The number of manuscripts I’ve seen — and even printed books — with this common misspelling is staggering.
Sometimes they’re long. Sometimes they’re short. But they’re always written by someone other than the author — preferably that someone is SOMEONE.
Someone well-known. Foreword writers can be an expert or authority in field that is the subject of the book or a celebrity who enjoys a relationship with the author or a passion for the book’s topic or purpose.
First Lady of Nevada, Dawn Gibbons, wrote a gracious foreword for 100 Years in the Nevada Governor’s Mansion. Siegfried and Roy were naturals to ask to pen a foreword for our book on the history of the legendary Stardust. Former governor Kenny Guinn was honored to write a foreword for civil rights activist Bob Bailey’s memoir and we tapped former Governor Mike Huckabee to write the foreword for Bayou Country about southeast Arkansas. Boxing champ George Foreman contributed the foreword for Fight Town. One of my personal favorites was visiting composer John Williams at his Los Angeles film studio bungalow to discuss his foreword for More Than a Parade, our pictorial history of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid provided the foreword for Silent Heroes of the Cold War. I would say that these and other luminaries have unfailingly been honored to be asked and very helpful and interested in the process.
Give some thought to who you know, or who you know who might know the person you wish to approach. If you have a noble cause or a subject close to their hearts, many famous folks will listen to your pitch to write a foreword. Don’t be shy — it can’t hurt to ask.
Once an agreement has been reached to provide a foreword, you should offer to send your manuscript for their review. At this point, you can gingerly feel out your SOMEONE as to their intention to write the foreword themselves, or if they prefer to have the author or editor write for their review and approval. Yes, that happens.
Can your SOMEONE be NO ONE? Sure. While your publisher is looking for any and all advantages to help sell your book — and the credibility or star power from a famous expert or celebrity may help — forewords can be written by anyone. A foreword’s purpose is to give the reader some perspective on the subject and/or the author before they delve into the text. Nor do all books require a foreword.
But if you have one, spell it right!