A short time ago I walked into my favorite bookstore just to see if my self-publishing client’s book was on their shelves—and there it was—the bright, eye-catching cover facing forward for the world to see! I immediately texted her. Her response was immediate, and with great excitement, of course. There is nothing like that feeling of knowing that real readers will be hearing your voice speak from those pages.
With that smile still on my face I wandered through the aisles breathing in the book-paper-print scent that was flavored by a hint of coffee—definitely a perfect day. I had walked myself right into the aisle of support books for writers. All the shelves, top to bottom, held books containing facts and strategies “every writer needs to know.” Really? Does a writer need all this information? That felt intimidating to me.
I’d been in my own little writing-world for so long—surrounded by my writing workshop friends and working with self-publishing clients—that I’d lost the perspective of the new writer. If I was just beginning, just wondering how I would go about writing the book that was gnawing at me in my dreams, what would I do? Would I be fenced-in by all these advice books, unable to move past the “Start Here” chapter?
When I began my writing career, there were very few “how to” books for writers. Of course, there were the textbooks of academia, but even reading their Table of Contents disillusioned me. However, one excellent piece of advice I received came from a professor of Latin American Literature Studies. We were seated—talking—in the Writing Room of the University Library. “It’s all in the Introduction of a book for me,” he said. “If I connect with the writer’s topic and voice, or writing style, as revealed there then I buy the book.”
So it is that I now pass forward that recommendation; embellished a little, of course.
- Write your Introduction first. Not only does this create a natural outline for the writing process, it is also the place where the Reader meets the Writer.
- Let your passion speak loudly in these few paragraphs.
- Tell the Reader how useful this book will be to them—now and in the future.
- Tell them that they will learn something valuable.
- Let them know that they will be INSPIRED.
- If you have a keyword or phrase that speaks to the essence of what you’re writing be sure to place it in the first and last paragraphs—and in at least one or two central paragraphs in the body of the Introduction. But be careful—do not beat the Reader with it.
- Then, as you write the book, return to the Introduction several times and enhance it to match what you’re writing. The process of creating your book involves your personal inspiration, so the Introduction will need refreshing.
Write ON, Writers
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.|