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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 Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters by Joseph Sugarman

Triggers: How to Use the Psychological Triggers of Selling to Motivate, Persuade & Influence by Joseph Sugarman

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 24 Hour Marketing Miracle: The FIRST Marketing Book EVER to Be Backed Up By a 500% Money Back Guarantee by Seth Czerepak

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

The Secret Weapon of a master direct response online copywriter by Peter A Schaible

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

CoachingCustomer ServiceDifferentiation StrategyGetting UnstuckInner GameInternet MarketingMarketingMarketing PsychologyPersuasionPricingProfit ImprovementRetail BusinessSales TrainingSocial MediaSpecific Niche MarketsUnderstanding Buyers

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

The Advertising Solution by Craig Simpson with Brian Kurtz

Breakthrough Copywriting by David Garfinkel

The Boron Letters By Gary Halbert

101 Headline Templates That Crush It by GN Reed

How to Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards

Copy Logic! by Michael Masterson & Mike Palmer

Great Leads by Michael Masterson and John Forde

How to Get Your Web Content DONE! by Criss Ittermann

The Direct Mail Solution by Craig Simpson with Dan Kennedy