For the library: William Zinnser’s “On Writing Well”

Posted by | December 17, 2007 | books | 2 Comments

On Writing Well, by William Zinsser

Recently I shared a copy of On Writing Well, by William Zinsser with an Outsource Marketing client. It may well be the 10th copy of the book that I’ve given away. It’s that good.

My former partner Ken Mays said it best:

We bought a copy of this book after reading an article about an antique baseball board game by its author, William Zinsser. It was so fascinating, we typed Zinsser’s name into Google to see if he could find other articles. We learned that Zinsser was a former New York Herald Tribune editor and taught writing at Yale. And that his book, On Writing Well, was in its seventh printing.

We ordered it immediately.

The amazing thing is how much fun it was to read a book about writing. Zinsser supplies generous advice about writing non-fiction in general, and in some of its specific forms (e.g., travel, sports, technology). He makes these practical guidelines as interesting as antique board games (or, one suspects, anything else he writes about). We can’t really describe how he does it. We just wish we could do it half as well.

Good marketing has to do with selection: of markets, audiences, media, and images. At its core, though, is the selection of words that will make a product understandable, interesting, and appealing. This is the best book we’ve read about how to write that way.

This is a book I guarantee you’ll read more than once. Grab a copy today.

After all, effective marketing can’t happen without good writing.

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