The introduction introduces the subject of the book. It may also be referred to as the prolegomenon. This section states the goals and purpose of the main text. It could provide a brief summary or explain aspects that should be understood before reading the text.
The introduction can be included as part of the front matter or the first section of the main body. If it is part of the front matter, it uses lowercase Roman numerals for pagination. If it is included in the main body, standard pagination applies.
Don’t skimp on the quality of your introduction. Amazon allows readers to have a “sneak peek” of your book with the Look Inside option. Providing this little tidbit in the form of a stellar introduction can be the difference between a sale and no sale.
Consider answering these questions directly in your introduction:
- What problem does your book solve?
There are so many competitors out there. If your book can solve any issue for your reader, highlight it.
- How does your book solve that problem?
Tell readers what type of information they will find that will help them resolve that issue.
- Why are you qualified to provide this information?
Perhaps this problem was something you studied or learned through experience. Tell your readers why you are an “expert.”
- How will your book improve your readers’ lives?
Make your book part of a bigger picture for your readers. Not only will you be able to do X but with this skill, you can finally achieve Y.
- What proof can you give readers that their problem will be solved by reading your book?
This would be a great place to include brief testimonials.
- What does your book promise to provide?
Include something of a disclaimer here. While everyone’s situation is unique, learning X can help you do Z.
- Encourage readers to begin reading RIGHT NOW!
Here is the call to action. Readers should feel inspired to begin your book (or purchase it if they are reading this with the Look Inside feature.)
Be sure to proofread this section carefully. Spelling and grammar errors will turn off potential readers. Remember to keep this section to about two pages as well.
Assignment: Write your introduction. Proofread it. Does it inspire action?