How To Write a Book Introduction: 8 Intro Writing Tips

Terkel
Mar 25

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4 min read

how to write a book introdcution

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What is one tip for writing a book introduction?

To help you write a book introduction, we asked published authors and CEOs this question for their best insights. From tailoring your introduction for your target audience to hooking the reader with your first sentence, there are several ideas that may help you write a book introduction in the future.

Here are eight tips for writing a book introduction:

  • Tailor It For Your Target Audience
  • Provide a Sense of Value
  • Leave a Level of Suspense
  • Touch the Reader’s Pain Point
  • Set The Mood
  • Reference Others and Establish Your Own Credentials
  • Provide Perspectives Beyond Your Own
  • Hook The Reader With Your First Sentence

Tailor It For Your Target Audience

Your book may not be the perfect fit for everyone, and that’s completely fine. However, it should successfully reel in your ideal reader and your introduction is the perfect marketing tool to grab their attention. Study your target audience and their requirements so that you can craft an introduction that perfectly describes how your book is exactly what they’re looking for.

Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

Provide a Sense of Value

In our business, we provide many articles and contribute to travel books, and as a key element in any introduction, we make certain that we let the reader know the value they are getting from their choice of material. Whether it’s blogs, newsletters, or any other type of long form content, readers looking for information will choose sources based on perceived value. Providing a brief overview of the content, items they should anticipate, and specific details they should look for, generates interest and excitement, while at the same time, justifies their time and money. In addition, by giving a description of the author’s expertise, you will increase their confidence that they made the right selection in reading materials. In bolstering a reader’s sense of value in the introduction, you will better place them in the state of mind to enjoy the book.

Cody Candee, Bounce

Leave a Level of Suspense

I’m an avid reader, and I find that when reading book introductions, less is more. You don’t want to give away every key element to prospective readers. Whether you’re writing a book introduction or promoting your book through an email series, don’t give away too much. I’m more likely to commit to reading a book when there is a level of suspense that leaves me wanting more. That’s what really draws me in.

Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15

Touch the Reader’s Pain Point

When a reader finds the book’s title interesting, he reads the introduction to find out the reason to read the complete book. He finds the answer, “why would I care about this book?”. You have to answer them by revealing their pain point in the introduction. People are drawn to stories, particularly those related to their difficulties, grief, and conflicts. Once they are aware of their pain spots, they want to hear about solutions that provide them relief and joy and perhaps even take them to new places in their lives. To captivate the reader’s attention to the story and keep them reading, you must attract attention to the book’s most pressing problem.

Ryan Yount, Luckluckgo

Set the Mood

Start your book with a personal story. It could be about yourself, or the arduous process of writing, or something that has happened in your life–but whatever you choose, focus on making an emotional connection with the reader. How one writes the introduction is secondary to the emotion the reader is left with before they begin the first chapter. An introduction might be used to inspire a thirst for knowledge when set before nonfiction, or used to establish a heart-warming, humorous tone when set before a comedy– the point is to build the emotional foundation upon which the rest of the narrative will be built. A personal story from the author does this best because it briefly synchronizes the mind of the reader to the mind of the writer, almost as if they are sharing an inside joke with each other before the real adventure begins.

Brandon Adcock, Nugenix

Reference Others and Establish Your Own Credentials

I recommend studying the openers to best-selling books in the same niche as your own. Read these authors’ works and see how they hook their readers in the introduction. Take note of what you enjoy about their writing style, and let it inspire you when writing your own piece.  If you’re writing an informational book, be sure to establish your credentials. Inform the reader of why you are qualified to teach them about the contents of your book. Describe what influenced you to write your book and why you felt your knowledge would be useful in further understanding this field of study.

Bryan Philips, In Motion Marketing

Provide Perspectives Beyond Your Own

Don’t just rely on your own experience of the book–do research on the cultural response to the book. In an introduction, readers are looking to see how a book is situated in both the current world and how it was initially perceived. While your opinion certainly matters if you were the one chosen to write the introduction for the book, readers would like to see your opinion balanced with a more universal look at the book’s cultural, political, and artistic impacts on society as whole.

John Jacob, Hoist

Hook The Reader With Your First Sentence

When writing a book, you need to entice the reader with the first sentence. There are two techniques for doing that. One, you can make it short, snappy, and punchy, such as the famous first line in Moby Dick; “Call me Ishmael.” This iconic first sentence is short, sweet and also sets out the foundation for the book. We know that the book is a) written in the first person and b) who the narrator is. Three simple words have a strong and bold impact.

The second technique is to make it completely outrageous, hilarious, and memorable. I remember reading a book about Motley Crue called ‘The Dirt’ and the first sentence was; “Her name was Bullwinkle, we called her that because she had a face like a moose.” It was hilarious, and I instantly wanted to learn more about Bullwinkle. Think about when you go to a bookstore, when choosing a book, you have a limited amount of time to spend choosing a book. If the first sentence is absolutely great, you’ll buy the book without reading the rest.

Louisa Smith, Epic Book Society

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