Editor’s Toolkit: Writing the Introduction to Your Book

By Susana Christie, Developmental Editor

The Introduction

In the introduction, the author discusses the subject matter or content of the book. The introduction is the perfect place to explain how the book is organized, how each chapter is organized, and what pedagogical features will be found in the chapters. The author can also give readers some guidance about how to approach reading the book in order to maximize its effectiveness as tool for learning.

To develop the content for your introduction to your book, reflect on and respond to the questions below.

  • Who is the audience for the book?
  • What is the purpose of the book?
    • What does it teach the audience that they didn’t know before?
    • What does it prepare them to do that they could not/did not do before?
  • How is the book organized? (This addresses unit, chapters, etc.)
  • What, generally, does each unit and/or chapter cover?
    • How is each chapter organized?
    • What features appear consistently in each chapter?
    • What is the purpose of each feature? How does each feature help readers/students?
  • What is a positive and affirming message you would like to leave for readers at the end of the introduction?