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How to set the tone with your Introduction

It’s been another busy week (isn’t it always?) but I’ve now completed my introduction.

It was harder than I thought. In fact I wrote several drafts before I was happy with it, but now it’s good to go.

Why so difficult?

Well, the opening pages sets the tone for the rest of the book and needs to be engaging and thought provoking. Like stage dressing needs to set the scene for a play – it’s this the audience sees first, after all – it’s important that the introduction takes the readers hand and endears them into the pages ahead.

Without a strong introduction, the reader will be unsure of what you’re purpose is, and why they should be investing time in reading your book. The intro is the place to get the reader excited, to remind them of the reasons why they got your book in the first place, and how easy it’s going to be to implement what you tell them.

An inspirational quote is always a good opener, or a really interesting fact about the topic you are talking about. Whatever you choose for the first few paragraphs, it’s essential that it’s relevant, inspiring, and ingratiates trust that you do know what you’re talking about, and you’re going to make it easy for the reader to understand what it is you’re teaching them.

Talking about yourself or how you got into business isn’t usually the way to inspire and engage people. If you really feel this is relevant – then have a section at the back of the book that is reserved just for that purpose. Having it at the front however, could really put readers off, and make them stop reading altogether, not what you want to happen at all!

Here are a few pointers of what an introduction should (and shouldn’t) be…

An Introduction should:

  • Introduce the topic or strategies
  • Get the reader excited
  • Tell the reader what to expect
  • Whet the appetite of what they are going to learn, and how easy it will be for them to implement it.
  • Why they need to know what you are writing about
  • Be fairly short. About 10% of your book

 

What an introduction should not be:

  • All about you (the author)
  • Why you got into business in the first place (autobiographies are the place for this)
  • Boring and dull
  • Too long – don’t outline everything you’re going to say. Just the key points

Remember, people are busy. But they are hungry for knowledge and information that is going to help them do something better. It’s why they got your book in the first place, so don’t fall down at the first hurdle, and lose a potential customer or client, by failing to stimulate them.

“Keep it short. Removing everything that isn’t necessary is often a very effective strategy for improving an introduction.”

Introduce your book with a strong, motivational opening. Arouse their curiosity and remind them why they got your book in the first place. And above all, make them understand that you are going to help them, guide them through the learning process and make it easy for them to implement the solution.

Follow these steps, and your book will encourage your reader to invest their time in learning what you have to say. And most importantly of all – read the rest of the book!