With ebooks, Google scans the first 500 words or so, and to the extent that that's what captures readers, you want to put material upfront that will help "market" your book and catch reader's attention.I tend to put acknowledgments at the back but try to make them interesting, to give them content.If you have a prologue, you must also have an epilogue, says WBG's guru, Marc Pachter.Some people feel nobody reads the introduction; some people believe it's important because its the first thing people look at.Sometimes publishers squeeze it onto the top of the copyright page, when space is tight. Here are some purposes members mentioned at a meeting of the Washington Biography Group: To talk about how you came to write the book, especially if that will help draw the reader into the book. To sell the book to the potential reader/buyer (lure them, hook them, make them want to read more). What you want to draw your reader in with is the story -- tell them just enough to hook them, make them curious, and keep them reading. Linda Lear wrote a prologue (a term from dramaturgy) to start her biography of Rachel Carson.
See Order of Front Matter Question I am in process of writing my memoirs and after reading your explanation of preface versus introduction.... It would seem awkward to separate my short half-page intro into two parts. Pat's response What matters is what makes sense to the reader.
Yes, and there's a reason: so readers, librarians, teachers, and booksellers can easily turn to the page in the book to find a particular type of information.
Understanding the order in which they should appear may help you remember the difference between a preface, a foreword, and an introduction?
(Carol Saller, Lingua Franca, Chronicle of Higher Education 4-5-12) offers further insights.
Academic writers: check out helpful tips in the comments section! The foreword is usually written by someone other than the author.