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Writing for the Web (Chambers Desktop Guides) Paperback – 27 Apr 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chambers; 1st edition (27 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0550103244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0550103246
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,195,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Writing copy for websites requires skills somewhat different from those used when writing for a printed page, and it is becoming increasingly vital to acquire such skills. Hence the importance of Susannah Ross's book... It's a big and important subject. (Writing Magazine)

Book Description

Simple and effective advice for writing web copy.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Few things get me more wound up than struggling to navigate a website that is user-unfriendly because it is so badly written with a lay-out that defies common sense and logic. So, when I received a copy of Susannah Ross's book, my immediate reaction was "yes, yes, yes!". Here is a guide that encourages website designers and content writers to think about their sites from the point of view of the visitor and customer. This fundamental requirement is so often ignored, making visits to many websites a thoroughly disheartening and frustrating experience.

If you are planning a website - or want to reflect on the effectiveness of one you already have - Susannah's "Writing for the Web" is in plain English and a must-buy.
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Format: Paperback
This book does a good job of taking a prospective website writer through the design parameters and the mindset required to write for the web. It also invokes the right attitude the writer must have toward subject-first headlines, captions and subheads and how website readers read differently versus the printed page. It is a more basic primer than I was seeking and is more for a younger, beginning writer, in my opinion. There was very little content that I haven't already read on the topic from Internet searches for web copywriting. As far as my service from Amazon.co.uk, it was prompt and professional, but shipping cost was a little dear.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book when I was just starting my first job in digital content and I found it really useful. It's thoughtfully written, easy to understand and provides clear advice on the basics of how to write for the web.

Whether you're writing articles, ad copy or just simple functional site instructions for the internet, there are some basic things that you need to know, or at least think about, in order to ensure you're doing the best you can for your reader / user. While some of it is instinctive, there are technical aspects that need to be taken into account when writing for the web, and this book gives a great overview of the headspace you need to be in to write online properly.

This book is just a little desktop guide - it's not a comprehensive manual - so there's a lot of ground it doesn't cover. There's not a lot in here about SEO best practice, but given the speed at which SEO trends change, and the ambiguity that surrounds what works and what doesn't when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, it's probably a good thing that there's no serious attention given to it here.

Overall this is a great starter book, and it will make you a better internet writer, but if you've already got a couple of weeks / months commercial internet writing under your belt, you might already have learned a lot of what's contained in here on the job, hence the 4 stars rather than 5.

Personally, I'm glad I bought it anyway!
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Format: Paperback
'Writing for the Web' is split into three sections: Thinking about websites; Thinking about writing; Putting it into practice. I found myself wishing that Susannah Ross had eliminated the first two and expanded the third with more examples and more detail.

The first two sections deal with usability and general good writing. Both topics overflow. Usability is essential to the structure and the design of a website as well as to the writing. Likewise the principles of good writing apply to writing webpages just as they do to other written forms. Both topics add useful context, but this context takes up many more pages than the main subject of the book.

Consequently, there is no space to deal with different types of writing on the web and the author is forced to generalise. This is a shame because she has interesting points to make about her craft and the right way to make them would have been to give many more examples, case studies and explanations. For example the idea of "chunking" information was new to me.

I was also irritated by the uncomfortable landscape format of the book.

That said, 'Writing for the Web' is still a valid introduction to the subject and is unique in being written by someone with a detailed understanding of the history and practice of good writing in the larger field.
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