Book Review: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Dec 22, 2015 | Better Writing

I don’t know PG Bartlett, but I owe him a debt of gratitude.

I’ve been a serious writer for most of my adult life and I wondered if Ann Handley’s book, Everybody Writes was worth buying. Well, PG is a professional writer, too. In his Amazon review and he said that the book was excellent for him and told me why. I bought the book based on that Amazon review. Boy, am I glad I did.

I make my money writing, mostly ghostwriting business books. I also write direct response copy. Years ago that meant letters, today it means web pages.

I found myself chuckling with recognition as Ann Handley would describe a situation or practice. “Yep,” I thought, “I’ve done that” and “Yep, I see that one with my coaching clients.”

I never took a class in writing. I learned to write by writing and then having editors critique the result. That’s a perfectly fine way to learn to write but it means that I wound up with lots of little gaps in my learning.

Those gaps are there even though I’ve been serious and disciplined about learning and mastering the craft. This book helped me fill in those gaps. There’s a lot of good advice.

One of the best reasons to read this book is that you will have many, “OMG, I do that!” moments. That can be humbling and scary, but it’s awfully helpful.

I also coach writers to want to write a book or improve some other aspect of their writing, such as blog posts. This is a good book for you if you’re like most of my coaching clients. It covers the basics of good writing, with lots of stellar advice about writing marketing materials.

This book is rich in pointers to info sources and tools. In fact, those pointers are worth the price of the book, no matter how good a writer you are.

There are certain to be parts of this book that don’t help you. There are bound to be parts that you disagree with. But you will also find a lot of things to think about and a lot of tools you can use.

Bottom Line

This is a good book for you if you are a professional writer and you’re looking for something that will give you a good review of some basics and fill in a gap or two in your expertise.

This is an especially good book for you if you write to boost your business or career.