How to Write an Introduction to Your Book
The introduction to your book plays a critical role in helping someone decide whether to buy the book. If you've written a page-turning novel, for example, your introduction should give readers a glimpse of your story that's so engaging that it captures their attention; it can be the "coming attraction" clip that hooks a potential buyer.
If you have writer’s block, however, the introduction can be one of the most difficult pieces to write. Staring at a blank page can be daunting. But with a few tips, writing the introduction to your book can be easier than you think.
Write with purpose. Make a good first impression. If your book is fiction, begin with an action sequence, dialogue or flashback. If you’re writing nonfiction, an interesting fact or powerful quote may be a good opener. The goal is to ignite enough interest and curiosity so that they keep reading.
Conduct research. Browse through similar books at a store or library and familiarize yourself with various introductions. Make notes as to which prologues peaked your interest and why they caught your attention. This exercise will help create a flow of ideas if you happen to have difficulty starting your piece.
Maintain integrity. Insure that you keep with the same tone and style of your book. Speak to the target audience.
Inform your readers about your book. Select a primary theme woven throughout your book and give the reader a brief snapshot of what’s to come. Perhaps focusing on your main character, a dark secret or an untold truth adds a sense of intrigue that will lure the reader.
Persuade your readers. Use your literary skills to write with imagery and impact. Engage your audience with bold statements that you support throughout the piece.
Highlight the features of your book. If you're writing a nonfiction book, format is essential. Present the distinguishing factors of your book and what makes it different from other books on the market. Provide information about yourself and any relevant expertise that strengthens your credibility on the given topic. Provide the significant research staff and certified experts that assisted in the compilation of the data.
Entertain your readers with a cliffhanger. Use comedy, drama or tragedy to hook the reader into your story. If the narrative provides an appealing characteristic, the reader will forge ahead.
Get a second opinion. After proofreading your work, give the introduction to a trusted friend for feedback. They may add a different dimension to the introduction.
Anel Laj began her professional writing career more than 10 years ago as a sports journalist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Currently, she is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Laj received her Bachelor of Arts in mass communications from UC Berkeley. She earned her Master's in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.