View Full Version : NF book questions: Introduction, appendix, prologue

02-20-2008, 04:15 AM
Who writes the Introduction? Can it be someone else BESIDES the author?

Can an appendix be "too long"? I have an appendix listing haunted houses in all parts of the world and that list is...pretty long. :/

Can a book have an introduction OR foreword even when there is a prologue and an epilogue?

02-20-2008, 05:24 AM
A book can have all the things you mention, but are they all needed?

Forwards or Introductions by other people are common

Can the appendix be too long? Sure. I guess it's a matter of judgement.

Georganna Hancock
02-20-2008, 06:02 AM
I'm with John. I can't imagine a nonfiction book needing all the extras, especially a prologue or an epilogue. Books don't have to include all those parts. (You've missed epigraphs!)

As for the index, it sounds important. Maybe it should be part of the book. If it is valuable, it doesn't matter about the length.

02-20-2008, 06:06 AM
Look Me in the Eye has an Author's Note, where I talk about my memory (many Aspergians have exceptional recall of long ago events). There's a Forward by my brother. Then there's a Prologue, which sort of explains what Asperger's is.

At the end, there's an Epilogue, followed by Additional Resources.

And for the paperback there will be a New Author's Afterword.

So while I caution you to make sure they are needed, I used many of them myself. And Crown's editorial folks agreed.

02-20-2008, 06:30 AM
Who writes the Introduction? Can it be someone besides the author?

Yes, absolutely.

In fact, I've seen books with introductions, forewords, AND epilogues by people other than the author.

If someone who's a noted authority in the field is interested in writing you an introduction or foreword, that's not a bad idea, especially if that person will put your work in this book in the context of the whole field.

Similarly, if someone with a personal connection to the topic is interested in writing a brief foreword, that might add some further credibility to the book.

The key is, will it add credibility, impact, or information to your book?

For instance, if you were writing about, say, new advances in the treatment of neurological disease, and you could get a foreword or introduction by Oliver Sacks or Michael J. Fox, that would give your book a big boost in credibility, impact, and reader appeal.

And if someone who had first-hand experience of these treatments--say, the first person to get a neural implant for Parkinson's Disease--wrote a foreword talking about his or her experiences, and how eager he or she is to see more important books like yours, that would add both information and impact.

The thing is to make sure that each of the other voices adds something significant.

02-22-2008, 06:10 AM
Thanks, everyone! :)

The book has a Prologue and Epilogue, along with appendices. They are all there for their own reasons. Someone involved in this field in some way or another has offered to write the Foreword. I wasn't sure if a book can have a Foreword AND a Prologue, because then then there'd be an Afterword to boot, right? I honestly cannot think of anything in which an Afterword would be called for, unless I made this loooong appendix into the Epilogue and the Epilogue into the Afterword. But then it's not really something along the lines of chapter or afterword/epilogue. It's just extra information.

I'm getting confused now so I'll be quiet...