Foreword refers to a short introductory insight about the book and the author, written by a person (expert) other than the author, out of his/her interaction or relationship with the author or his/her connection with the subject of the book.
On the contrary, a preface is nothing but an opportunity for the author to introduce the book himself/herself, to the readers. It is the area where the author explains the reason and motive for writing the book.
A book not just contains the main body, but there are many other pages as well, which are added before and after the body, making it a complete book, such as foreword, preface, prologue, acknowledgement, etc. Only a few among us, actually know what these pages contain. In fact, there are many for whom foreword and preface are one and the same thing.
So, here we will talk about the difference between foreword and preface, have a look.
Content: Foreword Vs Preface
|Basis for Comparison||Foreword||Preface|
|Meaning||Foreword refers to a brief introduction of the book written by a person other than the author, who can be another author, celebrity expert, or a known personality.||Preface implies a small introductory passage given by the author of the book, about the inspiration, purpose, scope, journey, etc.|
|Describes||Why the reader should read the book.||How the book came into being.|
|Expresses||How the book influenced the writer of the foreword.||Author's journey in writing the book.|
|What does it do?||It adds credibility and reinforces that the writer knows about the book.||It allows the reader to talk directly to the audience and express gratitude to those who supported the author.|
|Signature||It is always signed by the person who wrote it.||It may or may not be signed by the author.|
Definition of Foreword
Foreword implies a piece of written information found at the beginning of a piece of literature, i.e. book, novel etc. which aims at introducing the author and the book, to the reader or the world.
Hence, it is written by someone who is not the original author or editor of the book, however, it is not written by any random person. Meaning that the person writing the foreword should be an expert or known personality, concerning the subject of the book, or your peer in that field.
In a foreword, the writer discusses his/her the interaction or relationship with the author of the work. It is used to indicate how the work of the author influenced the foreword writer. The writer often expresses his/her opinion about the book, theme or the lead figure.
If a credible and well-known writer writes the foreword for the author, it increases the value of the book in the market. So, it is a kind of endorsement for the book, as it acts as a major selling tool. Therefore when it comes to arrangement, forewords are always placed at the beginning of the book.
Definition of Preface
Preface refers to that section of the book where the author speaks directly to his/her audience, about how come the author wrote the book, what made the author write the book, what the book is about, what is the purpose of writing this book, why did he choose this subject, who the book is for and why is it important.
Basically, in the preface section of the book, the author tells the audience, how a thought or idea, has transformed into the book. So, it is used as a marketing tool by the author to stimulate curiosity in the readers and draw their attention towards the story.
In the preface, the author gives a short description of the book and its lead characters, as well as the author, shows gratitude to those who inspired and supported him/her constantly in writing the book. Moreover, the author shares his/her journey of writing the book, like what he/she learned or experienced and how he/she felt.
Key Differences Between Foreword and Preface
The points given below are substantial, so far as the difference between foreword and preface is concerned:
- Foreword refers to an introductory passage about the author, book or subject of the book, given by a person other than the author of the book who is not related to the book, but related to the subject of the book. It is used to give credence to the book and subject matter, and introduce the author to the audience.
On the contrary, a preface implies a short introductory message given by the author himself/herself to the readers, wherein the author talks about the purpose, journey of creation, inspiration, scope, importance, etc. of the book.
- A foreword is a section for a guest author, to add a prefatory comment, as to why the audience should read the book. As against, in a preface, the author talks about what made the author write the book, what inspired him/her, what did he/she learn, etc.
- A foreword is written by a person who knows the author quite well and is usually a popular public figure who states how the book made an impact on his life. Conversely, the preface is the author’s message to the readers about the book, i.e. how the book came into existence.
- A foreword not just adds credibility to the authors work, but it also reinforces that the writer has read the author’s work. On the contrary, a preface gives a chance to the author to talk directly to his audience about the book, his journey and shows gratitude to those who inspired or constantly supported during the writing process.
- If a book contains both forewords, as well as the preface, they are placed before the introduction and the foreword is arranged before the preface.
- A preface may or may not be signed, but a foreword is always signed.
Forewords usually validate the existence of the book. So, when a person, who is a quite known personality writes foreword for someone else’s work, he/she actually supports or endorses their work. So, one should choose the best person, to write a foreword and introduce the work and the author to the world.
Prefaces are a way to spark eagerness in the readers regarding the story and content of the book. It is an opportunity for the author to address the readers about how it came to be a book and to whom the book is dedicated.