How to Write a Book Introduction

If you know how to write a book introduction, readers will stay and read the book to the end.

In contrast, if the book’s introduction doesn’t catch the reader’s attention, it will discourage them from reading.

Books require a catchy introduction. Whatever book you read (fiction or nonfiction book), the opening introduces the book to readers.

Therefore, you must be careful while creating one in the first chapter or as a prologue. After writing a catchy title, a book introduction is the first thing you should start writing.

How to write a book introduction?

Here are the steps to writing a book’s introduction.

1. Set the Tone

Start your book’s introduction by establishing the tone, as it guides the reader’s expectations and emotional engagement. Whether your story is a light-hearted romance, a gripping thriller, or a fantasy adventure, the tone should reflect the overall feel of your book.

Use language, style, and narrative voice to immerse the reader into the atmosphere you want to create, setting the stage for the plot to unfold.

2. Introduce the Setting

Introducing the setting in your fiction book is crucial as it grounds your story in a specific time and place. Whether your story unfolds in a bustling city, a distant galaxy, or a quaint village, a vivid description of the setting can transport readers into your world.

This doesn’t need to be extensive but should provide enough detail to give readers a sense of where and when the plot occurs.

Use Squibler’s Smart Writer feature to generate a scene. Pick your Elements (characters, objects) and provide a prompt. Here’s a prompt example: “Create a moody setting for a detective story.” You can go further and provide more details if necessary.

3. Introduce the Main Character(s)

In the introduction, provide a sneak peek of the main character(s) around whom your story revolves. This doesn’t necessitate detailed backstories or character profiles but should offer enough insight to intrigue readers and establish a connection.

Highlight key traits, initial circumstances, or a glimpse into their personality to engage readers in their journey.

Squibler uses Elements to generate engaging and original stories. Characters are some of the Elements that Squibler uses. Let’s say you have the initial idea for a character: their personality, looks, and background. You can use Squibler’s “Create Elements” to generate an original character that you’ll use throughout the book.

4. Present the Initial Conflict or Premise

Introduce the primary conflict or premise, which is the driving force of your narrative. This could be an internal struggle, a relational conflict, a mysterious quest, or any challenge that sets the story in motion.

Without giving too much away, hint at the obstacles or adventures awaiting your characters, compelling readers to delve deeper into the plot.

5. Create Intrigue or Suspense

Incorporate elements of intrigue or suspense in your introduction to captivate the reader’s interest. This could be a puzzling question, a mysterious circumstance, or an unexpected twist that promises excitement and unanswered questions.

This technique hooks readers, urging them to continue reading to uncover the secrets or solve the mysteries presented.

Squibler comes with the options “More Inner Conflict” and “More Intense” that do wonders for adding conflict to your existing text. You need to try them out.

6. Use a Compelling Hook

Your opening line or scene is pivotal in grabbing the reader’s attention. Craft a compelling hook that is striking, thought-provoking, or emotionally engaging. This could be a dramatic moment, an unusual scenario, or a powerful dialogue.

A strong hook not only captivates the reader but also sets the pace and style of your storytelling.

7. Foreshadow Key Themes or Motifs

Hint at significant themes, motifs, or elements that will play a central role in your story. This subtle foreshadowing prepares readers for the unfolding narrative and layers your introduction with depth and intrigue.

Whether it’s a recurring symbol, an underlying theme, or a narrative motif, these elements can pique interest and add richness to your plot.

8. Keep It Brief and Engaging

Ensure your introduction is concise, serving as a teaser rather than a summary. It should provide enough information to intrigue the reader without overwhelming them or giving away key plot points.

The goal is to balance evoking curiosity and setting the stage for the story, leading smoothly into the main narrative.

Finally, writers love to use visuals to make introductions more engaging. Squibler packs powerful tools to create images and short videos using your text. You don’t need to worry about getting original images when Squibler can generate them.

Why must you write a book introduction?

Here, we will go through some main reasons why you need a book introduction.

It’s a way to hook your reader

A killer book introduction ensures the reader gets what the book title promises.

If the book introduction lacks the title’s power and brevity, the reader’s high expectations will result in moving on to something else to read.

You tell the reader what they’ll get in the book

Throughout the writing process, you have to take the reader on a journey through your book. A great introduction ensures them that the journey is worth taking.

For example, let’s say that the title page of one of your short stories reads A Brief Story of a Hermit Crab Wizard. If the opening pages don’t expand on this mysterious hermit crab that is somehow a wizard, then you won’t intrigue readers. You might as well have a blank page instead of a book introduction.

The reader must understand the goal of the book

A reader will know what to expect after reading the first page of an effective book introduction. If the reader doubts anything to gain, they will leave.

The readers are after a specific benefit whenever they get a book, whether entertainment or learning. So they won’t waste time on something that doesn’t provide the required.

Therefore, when writing introductions, convince them they will get what they want.

Final Remarks

A book introduction is a critical part of your book. Therefore, ensure that you follow the guidelines, and you will succeed in getting the reader’s attention.


Here are the most frequently asked questions about how to write a book introduction.

What is the difference between an author’s preface and a book introduction?

The author’s preface and book introduction serve different purposes in a book project. An author’s preface typically provides personal insights into the writing process, the motivation behind the book, or acknowledgments. It’s often more about the author’s journey and experiences. In contrast, a great book introduction focuses on what the reader can expect from it. It sets the stage for the content, introduces key themes or concepts, and is designed to hook the reader’s interest.

How important is it to write an introduction for a self-published book?

An introduction is just as crucial for a self-published book as a New York Times bestseller. A great introduction can significantly impact your book’s initial impression and reader engagement. It serves as the entry point to your work, helping to establish a connection with the reader and setting the tone for the chapters to follow. A well-crafted introduction can make your book stand out, especially in self-publishing, where author support systems might be limited.

Can co-authors collaboratively write an introduction?

Yes, co-authors can collaboratively write an introduction for their book project. This can add varied perspectives and depth to the introduction. Ensuring a cohesive voice and style is important when co-authors work together on an introduction. They should decide what key points to highlight and how to best represent the book’s essence. This collaborative effort can enrich the introduction, making it a compelling start to the book.

What are some key points to explain in a book introduction?

Explaining the main point or thesis in a book introduction is essential, providing a brief overview of what the reader can expect regarding content and structure and establishing why the topic is important or interesting. A great introduction should also set the tone for the book, engage the reader with intriguing questions or statements, and provide a glimpse into the book’s style and approach. The introduction is your opportunity to hook the reader and encourage them to continue reading.

Josh Fechter
Josh is the founder and CEO of Squibler.