This week, I wanna talk about books on writing.
The business world needs better writers, as indicated by studies that show writing training is a billion-dollar industry and research that shows writing is a skill desired by 73% of hiring managers.
And sometimes, rather than taking a course, it's reading a book that can truly improve your skills.
Let's look at eight of my most favorite books on writing that will expand your horizons and teach you to become a better writer.
Each of the eight titles below have lessons and actionable tips for anyone who needs help in the business writing department. (No affilate links included.)
1. Writing That Works: How to Communicate Effectively in Business by Kenneth Roman
Amazon summary: "Writing That Works will help you say what you want to say, with less difficulty and more confidence. Now in its third edition, this completely updated classic has been expanded to included all new advice on e-mail and the e-writing world, plus a fresh point of view on political correctness."
This is a great introductory read for anyone who wants a broad overview on business writing, as well as a refresher course on effective communications.
2. Words that Sell by Richard Bayan
Amazon summary: "Looking for a better way to say "authentic?" Words That Sell gives you 57 alternatives. How about "appealing?" Take your pick from 76 synonyms. You'll even find more than 100 variations on "exciting." Fully updated and expanded, this edition of the copywriting classic is packed with inspiration-on-demand for busy professionals who need to win customers--by mail, online, or in person."
If you do writing aimed at driving sales, this book is essential. It's a wealth of information on persuasion and sales-oriented business writing.
3. HBR Guide to Better Business Writing by Bryan A. Garner
Amazon summary: "When you're fumbling for words and pressed for time, you might be tempted to dismiss good business writing as a luxury. But it's a skill you must cultivate to succeed: You'll lose time, money, and influence if your e-mails, proposals, and other important documents fail to win people over. Read this guide to improve your skills."
Consider this your business writing Bible. Use this book as a go-to resource for effective writing at work.
4. Business Writing for Dummies by Natalie Canavor
Amazon summary: "Whether you're crafting a short and sweet email or bidding for a crucial project, Business Writing For Dummies is the only guide you need. Inside you'll find: The basic principles of how to write well How to avoid the common pitfalls that immediately turn a reader off."
Feel like your writing skills are less than desirable? Start here. You'll learn how to take a new approach to business writing from the ground up.
5. Business Writing: What Works, What Won't by Wilma Davidson
Amazon summary: "A thorough, accessible, and results-oriented guidebook intended for today's business environment, Business Writing: What Works, What Won't offers the first and last word on writing memos, business letters, reports, and all other kinds of business documents."
This is a fantastic tool to call on any time you're working on written communications at work. I particularly like the results-driven approach here.
6. Business Writing Today: A Practical Guide by Natalie Canavor
Amazon summary: " In this accessible and reader-friendly book, Natalie Canavor shares a step-by-step framework to help you write strategically, win opportunities, and perform better on the job. You'll know what to say and how to say it in any medium from email to blog, cover letter, proposal, resume, report, website, tweet, news release, and more."
Knowing how to position your business writing is a key element in successful communication. This read will walk you through how to take the right angle with your writing.
7. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White
Amazon summary: "This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered. This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing."
A classic. No matter what type of writing you do--this book will help you do it better.
8. How to Say It: Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences, and Paragraphs for Every Situation by Rosalie Maggio
Amazon summary: "How to Say It provides clear and practical guidance for what to say and what not to say in any situation. Covering everything from business correspondence to personal letters, this is the perfect desk reference for anyone who often finds themselves struggling to find those perfect words."
For the writer who struggles to find the right words, this book can help. Read it to find new ways to phrase and communicate your ideas.
This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.