"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Another Reason to Write a Prologue

by Bill Corbett

There seems to be a lot of chatter these days about whether we should include a prologue in our novels. Here are some thoughts on why we might ought to consider a prologue. It has to do with marketing. I’ve been listening to some marketing seminars lately. All the marketing gurus say marketing is as much our responsibility as it is the publisher’s, and we must use the Internet via our blogs and social networks to do our marketing. It seems that in this era of entitlement thinking, people expect some kind of freebie, so in order to build our audience list, or platform, if you will, it was suggested that maybe an excerpt from the book might be something we could give away. A prologue might be a good freebie for this purpose. It might serve as the hook needed to get them interested in buying the novel. A compelling scene from the novel’s interior might work well also.


  1. It could serve as a reading sample, but I would advise against writing one solely for that purpose. A prologue should be necessary to the story and not simply a marketing tool. A few pages from page one of Chapter One will work as a sample just as well. Or even a blurb to entice readers to buy. I also would not pick a random scene from the middle of the book. When a reader picks up a book in the bookstore, it is the first page they read, and the book blurb on the back cover.


    1. I think you misunderstood my intent for writing a prologue. I didn't mean we should write a prologue for the sole purpose of using it for a marketing tool. Of course a prologue should be a n necessary and integral part of the story. But it seems editors are saying lately that prologues are not necessary. All I'm saying is, that a prologue could serve two purposes. One as a necessary part of the story, but it could also be used as a giveaway for getting people interested in the book. Some prologues are a bit longer than the blurb on the back cover. You are probably right about not including a scene from the interior, however.