The topic of book introduction examples is vital to dive into due to their influence on readers’ mindset. How a reader feels when he or she starts chapter one and page one of your manuscript impacts how they respond to your writing.
When you’ve spent weeks, months, or even years writing your book, reader satisfaction is an important next step. But is gaining reader satisfaction before they even read sentence one a viable option?
Book Introduction Examples: What Makes A Good One?
Great book introduction examples focus on four key points that result in quickly hooking the reader. An introduction is often written by the author, but can be written by someone else. No matter who writes the intro, it’s crucial to grab the reader and articulate a few points as to why the book is such an important read.
Let’s take a closer look at these specific points and then transition into actual book introduction examples from writers who did it well.
Grab the reader
If you can’t hook your reader with your book introduction, you’ve likely lost them already. Good book introduction examples are ones that briefly (key word, briefly) present an overview of the coming book in a way that arouses the reader’s curiosity.
When writing your intro, ask: What would make me interested to read more? When deciding how to write your introduction, write down your answers to this question and consider incorporating them into your intro.
Call out their pain point
Additionally, readers need to know you understand their pain. Whether you write a business book on how to start from zero and earn your first six-figures, or write a fantasy empowering children to think creatively, good book introduction examples are ones that know the pain of their readers.
Some pain points may be less obvious (such as the need to learn a lesson or see a situation differently) but most books, arguably all books, address some form of pain point. Great introductions know the pain point and communicate it to readers.
Establish your credibility
Establishing your credibility as an author goes hand-in-hand with calling out your readers’ pain points. Once your reader knows you understand what they’re going through, they want to a clear reason as to why you are the one most credible to help them.
Maybe you started out as a part-time writer at a marketing agency and now you own your own company. Maybe in high school you were terrified of public speaking, but now you’re a trusted thought leader in your field. These examples reveal you are credible on your topic.
Dive into the book
At their core, book intros are not written to recap the book and satisfy the reader, but pique the reader’s interest so they are prepared to dive right into your content. Resist the urge to belabor your points or share too much of your own bio or credibility. Write what you need to, then get into the book.
3 Fiction Book Introduction Examples
Now that you know what sets good book introduction examples apart from bad ones, it’s time to discuss real examples. What are some books that have done this well?
#1 – The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse
This classic children’s book (now an animated short film) includes a personal introduction by the author, Charlie Mackesy. In his brief introduction, Mackesy provides further clarity on the story behind the film.
Perhaps more importantly, his characters. Written in a tone that matches the story, he draws readers in and sets them up for a compelling, even transforming, read.
#2 – The Last Operative
It’s important to include Jerry B. Jenkins’ The Last Operative among the book introduction examples listed, specifically because of its new edition. First releases can go with or without an introduction, but for new releases, it’s imperative to write a brief introduction.
This specific introduction is labeled as an Author’s Note, but the intro is so important it caused Jenkins (a 21-time, New York Times bestselling author) to break his own rule of avoiding front matter and jumping straight into the story.
#3 – Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury’s famous novel’s 60th edition includes an introduction by Neil Gaiman. This book has stood the test of time and decades after its first release, is still a bestseller and recognized as a classic in American literature.
In his intro, Gaiman takes a shallow dive into the importance of speculative fiction, the importance of imagination, and his relationship with Bradbury. This thoughtful beginning to a well-loved classic is a must to include in our great book introduction examples.
3 Nonfiction Book Introduction Examples
Just like fiction, nonfiction books often include intros. So, moving on to nonfiction book introduction examples, let’s begin with a book on writing.
#1 – Troubleshooting Your Novel
Steven James is known for his thrillers as well as his books on the writing craft. At less than one page, Steven James’ introduction is extremely brief. In his several paragraphs of personal reflection, Steven James teaches the one-line lesson he learned early in his writing journey that not only inspired this book but helped further his career.
#2 – Marketing Made Simple
Donald Miller is a marketing guru who needs no introduction. However, despite his platform, he spends roughly three pages providing a brief marketing lesson. This lesson serves as a launching pad for the rest of his book. He also shares the one key aspect that derails marketing endeavors, subtly setting readers up to devour his book, and then put it into practice.
#3 – Bird By Bird
This classic read by Anne Lamott starts with an extensive retelling of a childhood experience and the story behind her book title.
While most good book introduction examples are brief, Lamott uses her storytelling expertise to hook the reader, identify their pain point, and establish her own credibility. And she’s Anne Lamott, so she can get by with a bit longer of an introduction!
Draw From These Book Introduction Examples To Inspire Your Own
As you grow in your writing career, chances are that at some point you will experience one of the following situations:
- Another author may ask you to write an introduction for their book
- You may find it helpful to write an introduction for your own book
Now that you’ve seen a variety of great book introduction examples, you’re equipped to start writing your own. Remember, the key to success lies in hooking your reader, being concise, and inspiring your reader to dive right into chapter one.
The best introductions prepare your audience for the rest of your book. Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or are writing an introduction for an author you respect, keep in mind that the introduction is not the end point.
Your book introduction is like a video thumbnail or the key photo on a live image—why do influencers spend time finding the perfect graphic? To engage their audience and pull them into their content. The same goes for writers and book introductions. Happy writing!