Yay! My new book Better Business Writing on the Web is here! Actually, it's already selling like the proverbial hot cakes.
My previous book for content authors was Web Word Wizardry. Huge changes have happened since I revised that in 2001 for Ten Speed Press.
In 2001 I wrote for individuals, often small business people designing their own sites and mainly concerned with search results. Since then other books have been published for the individual designer-writer, journalist and sales copywriter.
Left out of the loop were content authors who have no control over site design or architecture. Typically, they are salaried employees who simply write for work, without training. They use a CMS or publishing tool to publish their own documents on a web site or intranet. They are busy. They have no idea how to adapt their writing for the web. Their number is legion, now that content publishing is the responsibility of subject experts on the staff.
This book is dedicated to:
Everyone who ever wrote an advertisement, agenda, annual report, chart, discussion document, form, graph, instruction, law, letter, memo, manual, marketing document, newsletter, mission statement, news releases, news story, pamphlet, policy statement, procedure, promotion, proposal, presentation, report, RTF, schedule or specification.
And then the boss said, "We've decided to put this on the intranet." (Or web site.)
The other audience is of course the web developers and managers who battle against a tsunami of terrible content. Someone who certainly knows told me:
The US government estimates (because no one actually KNOWS) that it has more than 400 million pages of content. I'll bet that a) 50% of it is seldom, if ever, used, b) 25% is redundant or actually contradicts other government content, and c) 80% is so poorly written that the intended readers can't possibly comprehend what we intend and/or can't find what they want/need.
What's a poor content manager to do? For this audience I have identified the few key skills that make an exponential improvement to online content, and included chapters on writing for government, academic, commercial and intranet sites. Naturally, Web 2.0 has its own chapter and also pops up elsewhere. Even more important, I discuss how to short-circuit the production of bad content, starting with mass cost-effective training.