Many aspiring writers meet their first challenge when they face the writing of their introduction. If you think like your reader, you should find the job much easier.
In the introduction your reader is trying to find out:
1. Will this book help me solve my particular problem, challenge or goal?
2. What kind of results can I expect to get by reading this book (for a self-help or how-to book) or What kind of experience might I expect in reading this book?
3. Does the author have some kind of system to help me and is it something I can easily learn, use and incorporate into my life? (for a self-help or how-to book)
4. Will this book be fun to read? Will I enjoy the time I spend reading it? Is it entertaining? Moving?
Your reader also wants to know about you:
1. Has this author helped many people? or What are the author’s credentials?
2. What kinds of results have other people gotten with the author’s system or work?
3. Do I trust this author?
4. Do I like this author? Do I relate to him or her?
Your introduction should:
1. Motivate your readers to read the book
2. Inspire your readers to envision what they might get out of the book
3. Begin to develop a relationship between you and your readers
4. Help readers understand how the book will help them
5. Tell readers how to get the most out of the book (for a how-to book)
You want your book to come alive for readers starting on page 1: show your readers by providing details and actions that help readers draw conclusions. When you tell (“He was angry.” “I hate politicians.”), you’re not making your story real for your reader. The book is two dimensional. When you use the five senses to show your reader, the book pops off the page.
Fill your introduction with plenty of stories that make your points and your readers will become engaged.
Let’s hear from you:
- Have any questions on writing an engaging introduction?
- Any tips you’d offer others on writing an introduction?
- Want to share something you did with your book’s introduction?
- Or a writing challenge you’re experiencing right now?
Comment on the blog and let’s hear from you.