Best Copywriting Books
Can you learn to write compelling sales copy offline and online by reading the old and modern classic copywriting books?
I think you can if you pick the right books.
My Fascination With Great Copy
I’m fascinated by the power of written words to persuade people to buy and to overcome buyer resistance and objections.
I have a natural British reserve for and distrust of copy that shouts our “THIS IS HYPE” but I’ve also been enraptured by copy that pushes my boundaries but doesn’t go over them.
The best copy creates an inner tension so that, even if you somehow manage to walk away from the webpage or sales letter without buying or taking action, the desire to buy has wormed its way into your brain and churned up your emotions to create a battle inside your head… you want… you must resist… you can’t… you don’t have the money… you’ll find the money…
The Best Books About Copywriting
You will only see the books I’ve rated at Four Stars (meaning good and well worth reading) and Five Stars (excellent and very highly recommended). Reviews of lower rated books appear on Amazon.co.uk but I haven’t brought the reviews across to my own website.
If you read my reviews, you’ll see I try to explain why I like them but also to identify any weaknesses. My job as a reviewer is to help you to find the most appropriate books rather than to help sell more books.
On that note, if you do decide to buy, I’d appreciate it if you could click through to Amazon on my links as (hopefully) I’ll earn a small referral commission.
Some of these books can be very expensive so, if you’re happy with a hard back or paperback book, take a look at the second hand options on Amazon. Personally I only buy if the condition is described as “As New” or “Very Good” unless I’m really keen and forced to drop down to “Good”.
My Five Star Copywriting Books
If you’re a copywriter, I think you need to read the classics.
The classics – they may come from the time of the Dark Ages before the Internet but they contain key lessons that remain true to this day.
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
The Ultimate Sales Letter: Boost your sales with powerful sales letters, based on Madison Avenue techniques by Dan Kennedy This is an old version I used when direct mail was my principle method of reaching out to potential customers.
Reality In Advertising by Rosser Reeves
How To Write A Good Advertisement: A Short Course In Copywriting by Victor Schwab
The modern copywriting greats – it will be interesting to see which are remembered 30, 40, 50 years or more after they were first published.
The Brain Audit : Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t) by Sean D’Souza
If you are a business owner, this is the book for you to start with. It’s an easy read and it makes the entire process make a great deal of sense.
My Four Star Copywriting Books
Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing by Drayton Bird
The Perfect Sales Pitch by Robert Bly
How to Create Irresistible Offers by Robert W Bly
The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert W Bly
How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger Media
The Sexy Sales Letter Formula by Seth Czerepak
How to Write Seductive Web Copy by Henneke Duistermaat
The Halbert Copywriting Method Part III by Bond Halbert
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins -yes this classic probably belongs in the five star books but I found it hard going.
The Irresistible Offer by Mark Joyner
Clear Sales Message by James Newell
May I Have Your Attention, Please? by Mish Slade
Newspaper & Magazine Advertising That Works by Jamie Sylivian
Obvious Adams by Robert R Updegraff
Emotional Copywriting Revealed by Timothy S Van Milligan
Other Categories of Business Books That May Be Of Interest To You
Coaching – Customer Service – Differentiation Strategy – Getting Unstuck – Inner Game – Internet Marketing – Marketing – Marketing Psychology – Persuasion – Pricing – Profit Improvement – Retail Business – Sales Training – Social Media – Specific Niche Markets – Understanding Buyers