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The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing [Kindle Edition]

Natalie Canavor , Claire Meirowitz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Give yourself a powerful competitive advantage by becoming a better business writer. Better writers get better jobs and more promotions; they persuade people through emails, Web sites, presentations, proposals, resumes, grant proposals, you name it. Businesses know this: that's why they spend $3 billion a year helping their employees become more effective writers. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing shows you how to master the art of effective business communication replacing the old standards of jargon, pomposity, and grammar drills with a simple, quick and conversational writing style. Authors Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz demonstrate how to plan and organize your content; make your point faster; tell your readers what's in it for them; construct winning documents of every kind, print and electronic, even blog entries and text messages! The Truth about the New Rules of Business Writing brings together the field's best knowledge, and shows exactly how to put it to work. With an "aha" on every page, it presents information in a clear, accessible style that's easy to understand and use. Written in short chapters, it covers the entire field, cuts to the heart of every topic, pulls back the curtain on expert secrets, and pops the bubble of commonly-held assumptions. Simply put, this book delivers easy, painless writing techniques that work.

Editorial Reviews


 “The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is filled with insights into improving all your written business communications. From everyday letters, e-mails, and reports to Web site content, proposals, and new media, you’ll discover what it takes to make every written word count. A valuable resource, written in a concise and easy-to-read format, that you’ll turn to again and again.”

Jerry Allocca, President, CORE Interactive


“An Elements of Style for our time...accessible, step-wise advice for communicating ideas to modern readers, whether of e-mails, promotional materials, or the printed page.”

Susan Gilbert , President, Interactive Elements Inc.


“The essential skill of today’s businessperson is the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively. We are now often judged solely on the basis of our written communications. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing will make you a much better communicator. It’s packed with examples, checklists, and easy-to-follow guides. This book has plenty of smart ideas you’ll immediately apply to e-mails, letters, reports, Web, and social media. If you want to instantly improve the quality of your writing, this is the book to read.”

Victor Urbach, President, The Optran Group; Publisher, The Urbach Letter


“Times have changed. Business has changed. The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing really does speak the truth for today’s marketplace. It covers all the ground, including things like e-mail and social media. It should be required reading for people starting careers, looking to move up the ladder, or even when they start a business. It will be required reading for my sales team!”

Jim Josephson, Vice President, U.S. Sales, Energy Advantage Inc.


“Filled with clear, practical principles and examples, The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is an essential guidebook for businesspeople who want their writing to get results. This useful reference book takes the fear out of putting fingers to the keyboard. Keep it on your desk because you’ll refer to it often.”

Julie Freeman, ABC, President, International Association of Business Communicators


“All my clients are getting a copy of The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing. It’s packed with practical tips that even the most experienced writer can use. It’s an easy read, but don’t let that fool you. My new mantra is, ‘Is it say-able?’”

Karen Susman, The Networking ToolboxTM, Speaker, Trainer, and Author


“Business is about communication, and Natalie and Claire have given us a crucial and invaluable tool. Whether you’re writing a simple e-mail or a multimillion dollar proposal, The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is a must read!”

Jeff Goldberg, Professional Speaker, Trainer, Coach, and Author


“The authors ofThe Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing understand that your true business abilities are transmitted to your colleagues and clients through your e-mails, memos, documents, and reports. If your writing is drab and old-fashioned, confusing or conflicted, you’re in need of a writing makeover. This sharp, concise, and useful book gives you a step-by-step guide to making your writing shine with the clarity and impact that’s demanded in today’s competitive business environment.”

Deborah K. Herman, Founder and Publisher, Building Long Island


“Good writing starts with good thinking. This book shows you how to do both--and in a way that’s effective for our electronic present.”

Peter Krass, President, Petros Consulting LLC


The Truth About the New Rules of Business Writing is a masterfully crafted guide of best practices for effective and practical business writing in the 21st century. A dynamic writing duo, Canavor and Meirowitz provide an eloquent communication tool for print and digital media in today’s evolving, fast-paced global society.”

Jessica McAleer Decatur, Director of Public Relations, St. Joseph’s College, Long Island Campus

About the Author

Natalie Canavor has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate communicator, and copywriter. She is currently a communications consultant and business writer whose publications, articles, Web sites, and video scripts earn international awards. Her features have appeared in a wide range of print and online media, including The New York Times. Earlier she created four national magazine start-ups and served as executive director of communications for New York State’s largest educational agency. She also authored a successful book on marketing for photographers and leads workshops on writing for results.


Claire Meirowitz, principal of Professional Editing Services, manages projects and edits print, e-letters, and Web materials for a nationwide client base in information technology and banking, among others. She is also a writer and publication editor who cofounded and edited several journals in the labor relations field and award-winning newsletters for the education industry. She formerly directed publication and community relations for SUNY College at Old Westbury, where she oversaw production of more than 400 publications annually.


Together, Natalie and Claire own C&M Business Writing Services, providing writing, editing, and project management to organizations. They also present business writing workshops and write a column on writing and editing for the International Association of Business Communicators’ online magazine, distributed internationally.

Product Details

  • File Size: 399 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (December 16, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031PXEGS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,760 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Universally Useful Right from Chapter One January 26, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this book hoping to get some tips on writing for the Web and self-marketing but I got far more than I was hoping for. When I got this book I found myself reading through the first 6 or 7 chapters (or writing "Truths" as the authors call chapters) without intending to.

It says something when you pick up a book to flip through, and find yourself drawn, page by page, through the first 6 chapters. But it says even more when find yourself using the suggestions literally an hour after reading them. After I was forced to put the book down and go to work, I found myself recalling two very specific rules when writing emails. The first was to "Cut to the chase" and put the bottom line at the top, which is brilliant since it put what people needed to know on line one. It was un-missable.

I was impressed how quickly these "Truths" came back to me. The authors laid out 52 "Truths" in a concise and digestible format. Many are themed on very basic ideas, which unfortunately are often forgotten. For an example in the first 6 chapters there is a focus on setting goals for your writing and keeping your audience in mind. These are pretty basic writing rules, but again, often forgotten. However, the authors go further and tailor "Truths" to day-to-day business writing. Again, I lifted a "Truth" right from the book by wording an email to my boss' viewpoint, showing how a change we wanted to make helps the whole department. It garnered a compliment and acceptance from our boss, just by keeping the focus on how he sees our workflow.

OK, so an hour of reading and same day application. Can't beat that. I'm now on to day two and I have started Cherry-picking chapters. I have read the chapters on Web content and I see that I really need to rework a lot of the content on my site.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This compact volume offers plenty to differentiate itself from the scores of other similar offerings promising an express ride to clear business writing. Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz take on the complex world of Information Age business writing, and break it down into 52 manageable, readable chunks of theory and practice. They address both modern options (email, blogs and web writing and the ubiquitous challenges of PowerPoint) and "legacy" modes.

You've heard much of this before, and they don't break what I would consider any significant new ground. But their message bears listening to again:
Consider your audience. Re-write. Edit mercilessly. Be direct. Be concise. Have a plan. Their packaging is relatively painless for content that many people may want to run and hide from. While dividing the content into 52 sections may suggest chewing in weekly bites...don't wait. Their ideas are well organized, illustrated with realistic examples, and can help even the hopelessly verbose and disorganized get a handle on their most important professional communication tasks.

The book invites registration at a companion Financial Times press web site. In return for your personal information, you get access to three .pdf files (guides to style sheet creation, document design references and an online resource guide). Overall, I would have preferred that these simply be included in the book. You'll also be offered a 35% discount...on the book you already own.

Go to the business writing section of a large brick and mortar store, or browse amazon's offerings. The choices are dizzying. Choosing this one can help cut through some of that confusion. If you are competing with your peers for scarce fiscal or personnel resources in the workplace, remember this. Among equally qualified, reasonably competent professionals, the edge in the battle for resources often goes to the better communicator. This book can help you gain that edge.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Guide February 4, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The authors practice what they preach in making every word count in this short guide. Chapters are brief and to the point with 52 truths or writing points laid out under 9 main parts. Bulleted items and headers in red or bold guide the eye to important elements in each chapter. I especially liked the before and after examples where the authors showed how to make writing that was okay or inappropriate into writing that was excellent. Everything in this valuable reference work is relevant in today's fast changing world of business and communication. Some of the topics covered are letters, emails, web content, grants, and reports and proposals. You can't get what you want if you can't communicate effectively and this book will go a long way toward showing you what you need to make your case.

Authors Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz communicate their message in an easy to read style with the material so well organized that readers will easily find what they need, whether it's the right approach for a request to a supervisor or the best way to interview someone.

This is a great reference guide for anyone who works in the business world.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Writing for reduced attention spans.... June 1, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The new rules for business writing can be summed up as "write at a 5th grade level". That is my summary, not the summary of this book.

It seems that in this fast paced world, no one takes the time to really READ any more. Writing in business is necessarily short and to the point. This book gives guidelines for this sort of writing. What I was looking for was something with more substance to it. Sometimes writing short sentences using simple words just doesn't get the point across adequately.

This book delivers what it promises, which are the rules for writing memos and web pages that get a point across quickly before the reader is off onto something else. sorry, but I just object to this sort of writing.

I was hoping for something that would help with writing clearly, but this is just a collection of quick ideas that would be useful for short attention spans. What other reviewers liked about this book is exactly what I did not like.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm happy to have it as a resource in our learning ...
My son is using this book for a high school writing class. I am impressed with how no-nonsense but challenging this book is. Read more
Published 3 months ago by T. Richards
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh
Bought for school
Published 3 months ago by LaBellaDonna
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book with long time shopping
Good overall~
It did took a while before I get it
I may resell it after I finish my class
Published 13 months ago by JiamoTian
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview
This is a useful reminder that presenting well through writing still makes a big difference in business. Read more
Published 20 months ago by TomeTracker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book deliveries exactly what it claims. My business writing has definitely improved thanks to the information presented in this book.
Published 22 months ago by Nasty Pete
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable content, poor quality design and print method
A really useful guide! Too bad the POD print method and all-black ink chapter head pages make it such a poor quality book. Read more
Published on October 2, 2012 by Maria Manske
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful
A good reminder of some things we all know but often overlook as well as some things we migt not know (or think about).
Published on July 6, 2011 by JoDee Lymburner
4.0 out of 5 stars A helpful guide for business writing
Good writing is the road to more credibility, better professional image, and successful results, according to Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz in this book. Read more
Published on December 23, 2010 by John Gibbs
5.0 out of 5 stars Blink and you miss the chance to make your point
Communications today in business is vastly different than it was even a few short years ago. People skim their letters, emails, blogs, reports.... attention spans are quick. Read more
Published on September 16, 2010 by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical, accessible guide to a vital career skill: effective...
Some people believe good writing involves big words, long sentences and complicated concepts. Nothing could be further from the truth, explain Natalie Canavor and Claire Meirowitz,... Read more
Published on September 3, 2010 by Rolf Dobelli
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