This is the official announcement of my new book, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to finally be sharing some details with you. I’m also excited to talk about a fun freebie for those who buy the book in the next few weeks (more on that in a sec).
Writing a book is like birthing a Volkswagen. The process is about as pretty as you’d imagine that to be: it’s long and arduous and you sweat a lot, and most of the work is done while crying.
But as with actual childbirth, I’ve forgotten all of the painful parts already. Because today, it’s like the family is coming over to get the first glimpse of her, and I couldn’t be happier to show her off. The new website is up at EverybodyWrites.com. (You know who does good work? Nick Westergaard and Brand Driven Digital!)
“Awesome” is one of those words that are applied far too liberally. But in this case, it’s necessary. Because it’s awesome that my artist-son, Evan WH Price, illustrated the cover:
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, due out from Wiley this September, is the guide to writing and publishing for a content marketing age.
It’s what might result if The Elements of Style and On Writing had a threesome with the Internet. (Technically not possible. But still.)
Why I wrote this book
I wrote this book because I couldn’t find what I wanted—part writing guide, part handbook on the rules of good sportsmanship in content marketing (based on the rules of journalism, in part), and all around reliable desk companion for anyone creating or directing content on behalf of brands.
Many excellent books on writing already exist. But I’ve found that a lot of writing advice is really more aphorism than true advice.
Alternatively, much of what passes for writing advice gets too deep in the weeds of grammar. Great if you’re looking to up your score on the SATs. Not so awesome if you just need some guidance on how not to sound like a total idiot when you craft this week’s customer mailing.
What’s harder to find is a book that functions for marketers as part writing and story guide, part instructional manual on the ground rules of ethical publishing, and part straight talk on some writing muscle-building processes and habits.
What’s also hard to find is a book that distills some helpful ideas about the craft of content simply and (I hope) memorably, framed for the marketer and businessperson, as opposed to, say, the novelist or essayist or journalist.
Everybody Writes is everything I know about business writing, based on my (almost) 25 years of creating, editing, and publishing business content.
I’m a notorious critic of my own work. But this book is among the best things I’ve ever produced—exceeded perhaps only by my actual children—and I’m proud of it.
(If you know me personally, that’s saying a lot. For all of the Pure Marketer Blood flowing through my Marketer Veins, I’m ironically more likely to tell you what’s wrong with anything I’ve produced before I tell you what I actually like about it. Sad, maybe. But true.)
Everybody Writes is your practical go-to guide, offering the most important and useful guideposts on the path toward better writing. The book consists of six parts:
• How to Write Better (or How to Hate Writing Less, for the recovering or “adult onset” writer) offers some handy scaffolding and blueprints for better thinking and writing.
• Writing Rules offers easy grammar and usage rules tailored for business in a fun, memorable way. (Enough to keep you looking sharp, but not too much to overwhelm you.)
• Story Rules (Part 3) and Publishing Rules (Part 4) give some guidelines on elements that infuse your content with heart and soul and integrity, and layer it with a warm blanket of trust. There’s a lot to learn here from the ground rules of journalism and publishing, so those are covered, too.
• Things Marketers Write gives you a super-tactical look at typical marketing tasks.
• And, finally, Content Tools delivers a reference list of resources and paraphernalia to help you produce your best work.
Content can be complex, but it’s inherently easier to use your content as a driver of business when you start with a quality product, clear thinking, and good writing.
Some huge thanks
My name might be on this book, but many smart people helped, too—some of them considerably. Most special thanks to my dear friend Nancy Duarte — I still can’t believe I convinced her to write the foreword. And huge thanks to another best buddy, Kristina Halvorson, a brilliant content strategist who generously gave me the title of the book.
Inside, you’ll find commentary and smarts from companies and marketers and people whose writing sets them apart, including Kristina, Joe Chernov, Doug Kessler, Tim Washer, Andrew Davis, Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, David Meerman Scott, Lee Odden, Jesse Noyes, Jonathon Colman, Jason Miller, Ahava Leibtag, Chris Penn, Andy Crestodina, Dan Lyons, Jay Baer, and Copyblogger’s Demian Farnworth and many folks on the MarketingProfs team (especially Vahe Habeshian, and also Corey O’Loughlin, Veronica Jarski, and Tobias Schremmer).
A Gift for You
So, back to you. I’m offering a free prize pack —an Anti-Mediocrity Content Toolkit (AMCT)—to anyone in the US who orders Everybody Writes by the launch date of September 15 and sends along a receipt.
Details are here, but here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside the AMCT:
- An Everybody Writes laptop sticker. Slap it on your laptop, grab your usual table at the coffee shop, and bask in being outed as a decidedly non-mediocre writer.
- A magic writing pen. You don’t really need a magic writing pen (the magic is in you), but it’s a handy talisman that delivers the will, courage, inspiration, gumption, and the wits to write. (Pro tip: Change the ink color each day so you can discern how many pages you produced the previous day. Author Neil Gaiman does this.)
- A Hemingway-inspired drink coaster.
- A “privacy” door hanger, inspired by Stephen King.
- A two-sided bookmark with (a) an original poem by me that gives the lowly page-marker some respect, and (b) 13 Writing Rules.
So if this book feels like something you’ll enjoy—and I think you will—please consider ordering it now. Here’s how to also snag your free gift:
1. Buy Everybody Writes from the bookseller of your choice.
2. Email your purchase receipt (with address) to preorders (at) annhandley.com.
As my mother might’ve said, you can’t afford not to buy it.
And thank you for your support!