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tombookpub
04-29-2008, 06:39 PM
While my book on pro beach volleyball is in final editing, I am considering writing an introduction for this narrative non-fiction work. Any suggestions? Should the intro pertain merely to the subject (e.g. providing add'l background) or should I inject some editorializing about the sport?
Thanks, Tom

IceCreamEmpress
04-29-2008, 09:00 PM
The introduction can definitely capture some opinion and subjective reaction, as well as talking about your personal connection to the topic. It can be a little more "unbuttoned" and chatty than the main body of the book.

K1P1
04-30-2008, 07:14 PM
You might consider whether what you want to write is an introduction (i.e. formal background or overview of the material you covered in the book) or a preface (which can deal with limitations, scope, personal anecdotes, acknowledgments, and so on). An introduction is actually part of the text and leads into it. And a foreword is a preface written by someone other than the author. You can read more about the differences here:
http://www.writersandeditors.com/work20.htm

tombookpub
05-01-2008, 05:28 AM
Thanks for the link that I'll soon check out.

brc23
05-05-2008, 08:03 AM
In your proposal when it says 2-3 sample chapters...does that mean the introduction is one of those chapters? Or do you write that later?

tombookpub
05-30-2008, 02:48 AM
The intro need not be provided (nor is it typically requested) as part of a proposal.

mamawriter
05-30-2008, 04:40 AM
brc23, I had to include an introduction as a part of my proposal -- but that was for an essay anthology, so I think that's a little different.

scope
05-30-2008, 07:44 AM
In your proposal when it says 2-3 sample chapters...does that mean the introduction is one of those chapters? Or do you write that later?

I wouldn't include an introduction with sample chapters.

Bluestone
06-01-2008, 09:17 PM
I wouldn't include an introduction with sample chapters.

I'm wondering why not, considering I did just that! The publisher, who is very interested in the topic I proposed and requested the submission, wanted a writing sample and all I have is fiction. My introduction (preface?) was far more representative of an interesting style, in my opinion, for them to consider as a writing sample. It included a story of my own experiences, my motivation for writing the book and a compelling reason for them to continue.

The first chapter was a pretty dry treatise on the onerous licensing and business set-up of a wine importer and distributor and I wanted them to have a more varied sampling. Do you think this indicates a naivete on my part, or could it work to my advantage?

scope
06-02-2008, 12:56 AM
I'm not sure I understand what you did. Did you only send an "introduction"--even though it's not really an introduction, but rather a riff about your writing style, experiences, and motivation for writing the book which the agent or publisher has yet to see? If that's only what you sent I would say it's not wise. That's not what the agent or publisher asked for. It seems to me that s/he wanted to see a sample of pages (chapters) from your work on the volleyball book. If you don't have any such pages, bad on you--you should by now, and they obviously should exemplify your writing style. I can't see how an agent or editor would be satisfied receiving anything but sample chapters from your work. Then again, maybe I don't really understand what you are saying.

Bluestone
06-02-2008, 07:41 PM
I'm not sure I understand what you did. Did you only send an "introduction"--even though it's not really an introduction, but rather a riff about your writing style, experiences, and motivation for writing the book which the agent or publisher has yet to see?.

I see I wasn't at all clear. In my head it made perfect sense, but I left out a few key points in my effort to get straight to my question! I sent the publisher a query (which included reasons why there was nothing like this out there, what was already out there, who my market would be), a separate bio, which detailed my credentials for this subject matter, a Table of Contents, the introduction and the first chapter. The introduction (4pgs) was supposed to be exactly that - including an entree to the topic, a story that illustrated how I came to this point, which also illustrated to the reader (one hopes) my qualifications and a sort of summary paragraph that led into the first chapter (14pgs).

If you are still with me at this stage, a further comment from you would be much appreciated!

aka eraser
06-02-2008, 08:54 PM
Bluestone, I don't think you need to worry about committing a faux pas. Although for most nonfiction projects I don't believe an intro is included in the preliminary package, it sounds like yours augments your query.

Introductions, forewords, dedications - a lot of the front-of-book stuff is written at a later stage and often revised during the editing process.

Tom, as to your original question - write what feels right for your introduction. Intros are like setting a table - you want it to look good and stimulate appetites but it's no substitute for what's coming.

Bluestone
06-02-2008, 10:58 PM
Thanks aka eraser!

scope
06-03-2008, 12:33 AM
Now I understand. Frankly, I can't add anything to the excellent advice you received from aka eraser.

Good luck.

Bluestone
06-03-2008, 01:21 AM
Thanks to you as well, Scope. Glad I'm not completely off base with my submission. We shall see what they say about my writing now.