As the opening, your introduction is naturally one of the most-viewed sections of your book. Many prospective readers scan the introduction (along with the front and back covers and dust jacket) before deciding whether or not to buy.
Serious readers are sure to devour the introduction. Since it’s situated right at the beginning, it’s only logical that most people who pick up your book start reading right there.
So having an effective introduction is important. An effective introduction sets the stage and it makes the rest of your book that much more appealing. Introductions set the tone and establish a feeling in the reader’s mind.
For a nonfiction book, the introduction reveals what the content delivers.
Think of your introduction as a preview of coming attractions. Here’s where you paint a picture of all the benefits and advantages your readers get from your work. There’s nothing wrong with using it as a selling tool to highlight what makes your work valuable and all the reader is about to gain from the insights, observations and experiences you share.
Make your claim in the introduction – then work at delivering on it throughout your book. Make every potential reader want to dig in and read it right away because of the quality, value and uniqueness of the presentation of information. Remember, no one else can tell it quite the same way as you.
Summarize the system or process revealed in the remaining pages. If there are a number of steps involved in your “how to” book or training manual, be sure to list them all in the exact same sequence you present them in your book. This is important. Make it easy for readers to grasp the meaning of whatever you’re teaching.
Tell readers what to expect by reading your book. Suggest the payoff that is theirs by the accumulation and integration of the knowledge you share within the pages of your fine book. Entice them to not only pick up your book but to read it through in order to derive maximum benefit and value.
Start with a bang — not a whimper. The introduction is the ideal place to hook your reader. Paint a picture of possibility. Communicate the major benefits that can be theirs by reading and applying what you share. Another approach is to make a startling statement. Do whatever you have to in order to fuel your reader’s interest and curiosity. Make them want to read more.
Your introduction is a crucial first step for readers. It prepares them for what’s to come. It either strengthens their already established interest — or it weakens it.
As a writer, a strong introduction can serve as your guide or framework. You know exactly what material you need to cover to deliver on the promises made in the opening. A powerful introduction keeps you focused. This in turn makes it easier to deliver the kind of book your readers will love.
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