10 Best Books On Copywriting That You Must Read Right Now

Best Copywriting Books
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There is so much fuss about copywriting and copywriters these days. There are so many jobs that are already being replaced by AI and there are so many websites that automatically transform a dead sentence just like a copywriter does. Then why are copywriters still in demand? 

The simple logic behind this is that ‘AI can’t feel and understand human nature’

A copywriter is not someone who merely creates a combination of Alphabets. A copywriter is someone who understands how human nature works, someone who can get into the customer’s shoes, feel their pain, desire or emotions, and then write exactly what they want to hear.

“A copywriter should have ‘an understanding of people, an insight into them, a sympathy toward them.”

Before I started my journey as a copywriter, I always felt scared after reading all those giant quotes on copywriting. I felt copywriting is some sort of rocket-science and I can never be good at it. However, I was too keen to leave it like this. I read a bunch of books written by the world’s best copywriters and boom! I now work as a well-paid freelance copywriter. 

Here are 10 books that made me a copywriter and will help you as well to become a kick-ass copywriter, 

  1. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
  2. Cashvertising
  3. David Ogilvy on Advertising
  4. The Copywriter’s Handbook
  5. Breakthrough Advertising
  6. How to Write a Good Advertisement
  7. Tested Advertising Methods
  8. The Idea Writers
  9. All Marketers Tell Stories
  10. The Boron Letters

1. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

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The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters
  • John Wiley & Sons
  • Sugarman, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 12/11/2006 (Publication Date) - Wiley (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I always felt that it’s better to do a course than reading books on copywriting. Why? Because a course takes you from one step to second, then third and so on. While a book might feel like a lost journey.

However, The Adweek Copywriting Handbook proved me wrong. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook is based on a $2,000 course that Sugarman taught back in the late’70s. The book is based on one simple concept and that is to create a slippery slide for the reader where they read the first sentence and automatically want to read the second sentence then the third and so on.

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook starts with the basic concept of copywriting then takes you through the exact process of how to write a killer copy. The book is divided into different segments like,

  1. How to write a killer headline
  2. How to create an attention grabbing subheadline
  3. How to write the copy that gets click and conversations

The best thing about the book is that Joseph Sugarman has shared the real-life examples while explaining his million dollar copywriting secrets. Every concept is detailed, well-structured and goes by hierarchy to make it easy for you. 

After reading The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, you will feel like an expert copywriter who is born to write persuasive copy.

2. Cashvertising

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CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone
  • Career Press
  • Whitman, Drew Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 11/15/2008 (Publication Date) - Weiser (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Whenever I open YouTube, there is one ad at least that plays before the actual video starts. Result? I skip it as soon as I can. However, there are a handful of ads that actually arrest my attention. I have always wondered why do some brands waste their money on those useless ads that irritate people and how do some brands create such attention-grabbing ads?

Like every game, Copywriting also has some rules and principles which if you follow, you can make millions of dollars just with your words. How? 

That’s what Drew Eric Whitman discusses in his book Cashvertising: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone.

Cashvertising goes beyond the general rules of copywriting and delves into the power of psychology behind customer behavior. Cashvertising breaks down how you can write a perfect headline, write persuasive copy using psychology and convert the audience. 

No wonder why the author has decided to name it, CASHvertising.

3. Ogilvy on Advertising

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Ogilvy on Advertising
  • advertising
  • Ogilvy, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages - 03/12/1985 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What if I say God himself can come down and solve your problems? Okay, I can’t call God but I can suggest you Ogilvy on Advertising by The God of Advertising, David Ogilvy. 

David Ogilvy built the agency empire all by himself and he shares his years of experience, and fundamentals behind writing advertisements that converts, crafting impactful copies that sell along with market research, positioning, and much more.

David Ogilvy has left behind the secret to writing copy that makes you the KING. If there is one book you must read, it’s Ogilvy on Advertising. I always say and will say it again that this is not just a book but a legacy that we need to carry forward and transform the advertising world yet again.

4. The Copywriter’s Handbook

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The Copywriter's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells (4th Edition)
  • Bly, Robert W. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 04/07/2020 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What do you think about how a copywriter is different from a salesperson? Don’t stress your brain! Robert says in his book, The Copywriter’s Handbook that ‘A copywriter is a salesperson behind a keyboard.’

Imagine this, a salesperson goes door to door to sell his product, explains the benefits, features, and how the product can help the person standing before him. Whereas, you, as a copywriter do the same work but behind the keyboard. 

 The Copywriter’s Handbook is the one of the best copywriting books that covers every possible copywriting technique. Although the book is on copywriting but it also discusses the freelancing journey of Robert (when freelancing wasn’t even a word). 

To cut the long story short, Robert says that a copy must do these three things to convince the audience to take action,

  1. Get attention
  2. Communicate
  3. Persuade

The Copywriter’s Handbook is a perfect guide if you are looking to learn copywriting and start freelancing.

5. Breakthrough Advertising

Breakthrough Advertising
  • Hardcover Book
  • Eugene M. Schwartz (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 236 Pages - 01/01/2004 (Publication Date) - Bottom Line Books (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Breakthrough advertising is not written by another stellar copywriter but by the inventor Eugene M. Schwartz who invented and introduced many copywriting concepts that we still follow. 

“The greatest mistake marketers make is trying to create demand.”

Breakthrough advertising shares many such copywriting secret sauce throws light on six techniques that are absolutely essential while brainstorming copy concepts,

  1. Mass desire
  2. States of awareness
  3. Stages of market sophistication
  4. The 38 ways to strengthen your headline
  5. The 7 techniques of breakthrough advertising
  6. The optimal copy length

All these 6 techniques are explained in the book in detail with appropriate examples wherever essential to transform your dead copy into a persuasive one.

6. How to Write a Good Advertisement

How to Write a Good Advertisement: A Short Course in Copywriting
  • Ships from Vermont
  • Victor O. Schwab (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 246 Pages - 07/04/2013 (Publication Date) - Echo Point Books & Media (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Have you heard about Dale Carnegie’s book ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’? Yes, you must have! The title was created by the author of How to Write a Good Advertisement, Victor O. Schwab. 

Victor has 44 years of experience in the advertising industry. He has explored every inch of the advertising and copywriting world and now he shares his 44 years of experience and techniques that worked for him in How to Write a Good Advertisement. 

Victor O. Schwab shared five fundamentals of writing a great advertisement which are,

  1. Get Attention
  2. Show People an Advantage
  3. Prove it
  4. Persuade People To Grasp The Advantage
  5. Ask For Action

Victor has divided all these five essential ingredients into different chapters and has explained how you can use them to increase conversions. Right from creating a killer headline to crafting a great copy, Victor has discussed everything that you need for writing a successful copy overall.

7. Tested Advertising Methods

Tested Advertising Methods (5th Edition) (Prentice Hall Business Classics)
  • Caples (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 06/25/1998 (Publication Date) - Prentice Hall (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If ‘old is gold’ is really a thing then Tested Advertising Methods is simply the epitome of that. The author, John Caples has shared a bunch of timeless techniques to write a great copy. The best thing about the book is that every technique is, as the name suggests, tested.

Although there are already so many books on copywriting, Tested Advertising Methods is a unique book as it shares with you the techniques and concepts that are proven to work. John Caples was obsessed with split-testing which serves as an advantage to you as every concept is vetted before being shared with us.

There are some books that are ‘classic’ on copywriting and Tested Advertising Methods is one such book that should be a part of every copywriter’s collection.

8. The Idea Writers

The Idea Writers: Copywriting in a New Media and Marketing Era
  • Iezzi, T. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 222 Pages - 12/14/2010 (Publication Date) - Palgrave Macmillan (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Copywriting and advertising both have evolved over the years, hence, you need techniques that are relevant and work in today’s era. Well, The Idea Writers has got your back.

Written by Teressa Iezzi, the editor of AdAge’s Creativity Magazine, The Idea Writers combines contemporary copywriting wisdom with old school copywriting tips that help you stand out from the competition.

The Idea Writers doesn’t only shares the techniques but relevant examples, case studies of big brands like Burger King, Pepsi along with tidbits of wisdom of over 50 copywriters and marketers. 

One of the things that almost everyone missed talking about, Trends and how to use Trend to write a persuasive copy is being discussed in The Idea Writers which makes it a must-read for all the aspiring copywriters.

9. All Marketers Are Liars

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All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All
  • Portfolio
  • Godin, Seth (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 04/24/2012 (Publication Date) - Penguin Publishing Group (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Psychologists and scientists have proven that humans love stories, hence they stay longer in our brain even when we don’t want to. Taking advantage of this proof, the God of marketing, Seth Godin has shared with us the formula of storytelling that can make anyone buy anything.

Let’s look into an example on how storytelling can be a game-changer,

George Riedel narrated a story that wine tastes exceptional in his glasses. Wait! Does that make sense? Well, the mind don’t work when the story is being narrated. Yes! People actually spend 100x more dollars just to drink wine in George Riedel’s glass for the similar wine. 

If that is intriguing, you must jump on All Marketers Are Liars as soon as possible to know how a great story can attract people and convert your business into a brand. However, storytelling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. A single mistake or a story that challenges the beliefs of the audience can even backfire you.

But you don’t have to worry! Seth Godin has summed up everything that you need to narrate a story that sticks in the audience’s mind. All Marketers Are Liars is the OG copywriting book.

10. The Boron Letters

The Boron Letters
  • Halbert, Gary C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 146 Pages - 06/11/2013 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I can’t say how much this holds true but legends say that ‘reading The Boron Letters 100 times can replace 10,000 hours of copywriting practice.’

The Boron Letters isn’t a book but letters that Gary C. Halbert wrote to his son, Bond on marketing and copywriting. Gary C. Halbert has shared his insider tips in his letters on how to convince and convert readers into buyers using copy. As the letters were supposed to be for his son, he also shared some life advice along the way which makes this book stand out.

As mentioned earlier, the tips are insider which is the reason, it goes beyond copywriting and explores advertising, persuasion, business, and life that can seriously make you a millionaire copywriter without initial struggles. 

I think no matter what I say, The Boron Letters can’t be explained in words. It’s something you have to read and experience yourself. 

Conclusion:

I have read more than 70 books on copywriting which include books on psychology, basic human nature, marketing, and much more. And among all those 70 books, these 10 books stand out. I still refer to these books whenever I start writing a copy to remind myself ‘how a great copy’ is being written.

Copywriting is no doubt one of the most high-paying career paths that you can walk on but a bad copy can backfire your entire career. That’s the reason, before you start your copywriting journey, read these 10 books, explore the hidden gems and let the world invite you to disrupt the advertising industry. 

I am quite sure that after reading these 10 books, you will write kick-ass copies and you wouldn’t need any course to excel in copywriting. When I say it, I mean I have experienced it. And if I can then You CAN too.