A preface is your best advertisement after your book cover. This is the first thing a reader would read before deciding to buy a book or not. If you succeed in writing an amazing, eye-grabbing preface, your reader would be intrigued to know more about the book and will be compelled to buy it. That’s why it is important that you put yourself in the readers’ shoes and ask yourself: ‘If I were a reader, what would I be looking for? What would make me think this book is worth reading? What would my expectations be? What would I like to find in it? What would impress me and intrigue me?’
Here are some of the tips that can help you write an amazing preface:
1. A little description about the book, without revealing much of the details like the plot and characters (fictional work), or even without revealing the crux of what you want the audience to learn from your non-fiction work. Leave room for some mystery, so that readers are curious to read your work. Talk about the questions you ask in the book but let them find the answers themselves by reading it.
2. The purpose of your book – talk about all that your readers would gain if they read the book, and explain them how it would help them, entertain them or enrich their knowledge, materialistically or spiritually.
3. The reason behind writing the book – talk about how you got the idea of writing this particular book, your inspirations, your knowledge and everything els that contributed to the making of this book. Here you can also talk about a particular character or incident that might have influenced you the most.
4. The reason why you thought about writing on that particular subject – for eg, you are very familiar with it, you were interested in it, it is close to your heart, you are intrigued or fascinated by it, etc.
5. Resources and sources of inspiration. Talk about what inspired you in writing the book, the resources you’ve used in your work (e.g. bibliography, websites, etc), and your experience and knowledge accumulated through journeys, study or research.
6. Advice on how to read the book. Explain how your book is structured. Include any special notes related to the structure or the content.
7. Experiences you had or incidents that occurred during the writing period.
8. Acknowledgements – express your gratitude by thanking the people who helped you and encouraged you in the process of writing your book.