The thirteen years that have passed since the publication of the first edition of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters have witnessed the takeoff of the Internet and its use as a vehicle through which to communicate. Billions of e-mail messages pass through American businesses every day. The immediacy with which we now can and expect to communicate with colleagues, prospective colleagues, and strangers has had a tremendous impact on the volume of correspondence we send and receive. We thought it was a good time to update this book to reflect some of the changes in the business environment since the second edition appeared in 1996.
The fundamentals of good letter writing remained unchanged since the first edition appeared in 1989. But the choices we have in how we deliver our letters and where we can find information that can be helpful in writing correspondence have grown. We've updated this edition with a wider variety of model letters; a careful editing and updating of the entire book to better reflect today's workplace; and the most current edition of the Grammar Hotline Directory with e-mail and Web site addresses, where you can go to get real-time help with grammar, usage, and writing questions.
Ellen Kadin, our editor at AMACOM, has been a terrific advocate for the new edition since the beginning. The advice and detailed punch list given us by Christina McLaughlin, a development editor at AMACOM, was immensely helpful in creating a new edition that was as useful and hands-on as possible for readers, and one that includes more than 365 model letters. Erika Spelman, an associate editor at AMACOM, shepherded the book through the production process. Tom Williams and Pat Richardson, both of the Writing Center at Tidewater Community College, helped us incorporate the most current edition of the Grammar Hotline