Foreword, Preface, Introduction, and Acknowledgment
The foreword, preface, introduction, and even the acknowledgement in a book are often a source of confusion for new self-publishing authors. Let’s explain what they are, how they are different, and where they are placed in a book. This will help you to have a well-constructed book.
First things first
Before the foreword, preface, and introduction, are the title page, copyright page, dedication, and table of contents. This content and pages are considered to be part of the front matter. Front matter is numbered with Roman numerals: i, ii, iii, iv, v, etc. If you choose to do an acknowledgment page, it is generally page 1 of the text, other wise you will begin with chapter 1 on page 1. All pages in the text of a book are numbered with Arabic numerals: 1, 2, 3, etc.
Note the spelling! It is a foreword, not a forward, meaning words that come in the forefront of a book. It is a right-hand page.
Note the spelling! It is a foreword, not a forward!
The foreword comes before a preface and / or the introduction. A foreword is written by someone other than the author. For instance, we printed Brilliant Waters by author and photographer, Elizabeth Carmel. The foreword was written by the famous actor and director, Robert Redford.
The preface is written by the author. If there is a foreword, the preface follows it. The author can write about their method of research or their reasons for writing the book. Acknowledgments may also be included here if not in a an acknowledgments page with would follow the preface.
If there is a stand-alone acknowledgment page, it should also be a right-hand page. You may also include your signature of initials on this page. It should be flush right.
The introduction is also a right-hand page, but as stated previously, usually goes in the text of a book, and not the front matter. The content should be about the book rather than the subject matter.
Very often, authors with books in Microsoft Word. But, if you are writing an illustrated children’s book, coffee table book, cookbook, or photography book, it is best to use InDesign. We also offer book design services.
See the post on running heads and footers too.