Writing for the Web (Chambers Desktop Guides) Paperback – 27 Apr 2007
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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)
Simple and effective advice for writing web copy.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well-written, easy-to-read guide to writing for the web. Great for the beginner or as a reference for experienced web writers.Published on 8 Sept. 2010 by tried and tested public speaker
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who writes for the web, Which seems to be a neglected subject. Read morePublished on 9 July 2010 by D. E. Wemyss
I found this book with a lack of examples. I wouldn't recommend it to the reader that needs a practical approach to the subject.Published on 6 Aug. 2009 by Paulo Alexandre S. Teixeira