I am putting together an electronic version of a book written by my grandfather about his service in the middle east in WW1. The other grandchildren and I have transcribed the text from scanned images.

My question: I want to add a brief note about the process involved, remarks about how we dealt with unfamiliar idioms he had used, etc.

  • What do we call this (it's not a preface, and anyway, he already wrote one of those)?
  • is it a foreword?
  • should it come before the preface, after the title page?
  • 1
    If I wanted to know the answer to this question I might visit the website of an online bookseller and have a look at how some of the books available there handle this set of 'problems'. FWIW I think you should probably call it a 'foreword' and that it should precede any preface, but follow the title page. Oct 13, 2022 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


My understanding is that this would indeed be a foreword. As per Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

A foreword is a (usually short) piece of writing, sometimes placed at the beginning of a book or other piece of literature. Typically written by someone other than the primary author of the work, it often tells of some interaction between the writer of the foreword and the book's primary author or the story the book tells. [...]

When written by the author, the foreword may cover the story of how the book came into being or how the idea for the book was developed...

This seems to perfectly describe what you're referring to.

As for where it would go, Wikipedia's article on prefaces states that the foreword should come first (again, emphasis mine):

An introductory essay written by a different person is a foreword and precedes an author's preface.

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