Bad Writing Costs Companies Large
In 1983, one-time leading American toy company Coleco released their Adam line of home computers. They expected to make millions. However, customers returned their Adam computers by the thousands, due in part to operation manuals that were confusing and unreadable.
The company lost $35 million in a single quarter and eventually went out of business.
Today, businesses continue to lose sales—often before sales even happen—based on the quality of their content. To avoid this, here are a few books I recommend that can sharpen your skills and protect your profitability overnight:
How important is spelling and grammar to brand trust and profitability?
In a poll of 1,029 adults by Global Lingo, 79% of respondents said they notice the quality of the content on a company’s website, and 59% said they would not buy something from a company whose website had grammar or spelling mistakes.
The Elements of Style
If you only buy one book about the essentials of good writing, make it The Elements of Style. Written in 1959 by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, this book remains a relevant and indispensable guide to writing with clarity and brevity. Easily read in a few hours, The Elements of Style should be the daily companion of anyone who writes anything.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Writer and journalist Lynne Truss shows how an improper punctuation mark can make all the difference in her witty bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. By unearthing examples of careless and bizarre punctuation through the ages, Truss offers a skill-sharpening lesson in writing that’s profound, hilarious and hard to put down.
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (Out of Print)
Since 1982, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose opening sentences to the worst of all possible novels. Although not written as an instructional book, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night nonetheless serves as a hilarious and entertaining study in how not to write a sentence.