The AMA Handbook of Business Letters

The AMA Handbook of Business Letters

The AMA Handbook of Business Letters

The AMA Handbook of Business Letters


Letter writing is crucial to professional success. But with everything you have to accomplish during the day, chances are you have little time to craft compelling business correspondence yourself. And if you're one of the countless people who would like more confidence when it comes to writing a business memo or formal email, wouldn't it be nice to have a compendium of already-written, customizable letters at your fingertips? Now with more than 25 percent new material and packed with model letters for even more situations than its classic predecessor, The AMA Handbook of Business Letters provides you with adaptable templates for any business circumstance. Available online so that each letter, memo, fax, and email is just a click away from modifying it for your own purposes, this long-trusted, authoritative guide is a comprehensive solution to all your professional communication needs. You'll find: Customer service letters to resolve complaints and breed loyalty Human resources communications covering hiring, firing, and staff changes Sales, marketing, and public relations letters that get noticed Credit and collection letters that clarify account status and command immediate attention Letters to vendors and suppliers to place orders, request price quotes, resolve billing and shipping issues, negotiate terms-and more! And the fourth edition gives you more than just a treasure trove of customizable sample letters. This indispensable reference also contains an easily digestible refresher course on techniques that will enable you to write your own crisp, clear, and effective letters. You'll find tips and answers on grammar and usage, standard formats to use in different situations, strategies for establishing your objectives, and a brief rundown of the components of a well-written, persuasive letter. When is it more appropriate to send communication via hard copy rather than in an email? What formatting and style should you use when sending an inquiry to a vendor? This book lets you flip to the answers you need, as you need them. Expertly written letters can increase the quality of your working relationships as well as the quantity of business you attract. With the revised and updated edition of this trusted resource you'll have the most effective letter-writing tools available-and more ready-to-use correspondence than ever for today's business situations.


It’s remarkable how quickly the years have passed since the publication of the first edition of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters. While much has changed during that time, the basic fundamentals of letter writing have remained the same. Still, we felt it was time that we updated the book with a much wider selection of model letters as well as updates to reflect today’s work setting.

People 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 you with both the skills needed to be good letter writers and more than 370 model letters on which to base your 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 and usage 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 370 model letters have been collected. The vast majority of them are based on actual letters that were used in business. They were chosen to represent the broad spectrum of the type of letters businesspeople will most commonly have to write. We have fictionalized the names of the people, companies, and products in the letters. If a name resembles an actual name, it is purely by coincidence.

Many of the sample letters in Part II can easily be used as emails. We include them in traditional letter format, but the message of each letter can be used as the text for an email. Obviously, the sample letters can also be used as templates for letters that you can attach to emails. We give you tips on how to adapt the letters to email in Chapter 4 in the section titled “Email.” You can find electronic versions of each of the letters in this book at

Part III features two appendixes that give tips on frequently misused words and punctuation.

Many people assisted us with this new edition. In particular, our spouses, Nancy Seglin and Lisa Freiman, were supportive of our efforts. And Bethany and David Whitemyer were invaluable in ensuring that this new edition came to pass.

For assistance on this and previous editions, we’d like to thank: Peggy R. Broekel, Michaela Coleman, Tess Coleman, Donna Reiss Friedman, Loren Gary, Beall D. Gary Jr., Mary Glenn, Robert Griffin, Dr. Lindsey Harlan, Adrienne Hickey, Martha Jewett, Joan Kenney, Jim Lewis, Evan Marshall, Christina Parisi, Sam Mickelberg, Howard Palay, Patti . . .

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