The road toward successful copywriting starts with a good course and solid training. Once that is completed, you should do your best to write as much as possible and hone your skills. Besides writing, you should also invest your time in continuing education and knowledge.
Where does the knowledge come from? Books! At least that is what people used to say. This doesn’t mean that you should buy a new bookshelf.
Nowadays, you can and should make the most of all those ebooks and e-readers. In that way, you can always have all the books you want only a click away.
Here are 15 selected titles that you should at least read. Keep in mind that not all of them are books about writing. You will find great tips about business and sales in general. These skills are equally important for a copywriter.
1. “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples
This book was written in the ‘60. That makes it a classic of advertising. “Tested Advertising Methods” is as relevant today as it was the day it was written.
It contains precious ideas for small businesses and how they should advertise their companies. It deals with the copy, but also with the layout, headlines, and illustrations.
2. “Copy Logic” by Michael Masterson & Mike Palmer
Michael Masterson and Mike Palmer have created a masterpiece of copywriting. This book is all about direct copy that converts words into sales. The greatness of it is in its simplicity.
Mike Palmer uses the teachings he has been using to build his own team of copywriters in the record among of time. It is a book worth reading, especially if you want to build a career as a sales copywriter.
3. “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz
This is a book that reveals the secrets of advanced business and advertising. It provides the reader with precious information about how the market works.
Eugene Schwartz explains the scope and limitations of copywriting. But, he also gives an amazing insight into what can be done to make the most of the potential of the written copy.
4. “The Boron Letters” by Gary Halbert
This is a legendary and unique book. It is a book about life and marketing written in epistolary form. It means that it is actually a collection of letters written by the author.
While some of it may seem dated, it is still a book worth reading as it gives valuable insight into the world of writing and marketing.
5. “Ogilvy on Advertising” by David Ogilvy
At some point, the Times called David Ogilvy “the most sought after wizard in the business.” That alone is a good reason enough to read his book. If that is not enough, you should know that this book offers insight into:
- how to look for a job in advertising,
- how to write a copy,
- how to do research, and much more.
While you are at it, pick up Ogilvy’s book “Confessions of an Advertising Man” as well.
6. “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley
The idea behind this book is to show you how to attract clients and keep them. While the previous books on this list were mainly classics, Everybody Writes is a contemporary book that takes into account the hyperproduction of content.
It elaborates on the fact that every single person who has an online presence. It is a useful guide about how to write well and set yourself apart from the competition.
7. “The Super Mega Brainy Bundle” by Joanna Wiebe
This is a bundle of 6 books that are somewhere between the books and workbooks. They are written by one of the masterminds behind the Copyhackers website, Joanna Wiebe.
Joanna teaches how to connect to the reader and relay your message in the most efficient way. She deals with the details of your content and the fine ways of crafting your message. It is one of the best books for modern copywriters.
8. “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield
Many writers, copywriters and content writers own, read and re-read this book. The reason behind it is the fact that it deals with the writing reality in a practical way. Pressfield examines the procrastination in writing, the everyday struggle to start and complete a project.
You will learn how to grow from an amateur to a professional by following the strategies from this book. And then you’ll have to read it again the next year.
9. “How to Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab
Another classic that has that timeless value. This book is an elaborate study of every step of the advertisement crafting process. It doesn’t just give you the examples of good headlines that work – it also explains why they work.
Similarly to that, it doesn’t just show you good examples, but lists bad, as well. Schwab had his own, successful ad agency and knew all about importance of testing. Luckily for us, he shares his wisdom about it in this book, as well.
10. “The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy
Dan Kennedy is one of the copywriting superstars that had immense success in writing sales letters. This book is a must-read for beginners and the advanced copywriters alike. It breaks down Kennedy’s process of writing a sales letter in simple words.
In that regard, it is easy to understand even for copywriting newbies. If you read it as a seasoned copywriter, you will see that those principles behind his process are highly advanced.
11. “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word” by Joseph Sugarman
Sugarman’s textbook lays out a solid copywriting plan in three phases: explaining how to write a good copy, explaining why it works so well, and examples of good copy. It is a nicely structured book that draws you back to re-read it with every new client you land.
Why would you read what Sugarman has to say? He is one of the most persuasive copywriters of all times. He is famous for being able to sell less-than-useful merchandise to a wide audience and to do it over and over again.
12. “All Marketers are Liars” by Seth Godin
This book is a great resource for copywriters that are not all about aggressive marketing. Seth Godin explains how marketing strategy built around the product needs to create a win-win situation for both business and the buyer. He teaches the understanding of the customer’s needs and the ability to present the product in question as a logical solution.
13. “Reality in Advertising” by Rosser Reeves
This is one of the classics of advertising. When it was published in the 60s, it was at the top of the book bestselling charts for weeks. Even today, it is a part of the curriculum at the Harvard School of Business.
Sometimes, people speculate whether the tactics from this books still work. Either way, it remains precious resource for anybody who wants to be in advertising.
14. “Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got” by Jay Abraham
Jay Abraham managed to skyrocket from ‘nobody’ to super wealthy in a very short amount of time. His success was so staggering that people wanted to know how he did it. This is a book in which he explains his strategies and ideas. So, this is an actual blueprint to success from a person who did it themselves.
15. “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
This book is more about psychology and human interaction than anything else. It is an important book for anybody who wants to be able to send their message loud and clear, that is – all copywriters.
Carnegie writes about the art of listening, winning people over with your message and do it without causing stir-ups. The book is brimming with amazing ideas and life lessons.
Your experience with these books will be much better and much more useful if you already have some background in copywriting.
Therefore, your first step should be a good copywriting course to lay the base for advanced ideas that increase your copywriter salary.
Start your copywriting career with a high-quality course from Small Revolution.
Photo by Christina Morillo