What's the best copywriting book
9 copywriting books you should definitely buy
There are a lot of books out there on copywriting.
There aren't that many in German-speaking countries. In the English-speaking world, it is even more so.
That's simply because the cradle of copywriting is America. Here in Germany, this type of advertising copy is almost entirely unknown.
But it has to no Be disadvantage.
This is an advantage. Quite a big one. As one of the first in German-speaking countries, you can apply and benefit from the fine art and science of advertising copy.
And to take advantage of it ... books are always a good place to start. Of course, I also have some books (and courses) on copywriting.
Here are my pearls. Here are the 9 most important and best books I leaf through before writing any article.
1. Scientific advertising
This small, slim booklet from 1923 is one of the first copywriting books ever written. It's the classic. The base.
With only 21 short chapters and around 89 pages, this really isn't a big ham. Nevertheless, Claude C. Hopkins manages to bring you closer to the powerful and statistically tested truth about "Selling in Print".
It is also said that copywriter Jay Abraham read the part 50 times. Even David Ogilvy said:
Nobody should be allowed to have anything to do with advertising until they have read the book 7 times. It changed the direction of my life.
If only you a Book about copywriting or advertising can read. Then read this. It could also change the direction of your life.
Even though the book is over 90 years old, the rules and guidelines still mean the same thing today. It is as relevant today as it was 90 years ago.
Because the environment may change. But not humans.
And because the content is now the property of the public, the masterpiece is available here for free. But you can also order the printed version from the following link.
[Order Scientific Advertising now from Amazon]
2. Ogilvy on Advertising
David Ogilvy was arguably the world's most famous copywriter. He believed in in-depth market research and was (like Hopkins) an advocate of "advertising has to sell".
With his knowledge and skill, he created one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. He even became so wealthy that he bought the French Touffou Castle.
In Ogilvy on Advertising, Ogilvy describes the agency approach, but there are still a lot of humorous and honest insights.
I especially need to point out that he goes into great detail on certain ads (that he wrote) and explains why they worked. So it's a kind of personal tour through his agency work.
He also describes many copywriting principles and also goes into ad design. More precisely, he describes, for example:
- Use a caption under each image.
- Use headings under images.
- Write long copywriting.
- Never use a black background with white text.
And so on.
No copywriting library is complete without this classic.
[Order Ogilvy on Advertising now from Amazon]
3. How to Write a Good Advertisement
Victor O. Schwab is also an old copywriter. He stuck in my mind for one thing - he wrote the best headline:
How to make friends and influence people.
In this somewhat lengthy book, Schwab beautifully describes the process leading up to the sale: generate attention, point out advantages, prove statements, convince people to take advantage of the advantage and ask about the action.
Finally, there are a lot of tips, such as "How long should advertising texts be?", "How do you get more inquiries?" Or "What emotional triggers are there?".
But the 100 best headlines from Chapter 1 alone are worth the price of the book.
[Order How to Write a Good Advertisement now from Amazon]
4. Tested Advertising Methods
Here I have another classic for you. This time from John C. Caples.
Most of all, Caples was convinced of headlines. Almost obsessed. Therefore, half of the book alone deals with headings. He goes into it in great detail.
Speaking of headlines. He is also the author of another infamous headline:
They laughed when I sat down at the piano. But when I started playing!
From the right appeal and the perfect headline to the perfect first sentence and the perfect ending ... Tested Advertising Methods has it all.
His audience-oriented and benefit-focused philosophy (which is also empirically proven) ... is simply timeless.
[Order Tested Advertising Methods now from Amazon]
5. Breakthrough Advertising
Grandmaster Eugene Schwartz goes a step further than the other advertising text books. When it comes to promoting the masses, Schwartz knows what to do.
Instead of delving directly into the subject of advertising copy as with the other books, he first describes potential customers and markets. The human.
If you want to take your skills (and, accordingly, your results) to the next level, this book is for you. It's like the holy grail of psychological insights that lead to excellent marketing campaigns.
My favorite part are the 5 stages of willingness to buy. After reading the book, you will look at your audience differently.
Unfortunately the book is no longer printed. But if you do a little browsing, you can still get it for a reasonable price.
6. The Robert Collier Letter Book
At over 400 pages, this book is a real thump ... and it was also a little difficult to read. Especially when, like me, you have already rummaged through what feels like thousands of advertising text books.
But there are also so many pages because they contain the most profitable sales letters and mailings. That just lengthens the page number.
Above all, these texts can be used perfectly as a swipe file. But the comparisons between similar advertising texts also provide you with great insights.
Especially for us (those selling information) this book is really helpful. Collier has several thousand of the “Harvard Classics. The Five-foot Shelf of Books "by Dr. Elliot sold. His O. Henry stories also brought in orders of over $ 2 million. To name just two points.
Copywriters Gary Halbert and John Carlton bought the book for about $ 1000 at the time. But you have better luck today. Today the book is back in print and is really affordable.
[Order The Robert Collier Letter Book now from Amazon]
7. Advertising Secrets of the Written Word
Many copywriters make careers by writing for their clients. Joe Sugarman, on the other hand, made a career by working for yourself wrote.
So Sugarman wrote advertising texts (mostly advertisements in magazines) and sold his own products there.
Among other things, he was famous for the following sentences:
The purpose of the heading is that the first sentence is read. The purpose of the first sentence is that the second sentence is read. And so on.
Similar to my monkey book, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word is not a real book either. It's much more of a compact, step-by-step course.
And this course is one of the best ... for learning copywriting. It was the second book that I read at the time.
Sugarman takes you by the hand and explains in many simple small steps how to write successful advertising copy. And it's also a little entertaining.
It is also said that he wrote the book as a more easily understandable version of breakthrough advertising.
If I could go back in time and have to start over, I would start with this book.
Unfortunately, this book is no longer in the printing press either. But with a bit of browsing you can get a good used version here too.
8. The Irresistible Offer
Actually, this is not a book about copywriting. Internet marketing pioneer from the very beginning, Marc Joyner, describes the offer here.
But the book is critical.
At least it was for me. It opened my eyes for me. For an element that I hadn't seen clearly before.
Joyner is pretty much the only one who describes the offer. The quid pro quo. I'll do this for you and you give it to me.
But he also goes into the topic a little more precisely and illuminates the irresistible offer.
An irresistible offer à la Dominos Pizza: "30 minutes or less ... or it's free" or FedEx: "If it absolutely has to be there overnight". In his opinion, irresistible offers must be at the heart of a company's marketing.
Because if you start with the right offer, then the product and the message are identical.
[Order The Irresistible Offer now from Amazon]
This book is not really a book about copywriting either. Dr. Robert B. Cialdini is one of the greatest in his field. He has probably contributed most to the science of "persuading" people.
Influence is written narrative and is paired with scientific research and studies. Cialdini combines empirical evidence with techniques and strategies learned as a salesperson, “fundraiser,” recruiter, and other organizational roles.
From college students ... to salespeople in the business world, he brings us closer to the power of persuasion.
More precisely, it describes the psychology of persuasion. He roughly names 6 things that will help you convince people. Whether offline or online.
[Order Influence now from Amazon]
So. Those were my pearls. These were the 9 best and most important books on copywriting.
If you only want to buy 3 of them, then I recommend you Scientific advertising, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word and The Irresistible Offer. That's enough to get you started. This will give you the gritty core of the advertising copy.
But even if many of the books are very old. You are timeless.
Especially here in Germany we are on the advance. So be one of the first to recognize the power and successfully use the old rules of advertising copy for today's online marketing.
In order to you benefit from it.
And if your English doesn't work out that way. Do not worry. Just keep reading the monkey blog. Here you get all the knowledge distilled and brought to the point! 😉
Which copywriting books would you take a look at now?
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