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Introducing ‘Everybody Writes’ and a Free Gift for Anti-Mediocre Writers (This Means You)

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:

EW-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.Everybody Writes

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.)

What’s inside

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:

Everybody Writes Anti-Mediocrity Content Toolkit

  • 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.

Here’s the EverybodyWrites.com website again.

And thank you for your support!

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41 Responses to Introducing ‘Everybody Writes’ and a Free Gift for Anti-Mediocre Writers (This Means You)

  1. Just did the one-click preorder & I can’t wait. Huge congrats on your baby VW, I mean book. And LOVE the cover. Nicely done! Looking forward to curling up with this one when it arrives in September. What a perfect way to indulge my inner back-to-school geek!

    Thank you, Ann. :)

  2. Kip Meacham says:

    Congratulations, Ann.

    Can’t wait to read Everybody Writes!

    Quick question: (Already having looked around for the answer and not seeing it) How would you like me to send you my receipt?

    Thanks in advance, and sorry in advance if I missed the answer by simply not looking more closely.

    • Ann Handley says:

      Hey Kip — Thank you! Details for the Free Stuff are at EverybodyWrites.com, but I’ll add it above, too. Receipt should go to preorders (at) annhandley.com. THANKS SO MUCH!

  3. Jess says:

    At first I somehow missed the word “anti” and thought you were calling me a mediocre writer. Then I thought, “Kind of rude, but I guess she’s right. I haven’t officially read the entire book yet!” :)

    So excited this has come to fruition! I am buying copies for the entire Don’t Panic team!

  4. Huge congratulations, Ann!
    In a world suffering from infobesity, this is a title sorely needed. Can’t wait.

    Incidentally, the book is listed as The Everybody Writes on Amazon UK, where I’ve pre-ordered. You might want to get someone to look at that.

    Rock on!

  5. Dalila says:

    Ah! If only the freebie set was sent to non-US buyers as well…

  6. Nicole Denison says:

    Because my boss says I write like I talk – basically, long-winded jibberish ramblings.
    I’m very excited about this – I am the mediocre writer to whom you speak. (I missed the word ‘anti’ also).

  7. Vinish Garg says:

    Congratulations for all the hard work you have put in for the book; it is time to rewards :).

    I shall look forward to reading it.

  8. Yay Ann! I’m thrilled by the official announcement for Everybody Writes! Congratulations! I know you poured your heart and soul in this endeavor, and I’ve pre-ordered my copy via Amazon. I can’t wait till September for your book and David Meerman Scott’s newest offering. What an epic month because I get to enjoy the wisdom and knowledge of my marketing heroes – WooHoo! #buythebook

    • Ann Handley says:

      Thanks, my friend! And I’m excited about DM Scott’s too. He was a great help to me in motivating me on this one… and he probably doesn’t even realize that. :)

  9. Delurking to say congrats on the new book! Will be shelling out some hard-earned bucks to pick this up.

  10. Lena West says:

    Congrats Ann!

    Just purchased my pre-ordered copy and sent my receipt in — c’mon 4-6 weeks hurry up and pass so I can get my Ann-goodies. :)

    Can’t wait to read it! :)

  11. Wasimmer.Com says:

    Hi, i do believe that i recognized you stopped at my website consequently i found return the actual like? . We are searching for difficulties to enhance the website! I suppose their sufficiently good to employ most of your notions!

  12. Gwen says:

    You had me at 2-sided bookmark.

    Congrats, Ann. Can’t wait for you to learn me something.

  13. Teri Kojetin says:

    Very excited about this, Ann! I’ve preordered mine via Amazon. I’ll get you the receipt. Can’t wait to get my copy in September. I actually went hard copy with this one over Kindle. :)

  14. Jim Sutton says:

    Congratulations, Ann – I just ordered it from B&N. You got me hook, line, and sinker by comparing it to “The Elements of Style” and “On Writing” —though more the former than the latter. Maybe “unnecessary words” will be okay, but only if they follow the rules of grammar.

    Jim

  15. Congratulations to you on moving Strunk & White over! And to your brother on a very cool cover. Placed my pre-order and have emailed my receipt. Can’t wait until my copy ships and I can start reading, highlighting and using all that good stuff between the covers. Keep up the great work, Ann!

  16. Nenad says:

    No love for first European buyers? :)

    Oh, I see, the book will be released in Europe in October. :(

    Anywho, congrats, Ann! I’ll be anxiously waiting for the European release.

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  19. Ann,

    Hooray! (confetti toss) I’m so happy for your new book. I can’t wait to read it. There’s a spot beside my well-worn copy of “Content Rules” for it. :)

  20. Krishna De says:

    Congratulations Ann and I can not wait to read it. Only wish I still lived in the US to get your pre-order goodies – everybody loves swag!

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  22. David Boozer says:

    Bought it. Loving It. And, applying it. thanks Ann!

  23. Sadie says:

    The hubs just bought me the book for our anniversary – we have a tradition to get each other a book each year since we got married in a library. Can’t wait to read it and start perfecting my writing skillz…http://blog.skc-marketing.com/2014/09/challenge.html

  24. embocadura says:

    I got this site from my friend who told me concerning this
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