Introductions are really important when you first meet someone. It’s what lays the foundation for how you each come across. The same applies to introductions in books. When a reader isn’t properly acquainted from right the start, the rest of the conversation can get pretty awkward.
Here are four reasons why you need an introduction section to start your book off on the right page. (Sorry: silly book pun!)
To tell readers what they are going to be reading.
This is probably the biggest reason to have an introduction in your manuscript. Readers aren’t mind-readers (and neither are editors). In order to keep the reader engaged, you need to convey your message right from the get-go. Your introduction gives readers the foundation and what they’ll gain from the book.
Opportunity to share the background of the book and the author’s expertise in the subject matter.
If your manuscript’s topic is in a scholastic field, or special interest field, an introduction gives the author a chance to detail his/her expertise in the manuscript’s topic and even discuss how the book’s idea originated. Demonstrating your expertise early on for the subject matter will legitimize the content for readers.
Prepare readers for sudden changes in the manuscript.
Nothing is more of a head-scratcher than when a flashback happens and the reader isn’t prepared for it. Use the introduction as a form of literary warning to readers that flashbacks could occur or that the narration could switch from one person to the next. Readers will thank you immensely for it!
Like the first bite of cake, it makes the start of the book that much sweeter.
Think of your introduction as a piece of cake. When you take your first bite of a piece of cake, you begin to form ideas in your mind on what the rest of the cake will taste like. Treat your introduction the same way. You want readers to enjoy that first glimpse about your book so they are motivated to continue reading.
See your manuscript’s introduction as a great way to establish a bond with your readers and inform them of the exciting time they will have reading your book.