Webster's New World Letter Writing Handbook

Webster's New World Letter Writing Handbook

by Robert Bly

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Expert tips and 300 sample letters make business and personal correspondence a snap.
When trying to close a sale, answer a complaint, or offer thanks, a well-crafted letter can make all the difference. Packed with practical advice and 300 easy-to-adapt sample letters, this all-purpose guide shows readers how to write letters that get results -at work and at home.
Covering the nuts-and-bolts of letter writing as well as the secrets of high-impact prose, the book delivers proven recipes for attention-grabbing introductions, persuasive arguments, memorable phrases, and closing clinchers. Best of all, it offers guidance on business and personal letters for every circumstance, from job hunting, selling, fundraising, and asking favors to giving a reprimand, responding to criticism, expressing sympathy, and declining gracefully. It's the only reference anyone will ever need to write the perfect letter, whatever the occasion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544188969
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 09/23/2011
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 600
Sales rank: 1,081,000
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

ROBERT W. BLY is the Director of the Center for Technical Communication, a consulting firm that specializes in business communication and marketing. He has been a copywriter and consultant for more than twenty years, and is the author of more than forty-five books.

Table of Contents


PART I: Letter Writing Basics.

Prewriting Planning.

Twelve Rules for Better Letter Writing.


Layouts and Supplies.

Letter Writing Advice from Lewis Carroll.

Persuasion in Print.

Special Considerations for Writing about Technology.

PART II: Personal Correspondence.

Letters that Strengthen Relationships.

Information Letters.


Letters that Require Special Handling.

PART III: Career and Employment Letters.

Cover Letters and Job Inquiries.


After the Interview.

Letters from Employers to Potential Employees.

Letters of Recommendation and Introduction.

Query Letters.

PART IV: General Business Correspondence.

Communicating Business Information.

Networking Business Letters.

Business Requests.


Special Requests: Sponsorship, Fundraising, and Donation Letters .

Letters of Confirmation and Acknowledgment.

Tough Situations.

PART V: Internal Communication.

FYI Internal Memos.

Internal Requests.


Management Issues.


Reports in Memo Format.

PART VI: Customer Service Correspondence.

Relationship-Building Letters.

Routine Customer Correspondence.

Sensitive Customer Correspondence.

Tips for Effective Client Communication.

PART VII: Sales and Marketing Letters.

Types of Sales Letters.

Selling by Invitation.

Generating Leads.

Inquiry-Fulfillment Letters.

After-Sale Letters.

Nonprofit Fundraising.

PART VIII: Credit, Collection, and Billing.

Billing Letters.

When the Account Is in Collections.

When the Collection Is in Dispute.

Working Out Arrangements.

Lines of Credit.

PART IX: Vendor Communications.

Letters Requesting Information.

Letters Expressing Dissatisfaction.

Letters Regarding Bids, Contracts, and Agreements.

Letters that Strengthen the Client/Vendor Relationship.

Common or Possible Client-to-Vendor Requests.

Letters Regarding Payment Problems.

Other Letters to Vendors.

PART X: E-Mail and Fax Correspondence.

Differences Between E-Mail and Regular Letters.

E-Mail Structural Components.

Writing E-Mail Messages that get Opened and Read.

Reply Wisely.

Know the Emotional Connotations of Punctuation and Grammar.

Consider the Look of Your Message.

Internet Direct-Mail Marketing Messages.

Where to Get Your E-Marketing Lists.

Fax Correspondence.

Appendix A: Formats.

Appendix B: Useful Letter Writing Aids.

Appendix C: Mailing and Shipping.



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