more manageable. But it has also contributed to time and resource wastage not forgetting making the world louder.

Studies show on average; we spend close to three hours every day on social media slacking off watching memes or viral content yet, we could use this time to improve on our writing skills.

Take, for example. You take an hour to write 1,000 words. You could reduce the number of hours you spend on social media to two, and the other on writing.

Social media is also not just a place for watching memes, but thankfully, a platform to develop writing habits. You can write on LinkedIn writing, Tumblr, or even Facebook as you connect with friends and family.

Other ways to get over being hooked on social media:

  • Turning off notifications so you can concentrate on writing.
  • Use an app like Zen writing app or the ones mentioned in #3, which keep track of what you do.
  • Write before you engage in another activity. This will make you want to write faster since you want to move to the next commitment.
  • Let your desire for writing be numero uno.
  • Make the environment conducive for writing.
  • Join writing groups like the Self-Publishing School Mastermind Community: an excellent place to find inspiration from those who share or overcome similar challenges and excuses.

How to succeed in writing groups to get over writing excuses:

  • Join relevant writing groups worth your time.
  • Connect with authors and publishers through personal chats for advice and inspiration on places such as Scribophile.com or professional associations for writers and editors.
  • Ask only relevant questions and be on point to get the most answers out of your questions.
  • Build a rapport.
  • Connect, network, and engage in each case.

Never let social media take charge of your life.

Take advantage of its hidden gem and use social platforms as an inspiration to arouse your creativity and bring back your writing mojo.

#5 -Avoid procrastination

“If it’s not easy to start, it will be hell to finish.” — Niklas Göke

Procrastination is the biggest thief of creativity, progress, and success. It is an enemy you must conquer at all cost.

Whatever it is that you may not want to write now, stop waiting for the right time, age, or when the right resources are available to start.

Today, the community has got many great resources. You can write on your phone, tablet, or a pocketbook. You can also use platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, or Tumblr to share your stories: or use a tool like Jami Gold Save to plan your novel if you are starting in this art.

Remember also the Great Louis La Moore words on being able to write on any busy street corner.

Any place, any time is an opportunity to write: not procrastinate.

Note: For your writing to work, you need to be in the writing factory and not embrace the excuse factory.

#6 – Don’t fear to fall

There is a lot that goes into self-publishing a book: drafts, outlines, revisions, finding a publishing company and eventually marketing and selling to the public who receives it with mixed reactions.

Guess what happens during all this process?

Frustrations, name shaming, trolls, in-your-face insults, and horrible reviews with straight-up lies.

excuses for not writing

If this has been the case, keep the fire burning and kill the negative energy in this way:

  • Make a list of all the life lesson and use them for motivation – if you lack the inspiration.
  • Keep a list of your favorite motivational quotes.
  • Take Sir Richard Branson’s offer challenging readers to write letters to their younger self how to navigate life.
  • Make a list of your habits – positive and negative.
  • Write of your failures and how you plan to succeed.
  • Have faith which gives powers and action to thoughts. Most people develop excuses because they do not have faith in their writing.
  • Finally, keep in mind that success waits on the other side of failure.

#7 – Disability is not inability

Are you struggling with specific challenges in life? Maybe an illness, marital problems, family issues, anxiety, low mood, spouse abuse, or low self-esteem?

Life has a unique way of furnishing us with problems—a thing the Bible captures: but it encourages us to overcome our challenges in a unique way.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

You may struggle with whatever challenges life throws at you, but do not turn them into writing excuses.

Remember, excuses thrive well where problems exist. The many times you count the troubles you are experiencing, the more you will use them as a reason for not completing your book.

To tow you out of the excuse mode, look up these five authors who succeeded in this art despite disabilities.

I also wish to encourage you to:

  • Write a memoir or a biography, or on the challenges, you are experiencing.
  • Write about your failures and shortcomings and how you plan to undo them.
  • Find a mentor in writing groups, writing conferences, and co-working space.
  • Ask an able sister, friend, or family member to assist where necessary.
  • Use technology, especially those for voice, motion, and creativity.

#8 – Strive for progress, not perfection

When I started writing, I struggled to produce a well-polished draft. I hated rewrites and self-editing made me want to ram my head into a wall.

But with time, I allowed myself to be scrappy.

I realized that giving it all in my drafts held my back: it pushed me into the rabbit hole of procrastination, fear and made me look inept.

You may aspire to be perfect at what you do, considering the good returns it brings. But perfection sometimes carries a poor reputation – plagiarism, Laryngitis, and writer’s block.

This is especially the self-judgment we impose on ourselves when we find our piece is not of the quality of bestsellers or garnered low reviews.

While you may want to become a bestselling author; when starting, strive for progress and with time, harness the power of perfection through edits, second, or third editions.

Remember the old saying of how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

That your first piece never made headlines does not mean the next will experience the same fate.

Aim for progress. Perfection is like success, a journey, having no destination: hence the doing is a lot more important than the result.

Here is a broad overview of how to aim for progress:

  • Collaborate with other writers, making relationships with them, whether aspiring or professional.
  • Seek reviews and feedback from beta readers.
  • Find or pay an editor to help bring out your thoughts, ideas, and write more succinctly.
  • Do an activity that will bring more clarity to your writing.
  • Give yourself enough latitude to experiment and maybe fail a couple of times.

#9 – Writer’s block doesn’t exist

It is an excuse us writer’s use to shot our own feet when writing or publishing a book: then seek comfort in a community or in-crowds ailing of the same.

Let’s face it one more time: “Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.”  – Steve Martin.

Guess what? You can stop it.

How?

It often starts with finding the real ailment, some soul searching and admitting to yourself.

The other list of things you can do to write without writer’s block goes here:

So what’s standing in your way from self-publishing? Not excuses, it is you. But we can fix that—here at Self-Publishing School—with a few shifts in the mindset.

romance authors

8 Best Romance Authors: Which Authors to Follow and Even Learn From

Brace yourself, because you’re about to feast your eyes on the best and totally non-partial or biased list of the best romance authors.

Out of the millions of crazy-talented authors out there, I’ve managed to put together 8 of the best romance authors I think were integral in shaping the lives of so many artistic, hopeless romantic souls vying for a place in this book genre.

Here are the 8 best romance authors:

  1. Jenna Moreci
  2. Josie Silver
  3. Rainbow Rowell
  4. Audrey Niffenegger
  5. Nicholas Sparks
  6. Judy Blume
  7. Richelle Mead
  8. Helen Hoang

What makes a good romance novel?

It goes without saying that these romance authors’ books have become bestsellers. However, it’s a long way to get through to get on a bestseller list, but it’s real!

If you are one of those crazy guys who dare to overcome this path, make sure to pay attention to each and every detail of publishing your book.

Genuine romance authors know how to draw their readers’ attention right from the first page and even distract you from mulling over the plot even when you are not reading.

The most important point is they follow their idea, moving, sad, and a bit insane (or absolutely crazy one).

Best Romance Authors to Read and Learn From

Without further ado, here’s my list of the best romance authors.

You can read for fun or, if you’re looking to write a book, you can read and learn from their methods and techniques.

#1 – Jenna Moreci

While Moreci doesn’t just write romance, the romance included in her novels are drool-worthy, intriguing, and most importantly, healthy.

This author’s debut novel Eve: The Awakening featured a romantic subplot amidst interlopers, chimeras, and more and still held its own and shined.

Her second novel of a separate series, The Savior’s Champion is a romantic fantasy adventure where yes, the romance is a part of the main plot (and let’s be real, I could read about these characters’ love story forever!).

Moreci has a way of delivering the romance in a natural, yet intoxicating manner while sticking true to a healthy relationship—something this industry is in desperate need of.

If you love romance (along with some action), this is the author to keep an eye on.

#2 – Josie Silver

The Wolverhampton native is the author of One Day in December, a rising cult favorite that rose to fame thanks to the palpable warmth and charming characters that spring to life in every page.

Lovely doesn’t even begin to describe Silver’s writing; her words and stories are imbued with so much magic it’s hard not to cry or swoon when you’re so far deep into the story.

Although One Day in December is the first and only book in her repertoire at the moment, we’re hopeful for part 2 to Jack and Laurie’s whirlwind romance—or at least a spin-off!

One Day in December is the magic and chaos that ensues when you’re pretty certain you’ve just locked eyes with the love of your life, only for your bus to depart without him.

After a year of searching for him, you’re reunited one fateful night at your very own Christmas party—except he’s dating your roommate and BFF. Ten years of friendships, heartbreak, missed opportunities, and what ifs, roads not taken, and fate are reconsidered.

Josie Silver’s masterpiece is a reminder to everyone out there – hopeless romantic or otherwise – that true love and fate take inexplicable turns along the way to happiness, but it gets there.

So, to everyone out there who randomly locks eyes with someone cute on the way to work – if you feel it in your bones that they’re the one for you, go out there and do it! Who knows? They just might be the Jack to your Laurie!

#3 – Rainbow Rowell

If you love a good cry or heartwarming page tuner, then we reckon you should pick up any book from Miss Rowell’s highly acclaimed selection that goes from raw and real adult stories to warm and relatable teenager ones – all with a panache only the Nebraska local is capable of.

Rainbow Rowell has churned out masterpieces like Attachments, Landline, Eleanor & Park, Fangirl, and Carry On.

Out of the impressive lot, our winner is Eleanor & Park!

Who knew domestic abuse, child abuse, themes of escape, bullying, and body image issues would make for one knock-out novel? Eleanor & Park is everything a coming-of-age story should be.

It makes you feel things so strongly, transports you to a time and place where all you can feel is Eleanor and how the world shifts around her.

Together you weep at her circumstances. Together your hearts flutter for one Park Sheridan. Together you escape to Minnesota in the hopes of surviving the hand you were drawn.

Riveting, raw, and real, this love story is something so uniquely special, it’ll be engraved on your brain for a long, long time.

#4 – Audrey Niffenegger

Okay, hear us out – time travel, unsurmountable passion, and a lifetime of waiting and intertwined destinies – could it get any better than this? Right, didn’t think so.

Niffenegger gave the world a gift when she released The Time Traveler’s Wife, one of the most widely successful romance books and films to have made it into the mainstream and cult favorite niche.

The story takes place between two lovers; Henry, a man born with the inexplicable ability to time travel, and Clare, a woman he has been drawn to meeting in several timelines.

They fall in love, and what follows next is a series of beautiful and tragic moments that teach us the pains of having to wait your whole life for the one that owns your heart.

We could only dream of creating work as stunning and riveting as this. We have so much respect for writers who hone their craft and go through the motions of delivering content that is nothing short of brilliant.

It can be a huge, daunting task, but thanks to lifehacks like Spreadsheeto to help the best of the best streamline ideas and get that creativity flowing quickly and efficiently.