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Copywriting For The Rest Of Us by Mike Shreeve

The full title of this book by Mike Shreeve is

Copywriting For The Rest Of Us: How To Write Amazing Copy In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a 3 Stars rating. This means it is worthwhile.

Here is my book review

Useful but doesn’t live up to the proposition made in the subtitle

I’m fascinated by copywriting and as a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck and struggling, the sales copy on their websites, any emails and the rest of their marketing usually presents opportunities for big improvements.

I read a lot of copywriting books, some to increase my knowledge and others looking for books I can recommend to time poor business owners. The subtitle of the book made me think this could be suitable for me to recommend.

Initially the book talks about six common mistakes. I agree entirely with the first and I see it so often from people who have learned something about writing copy but not enough. Going through these mistakes, I like the way the book gives examples of bad copy and then rewrites it as better, even it doesn’t suit my preferences. The only way to be sure, once you’re following good practices is to test it in your market and track the results.

The book recommends you create an avatar of your ideal customer to help make your writing more focused. I agree, the big danger is writing to too broad a group and creating copy everyone thinks is bland. It’s much better to be on-target for a few than off-target for all. The book explained the process well.

The book goes on to give you important tips on how to write, emphasis the importance of idea creation, planning, drafting, critical reviewing, editing, reviewing again until you get to the copy your prospective customers will see. Third party reviews can be demoralising so it’s worth following the process outlined in the Copy Logic book.

The book then goes on to explain the author’s sales letter format. This section felt a bit clunky and should have been better laid out and emphasised. If you want a format, you want clear steps.

I didn’t agree with everything in the book. The author recommends starting a sales letter with one or two paragraphs about you (your business). This first part of the letter is crucial and it must engage with the prospect so I feel it’s usually better to talk about the problem you solve or get into your solution. You can go through your credentials and why they should respect what you say once you’ve got them hooked before you get into the details. As always, if in doubt, test both alternatives and see which produces the best results. To be fair, the author also recommends the problem -solution approach but wants to get a short story about the writer first.

I think the book is useful and makes important points and I’d probably rate it around 3.7 Stars, and rounded up to 4 Stars but I have a problem.

An essential point in copy is not to promise more than it can deliver. The subtitle of this book makes a proposition – how to write amazing copy in less than ten minutes per day. The author goes on to ask you to spend ten minutes per day reading the book or doing the exercises.

I have two problems with this.

First, if you read for ten minutes per day, it’s going to take a some time to get through the book, even though it’s short. You’ll have forgotten much of what you read and ait’s often a good idea to read a book twice, the first as quickly as possible to get an overview and the second time to take notes. If you read for less and start doing an “exercise”, you’ll keep stopping and starting.

Second, the work covered in the book isn’t neatly divided into a series of exercises .As I was reading, I was expecting the exercises to be highlighted and numbered in the main text or recapped at the end of each chapter. When this didn’t happen, I expected a final chapter to identify the exercises but it wasn’t there.

I can’t give the book a strong recommendation and have reduced my rating to 3 Stars. If you’re a business owner and you’d like to learn how to write your own copy, I recommend you start with The Brain Audit by Sean D’Souza. It gives an excellent explanation of the elements of copy needed to encourage a buying decision.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs. Don't forget to download and read my FREE Report - The SIX Steps PROFIT Formula: The Simple Rules That Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know available to download at Six Steps Report.

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck or struggling, to get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free 60 minutes Business SOS consultation with me to get you unstuck.

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