This book will change the way you write. Whether it's e-mails, memos, fiction, tweets or newsletters, Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More with Less gives readers simple directives from the personal experiences of Jim Vandehei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz, co-authors and co-founders of Axios.
Here are a few "Tips & Tricks": subject lines should be no longer than 60 characters; one-syllable words are better than two-syllable words, two-syllable words are better than three-syllable; "active verbs always." Strong data supports the authors' advice. Once their articles moved to the Web and analytics entered their lives, they discovered: "On average, the typical person spends just 26 seconds on a story or update"; "about 80 percent of people... consumed, at most, 490 words." Readers were not staying for their complete stories. Each chapter of their book starts with a "Smart Brevity Count," based on the number of words and estimated time to read them. The authors do not stop at how to improve one's journalism, however. They discuss the art of the newsletter (including internal company newsletters), how to run Smart Brevity meetings, give speeches, communicate on social media--even how to run a company.
The common threads: What's the one big takeaway you want folks to know? Tell them why it matters. Then, before you go, remind them of the one big thing you want them to remember. Chock full of humor, insider lessons learned and lots of bullet points, Smart Brevity may well result in a paradigm shift in the workplace. --Jennifer M. Brown, senior editor, Shelf Awareness