Book Intros

No one reads them, right? Book introductions are the part most often skipped. Can’t speak for everyone, but I read them. First. Before I read the rest of the book. The introduction, particularly in a how-to book, is the foundation of the book that follows. I learn about the author, the intention, the organization, the background, the thinking that went into the book. It’s a lot more interesting (and telling) than the author’s bio. It helps the book make sense.

When I read the reviews of my book on, I am always mildly surprised when the reviewer says, “she must have meant this book to be for beginners,” or “I was surprised to see she includes a lot of information about writing in your journal.” Yes, I do. I wrote Raw Art Journaling primarily for those who want to keep an art journal but don’t know how to draw. Because journaling is also about writing, I included exercises about writing. I explained it all in the introduction. When people say “this isn’t for fine artists,” I wonder how they reached that conclusion. Because fine artists already know how to draw? Nope, book isn’t about drawing or not drawing, it’s about making meaning with your creativity.

Just because I read introductions, and read them first, doesn’t mean anyone else does. I’ve watched how people read the how-to art books. They pick them up, and flip through them, often back to front, and find a project they think may be interesting and read it.

Do you read introductions? If you do, tell us what you find interesting. If not, what makes you skip them?

Quinn McDonald said this in the introduction to her book: “One of the great joys of accepting your imperfection is that it frees you to create imperfectly.” She still means it.