I love the ability to update the book live when I have something new for the reader. The author royalties are higher, but the marketing effort is colossal, and not for the lazy or the faint-hearted. And it costs money too!
I made a few discoveries while researching in preparation for the book. Each discovery found an immediate application in improving writing skills.
The first one came from an unexpected field: physiology. Memory and attention share some of the same neurotransmitters, sometimes acting in synergy, sometimes in opposition. What is means for the writer is that every time reader attention is raised, memory benefits or suffers, depending on the context. If the reader is distracted by the writer—a tangential remark for example, or a digression which does not directly support the main idea—the reader's memory of the writer's main discourse will be diluted and the trace of reading in long-term memory will be lessened.
The second discovery came from my realization that the reader needs to reconstruct the writer's thoughts from words which do not necessarily mean the same, or carry the same content as the reader's words. Hence, the source for misunderstanding and confusion. are not so much the written words, but their representation in the reader's mind. It befalls the writer to anchor each word in a larger context so as to avoid misunderstanding.
The third discovery came from grammar. I always thought that grammar was neutral and does not impact the feelings of the reader. This is not at all the case. Grammar helps the writer influence the reader is a major way. Not only words give the writer a voice, but also the way these words are played out in clauses, and the order these clauses have in a sentence.
The fourth discovery, and I'll stop there, for these were the most important ones, is the difference in information access between text and visuals. A paragraph has one entry point: t's first word. That's all. A visual has many entry points to choose from. The reader enjoys freedom of choice. However, with abundant choice has a cost: indecision and even misunderstanding! The writer should guide the reader in selecting the optimum path to understanding.
I know it is self-serving, but in the end, why does a writer write, if not to help his fellow reader, so I want to encourage you to read THINK READER to increase your writing skills.
The book page on this site contains the answers to the exercises in the book's last chapter. It also has hot links to the URLs for those who have bought the printed version of the book on Amazon.