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Writing Guidelines

Page history last edited by Henry T. Hill 8 months, 1 week ago

Mises Wire Submission Guidelines 

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. 


From Tucker Max 

  • Foreword: This comes before all other content in the book. It isn’t written by the Author. Most Authors don’t need one.
  • Preface: This comes after the foreword and before the introduction. It’s written by the Author. Most Authors don’t need one.
  • Introduction: This is the beginning of your book’s main text. It’s written by the Author. Every nonfiction Author should have one in their book.



What is a Book Introduction?


Tucker Max


Every nonfiction book needs an introduction.

An introduction comes right before chapter one. It’s where your book actually starts. If readers skip it, they’ll miss important information.

Of course, I’m well aware that most readers skip book introductions.

But do you know why readers usually skip them?

Because they’re written wrong.

Unlike a preface and foreword, your introduction is part of the main text of the book.

Treat it that way.

The point of an introduction isn’t to give a summary or provide a boring run-down of everything in the book.

blue book on a white cloud introduction image

A good introduction should engage the reader, draw them in with an emotional connection, and sell them on reading the book.

On the most basic level, an introduction should show your audience 3 things:

  1. You’re going to provide valuable ideas and information.
  2. You’re the guide they should trust to give them this valuable information.
  3. You’re going to get to the point and not waste their time.

At the end of the day, they want to know that your book is worth reading.

When an introduction is done right, readers have no desire to skip it. They feel energized and excited. They’re happy to fork over $10 to immediately have your book sent to their Kindles.

Here’s an example. Look at how Nick Bare starts 25 Hours a Day:


“If you don’t feed the cows, the cows die.

It’s a great metaphor for building a company, or a life, or a dream. If you don’t feed those things, they die, too.

I learned the lesson young, mainly from my father, who’d grown up on the family farm. Every morning at 4 a.m., before the sun even thought about rising in the sky, my father headed out to the barn for the first of two daily milkings. The weather didn’t matter. There was never a question of wanting to milk the cows. You had to, he’d point out. You just did it. No excuses.”

Nick didn’t start his introduction with, “Hi, I’m Nick Bare, and I’m here to tell you about living your life to the fullest. Here’s the breakdown, chapter-by-chapter of how I’m going to do it.”

He started with a hook.

He explains what you will learn from the book after the reader is sucked in.

Your introduction is your sales pitch. It’s a key part of why readers are going to decide to read your book.

And like any good sales pitch, introductions follow certain rules. They should always:

  • Hook the reader
  • Tell a story about the reader’s current pain
  • Tell a story about the reader’s potential pleasure
  • Tell them what they’ll learn
  • Describe the author’s background/origin of book
  • Set up the book with a call to action

Don’t get me wrong. There’s plenty of creative room within those rules.

But if your introduction isn’t hitting all those points, readers will feel like something’s missing.

Introductions are one of the most important parts of a book, so we’ve written an in-depth guide about how to get your book’s introduction right.




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