The AMA Handbook of Business Letters

By Jeffrey L. Seglin; Edward Coleman | Go to book overview

Preface to the
First Edition

Several years ago, I was asked by a financial publisher to write a book on letter writing for bankers. I was puzzled about the need for such a book. Surely bankers who had risen to any level of responsibility knew how to write. Why did they need a book to show them the way?

I agreed to write the book. Dozens of generous bankers offered to open their files to me. I was shocked. Not only was there a fundamental lack of basic letter-writing skills, there also was a dearth of bankers who knew basic writing skills. The bankers who helped me with that book kept telling me how unskilled the writers were with whom they dealt. But I was surprised to find the volume of correspondence that was going out with grammatical mistakes, usage problems, unclear statements, and nonstandard letter formatting.

Several thousand copies and a second edition later, I am more convinced than ever that bankers are clamoring for a book that shows them how to write better letters. But I've also become convinced that the need doesn't stop with bankers.

Professionals in all walks of the business world are in need of a book that can help them hone their letter-writing skills. The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is designed to answer that need. It will arm professionals with both the skills needed to be good letter writers and more than 270 model letters on which to base their own correspondence. The AMA Handbook of Business Letters will not just show you how to write better letters; it will show you how to write better.

Sections on grammar, usage, and word processing in the first part of the book complement the sections on basic letter-writing skills. The second part of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is the heart of the book. Here, more than 270 model letters have been collected. The vast majority

-xvii-

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