16 Best Business Writing Books to Read

By: | Updated: June 02, 2023

You found our list of business writing books.

Business writing books are publications that help individuals achieve effective communication by enhancing their writing skills. Examples include Writing That Works by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson and Business Writing by Wilma Davidson. The purpose of these books is to help individuals develop critical thinking, learn different writing styles, and improve their grammar and punctuation skills.

These books are similar to communication books, customer experience books, and customer success books. These books can help readers learn more about internal communication tips and collaboration skills.

This list includes:

  • books on business writing
  • books for improving business writing
  • best selling business writing books
  • business email writing books
  • business writing skills books

Here we go!

List of business writing books

Business writing books are valuable for individuals looking to improve their writing skills and communicate more effectively and professionally. From Business Writing for Dummies by Natalie Canavor and Everybody Writes by Ann Handley, here is a list of the best resources with insightful business writing tips.

1. HBR Guide to Better Business Writing by Bryan A. Garner

HBR Guide to Better Business Writing tops the list of books on business writing. Bryan A. Garner stresses the need to cultivate the art of writing and gain a competitive advantage in the market. The author takes readers through composing compelling documents such as emails and proposals. The book is also a handy guide for readers who want to navigate writer’s block, strike the right tone, and improve grammar and punctuation. Other notable lessons in the guide are keeping the reader’s attention and organizing ideas. HBR Guide to Better Business Writing gives readers the tools to express their ideas clearly and persuade partners, colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.

Notable quote: “All it takes is a few words to make a strong impression, good or bad.”

Read HBR Guide to Better Business Writing.

2. Writing That Works: How to Communicate Effectively in Business by Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson

If you are looking for business writing books, then Writing That Works is a great choice. The book will help writers say what they want with more confidence and less difficulty. The book also contains handy tips for email writing, with many examples. Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson focus on helping business writers make better presentations, letters, memos, and reports. In addition, Writing That Works incorporates lessons on crafting grant applications, sales letters, proposals, speeches, and interviews that will move the audience. One key takeaway from the publication is to be clear and concise.

Notable quote: “Take the time to boil down what you want to say, and express it confidently in simple, declarative sentences. Remember the man who apologized for writing such a long letter, explaining that he didn’t have time to write a short one.”

Read Writing That Works.

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3. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes is a top choice of books for improving business writing. Ann Handley provides a guide business writers can use to attract and retain customers. The author maintains that clickbait only works in the short run and that writing skills are pivotal in driving corporate communication. Handley advises writers to be smart when choosing words and focus on the target market. Further, the author argues that online language is the current currency. Thus, the type of writing can either make you look smart or simple-minded. The book provides relevant tips for writing listicles, emails, presentations, and newsletters. With lessons that apply across landing pages, emails, blogs, web pages, and social media, Everybody Writes is the go-to guide for business owners, publishers, and marketers.

Notable quote: “So, before you begin the writing, be sure you know the purpose or mission or objective of every piece of content that you write. What are you trying to achieve? What information, exactly, are you trying to communicate? And why should your audience care?”

Read Everybody Writes.

4. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

Resonate is a handy guide for business writers who want to grasp the art of presentation. Nancy Duarte argues that the role of presentations is to inform and persuade audiences. Thus, individuals must start by writing presentations that resonate with specific audiences. The publication will also help presenters make strong connections with audiences through visual communication cues. Duarte uses the approach of building presentations bit by bit, similar to writing documentaries.

Notable quote: “The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there.”

Read Resonate.

5. Business Writing: What Works, What Won’t by Wilma Davidson

First authored in 1994, Business Writing is a practical guide that covers pivotal lessons. This guide is one of the best business writing skills books. Wilma Davidson addresses the importance of concise, clear, and grammatically correct writing. The book’s chapters guide writers on how to make information easy to read, tone messages, and use humor to engage their audience. Other writing tricks include starting with the main points and using bulleted lists to emphasize information. The revised edition covers texts, emails, and social media to illustrate factors that create good writing. In addition, the author uses compelling examples, cartoons, and charts to engage readers. With thorough concepts, individuals searching for books for improving business writing will relish the resource.

Notable quote: “Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables, forced himself to write by disrobing and giving his clothing to his valet with strict instructions that it not be returned until he had written the allotted pages.”

Read Business Writing.

6. The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving by Barbara Minto

The Minto Pyramid Principle elaborates on how individuals can structure presentations and documents to captivate the clientele. The publication emphasizes the importance of persuasive and clear communication in business writing. In addition, the book describes tactics that major businesses can use as a competitive advantage. The Minto Pyramid Principle is a noteworthy resource for individuals who prepare written communications and readers who want to learn how to structure presentations.

Notable quote: “The best text slides convey their message as starkly and simply as possible. They do not waste words (or slides) on transitional or introductory points, which can and should be stated orally. This means of course that the slides by themselves will not be intelligible as a handout to someone who has not attended the presentation.”

Read The Minto Pyramid Principle.

7. Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols by Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez

Illuminate is a practical and illustrative guide for business writers. Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez discuss in detail how to make better presentation slides and structure content that will appeal to readers. The author uses real-world examples and case studies from notable entities like Starbucks, IBM, and Apple to explain the whys and hows of business writing.

Notable quote: “When you use the spoken word in speeches, stories, and ceremonies, reinforcing it with meaningful symbols, empathetic communication makes each moment feel significant and builds energy that makes your venture feel attainable.”

Read Illuminate.

8. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

Eats, Shoots & Leaves focuses on the current grammatical state, stressing the need to be conscious of punctuation. The author uses historical examples, her imagination, literature, and neighborhood signage to explain her points. The read also contains hilarious consequences of incorrectly using apostrophes, commas, colons, and exclamation marks. The author introduces each chapter with a brief history of the topic and the current practice in British and American settings. You will also view debates from different groups on the correctness of punctuation.

Notable quote: “The reason it’s worth standing up for punctuation is not that it’s an arbitrary system of notation known only to an over-sensitive elite who have attacks of the vapors when they see it misapplied. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning.”

Read Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

9. The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker

The Sense of Style uses insights from the sciences of language to help business writers craft clear and coherent pieces. The short and entertaining read shows how writing depends on an individual’s imagination, grammatical know-how, empathy, and coherence. As a linguist and cognitive scientist, Steven Pinker details how writers get into various pitfalls, such as the curse of knowledge. The author argues that writers often assume that readers know as much as they do, often leading to misinformation. The book also provides an alphabetical list of common grammatical problems and suggestions for rectifying mistakes.

Notable quote: “A writer, like a cinematographer, manipulates the viewer’s perspective on an ongoing story, with the verbal equivalent of camera angles and quick cuts.”

Read The Sense of Style.

10. Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results by Rob Biesenbach

Storytelling is an essential part of business writing. Unleash the Power of Storytelling helps readers break down walls and influence audiences. Rob Biesenbach includes practical examples that show how business writers can use stories to write presentations and run employee meetings and customer calls. In addition, the book will help individuals looking for business email writing books. Readers will learn how to use emotion to get an audience’s attention and deliver stories effectively. The book is a great pick that can help individuals close a sale, strengthen professional relationships, promote brands, and align individuals with strategies.

Notable quote: “Stories are all around us. We may not recognize them, but they’re there—just waiting to be found, shaped, and shared.”

Read Unleash the Power of Storytelling.

11. First You Write a Sentence.: The Elements of Reading, Writing … and Life by Joe Moran

With minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence will help business writers fine-tune their craft. Joe Moran focuses on the common ground that every writer walks through, a sentence. The author argues that writers can turn ordinary words into verbal constellations. First You Write a Sentence uses notable sources and scientific case studies to illustrate the art of writing compelling and clear tales. The writer also addresses business writers’ daily frustrations, such as gaping plot holes and creative blocks. Readers will also get insights into grammar rules and determining the writing voice and tone.

Notable quote: “In a fast world in pursuit of instant answers, slowness has become a dissident act. Perhaps a sentence slowly written, and slowly relished, could work in the same way, as a last redoubt against the glib articulacy of a distracted age.”

Read First You Write a Sentence.

12. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser

On Writing Well is a valuable resource for business writers, especially in the digital age. William Zinsser discusses writing fundamentals that appeal to a diverse demographic. The resource also offers sound advice on eliminating clutter and tailoring words to the target audience. In addition, the author uses a sense of humor that makes the resource enticing. With its warmth and clarity, the book is also a top choice of best selling business writing books.

Notable quote: “Look for the clutter in your writing and prune it ruthlessly. Be grateful for everything you can throw away. Reexamine each sentence you put on paper. Is every word doing new work? Can any thought be expressed with more economy?”

Read On Writing Well.

13. Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite by June Casagrande and Shelly Frasier

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies is a notable resource for writers who want to learn basic grammar and punctuation. The publication is a collection of witty essays that June Casagrande and Shelly Frasier use to deliver handy lessons. The authors argue that while grammar is a simple area, writers either do not know or ignore many gray areas. Casagrande and Frasier organize the book into short chapters, making every topic easy to consume.

Notable quote: “Grammar snobs are a distinct breed from their gentle cousins: word nerds and grammar geeks. The difference is bloodlust.”

Read Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies.

14. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

The Elements of Style provides practical advice for individuals who want to improve their writing skills. William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White emphasize using a plain English style instead of complex terminology. The book covers business writing segments such as misuse of words, sentence fragmentation, and language structure. Strunk and White make the book engaging with the addition of sarcastic and amusing comments.

Notable quote: “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

Read The Elements of Style.

15. Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots outlines communication mistakes that individuals make in the corporate world. The authors argue that businesspeople overuse jargon-filled words. As a result, the wrong choice of words interferes with individual authenticity, and the effectiveness of presentations, emails, and memos is minimal. The authors also include real-life stories detailing the awful communication prevalent in the corporate world. Why Business People Speak Like Idiots is a hilarious and light read, opposite from most business books.

Notable quote: “When they see bull, they make negative assumptions about the person or company that spews it. When they see straight talk, they think good things about the source.”

Read Why Business People Speak Like Idiots.

16. Business Writing for Dummies by Natalie Canavor

As a major part of professional success, the ability to write well is a significant hindrance for most individuals. Business Writing for Dummies is a fantastic pick of business email writing books. Natalie Canavor includes gems to help businesspeople write better presentations, reports, and emails. The author also provides editing techniques for crafting the perfect messages and tips to adapt individual writing skills to digital media. Business Writing for Dummies is a great read for marketers, managers, customer service reps, or entrepreneurs.

Notable quote: ”To quickly upgrade anything you write, use the say-it-aloud diagnosis. When you read your own copy aloud (or whisper it to yourself if you’re not alone), you get immediate signals that something isn’t working or can work better.”

Read Business Writing for Dummies.


Whether you are new to business writing or a seasoned writer, there is always room to improve your skills, and a good book can help you do just that. Business writing books provide knowledge that will help readers improve their writing skills. Investing in quality business writing books and applying the principles and techniques can also help individuals attain better business results. These resources can help individuals write reports, emails, and proposals and convey ideas clearly and professionally.

Next, check out our list of sales books, business strategy books, business ethics books, and negotiation books.

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FAQ: Business writing books

Here are answers to common questions about business writing books.

What are business writing books?

Business writing books are resources that provide guidance and instruction on how to write effectively in a professional or business setting. These books typically cover a range of topics related to business writing, including style, grammar, punctuation, tone, structure, and formatting.

What are the best books on business writing?

The effectiveness of communication remains critical in all business ventures. The choice of business writing books depends on what an individual wants to learn, experience level, author expertise, and relevance. Individuals can choose between business communication textbooks, writing guides, reference books, or style guides. Some of the best books business writing books include HBR Guide to Better Business Writing by Bryan A. Garner, On Writing Well by William Zinsser, and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at teambuilding.com. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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