Whether a book be fictional or based on fact, who the author knows can matter as much as what the author writes. The foreword section of a book is technically an introduction to the work. It spells out in a few pages why the book should be read. However, what is critical, especially for books intended for specific types of readers, who writes the foreword can be far more important than the reasons provided in that text.
A good foreword author is someone who is considered a known, credible expert in the general topic a book is about. This can be a well-established author in the same genre, a professor teaching the same topic, or another researcher who already has a published portfolio of works in the same category of study. In short, the foreword is a professional endorsement of a book, telling the public the book should be definitely be read and not ignored.
Because of the endorsement factor, serious foreword authors don’t just hand out their name and personal opinions easily. In fact, the more established a person or expert is in a field, the more likely he is already being lobbied by a number of would-be writers to pen a foreword section for them. As a result, many experts and established authors often reject requests, especially cold calls, from writers they have never met, worked with, or know.
So how does a freelance marketing writer or a history writer obtain the help of an endorser already known in a field, especially if the writer is just starting out? Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to make a connection. Unknown writers can’t just pay $20 and order a foreword section. Instead, connecting with a good provider for an endorsement often takes time, connections and networking. Potential foreword authors most often agree to supporting writers whom they know personally or professionally. This happens through meetings, conferences, collaborations on smaller projects and referrals from other experts. That sort of networking happens over time, but once secured these endorsements can be very powerful in convincing publishers to take on a book for print.
Aside from networking, writers can eventually gain the respect from other writers and experts by building a name for themselves through smaller projects such as articles, supporting work on research, carefully-crafted opinions, and periodical sections.
Reputation matters in the world of securing a foreword author, but it pays big dividends when combined with a new writer’s book. There’s no easy way to obtain an endorsement, so writers should start early, building connections with professors, experts, networking groups and industry contacts. Over time, these names can lead to a potential endorsement resource when needed.
Tom L is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.