Interestingly, since last couple of months, many of the debutant Authors have started approaching me to write the PREFACE for their books, hoping to receive a professionally written Preface for their books. While now I’m very much enjoying writing the Prefaces for these young and upcoming Authors; therefore, here through this article of mine, I’m making an effort to present the budding Authors with all those points, which will lead to the creation of a sound Preface!
Well, a breath taking Preface can actually be a powerful Marketing Tool for a book. It can influence your reputation and can help you to grow a fan base. In addition, your fan base will lead to a better sale of your book. Therefore, you must give a substantial amount of importance to the Book’s Preface as well.
Now, before jumping to the points where we discuss the methods of writing a sound Preface for a book, let us first understand – What is a PREFACE?
What is a PREFACE? A preface is an introductory section of a book that comes before the main text. Often written by the author, a preface is meant to draw readers in by offering information about the Author’s experience writing the book, the inspiration behind the subject matter, the writing process, the purpose of the story, and historical context for the material.
In other words, a Preface is basically, a story about how the Author came to write that book. A Preface is that short introductory narrative in which the Author of the book explains their motives for telling a particular story.
Well, let us focus to the steps, which are required to write a Preface for a book –
Step 1) Brevity is better: Readers often like to get right to the body of the book. Keep your preface brief. One to two pages is the ideal length to get your points acknowledged. In addition, proofreading of this section helps with editing out redundant thoughts and excess information.
Step 2) Be Interesting: Readability is important when it comes to a preface. Make it interesting or your audience will skip it entirely. In the preface to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain described his attempt to give each character their own dialect depending on where they were from; moreover, there are several examples like them. If you are writing a non-fiction book, offer interesting tidbits that may result in piquing the curiosity of your readers.
Step 3) Think of a Preface as a making of the Book: Do you ever watch the “making of” or “behind the scenes” features, which we often get to see in a movie! A preface has a similar relationship to a story. It reveals interesting information about how you assembled the book, which is especially useful in non-fiction writing. You might explain to your readers how you uncovered unique information in your research. You could describe any challenges you overcame across while writing. On the other hand, you might walk them through your own journey to becoming interested in the subject of the book.
Step 4) Inspire Readers by sharing your Passion: Writing your own book is a labour of love. As the author of the book, tell the reader what triggered your interest in the content of the book and why you wanted to write about it. That passion can rub off. Readers can find inspiration in your motivation for writing and become eager to read what you discovered.
In addition, it must be noted that most often in the nonfiction books or academic writing, a Preface is written from the point of view of the Author. This short introductory statement reveals information about why the author wrote the book. A writer might also talk about themselves; and go on to explain that why they are qualified enough to write about this topic!
Written By NEEL PREET – Author of the Books, Voice From The East (2016); Journey With Time Place And Circumstances (2018) & Indian Defence Files (2021).