In Sibu, where many people are well educated and well connected, the writing of Foreword is often quite a significant phenomena.
The Chairman of the Foochow Association is , for example, often called to write a Foreword for any books written by a Sibu writer. I really think that any man who is the Chairman of the FA of Sibu is very qualified to write a foreword. It is a great honour for him too.
However, one of the most popular person to write a foreword for any Sibu or Sarawak book is of course the local Member of Parliament or the Member of the State Assembly. And especially the Chief Minister if the writer has caught his EYE.
The person selected to write a foreword is usually someone "who has accomplished something, or already published and his name is well known."
The writer of a FOREWORD has a purpose. That purpose is to introduce an author/work to the world.
There are several ways to introduce the book. You can write about a significant incident in the book, the book as a whole or the author's work in general.
Or you could describe your personal encounter with the writer, or your friendship with the author.
If you are writing about a new edition of the book, you could write about the differences between the old and the new edition, and perhaps discuss the cultural or historical impact of the book.
Some one has written, " there is no hard and fast rules about forewords - there is room to be creative and have fun!!"
Chop Suey, USA,The Story of Chinese Food in the USA is a remarkable book worth reading over and over again. It is at once philosophical and historical. It is also light hearted but nevertheless you would find yourself pondering upon the seriousness of food matter.
Now if you are soon to write a book, who would you ask to write the FOREWORD?