Have you noticed that some of the greatest entrepreneurs and most successful people of all times were voracious readers?
Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey, Enver Yucel, Steve Jobs and more. No matter how busy their schedule, they always found time for a book.
Warren Buffet reads over 600 pages each day. Elon Musk learnt to build a rocket by reading books. Mark Zuckerberg made a plan to read a book every two weeks in 2015.
Mark Cuban devotes 3 hours every day to reading. Bill Gates goes through roughly 50 books every year.
Research by Tom Corley, the author of Rich Habits shows that 85% of successful people read two or more educational or self-improvement books every month.
When you read copywriting books, you’re gaining valuable insight. It’s like going behind the scene of the greatest minds and jumping the line right to the top.
Whether you’re writing your 1000th blog post, struggling with a sales letter or learning how to craft the perfect cold email, these copywriting books provide a wealth of information that will help you become a great copywriter.
15 Copywriting Books To Improve Your Writing Skills
1. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
Caples was one of the greatest copywriters and Admen of the 20th century.
Did you notice that David Ogilvy wrote the foreword?
John Caples was famous for one of the best advertising headlines, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano, but when I started to play!”
He believed that marketers should test every element of a campaign and provided 35 proven formulas for crafting the perfect headline. It also details how to run marketing tests and create a call to action.
While this copywriting book was published before the age of the internet, all the lessons Caples teach in the book are relevant today. He uses simple words everyone will understand to spread his message.
2. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugerman
When you read this book, you will learn how to motivate your target audience to take action. Joseph Sugerman provides a top-notch reference for effective copywriting that sells products.
It is a must-have for copywriters who want to write concise and creative ad copies. This book is a guideline on all the rules that businesses, copywriters and marketers must follow to get sales.
3. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz
This is one of my favourite copywriting books. I recommend it to every business owner, marketer, advertiser, copywriter and anyone who has trouble selling a product.
Eugene Schwartz will help you increase sales. He writes about the importance of the headline to grab the audience’s attention and taking time to craft a memorable headline.
Apart from the headline, he teaches you how to sustain the reader’s attention, get them to read until the end and hit the call-to-action button.
Schwartz also emphasizes the importance of connecting with your audience on a personal level by empathizing with their feeling.
4. How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab
Victor Schwab says that the reader will only read the headline for the first 2-3 seconds. Your copy must answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
Cutting right to the chase, he explains human psychology, sizing your ad, when to choose a long copy vs a short copy, running split tests, effective headlines examples and conducting a comprehensive research.
5. The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
Known as the grandmaster of copywriting, Gary Halbert was a legend who made and lost millions. The Boron Letters is a series of letters from Gary to his son. It covers proper diet, routine, regular exercises, and general wellness.
He touches on identifying the “starving crowd” who need your product. He identifies ways to write a great copy, the importance of split testing, CTAs and the AIDA model that communicates value to your audience.
6. This Book Will Teach You to Write Better – Neville Medhora
If you want a short read that cuts right to the core, this 56-page book by Medhora will help you. The book was praised for its conversational tone and direct approach to copywriting.
Medhora writes about the importance of writing with a human touch, not robots.
7. Ogilvy on Advertising
Did you know that AMC’s hit TV series “Mad Men” was loosely based on David Ogilvy? Noted as the father of advertising, he was known for some of the greatest ad campaigns of all time.
If you want to gain direct insight into good copywriting, you should read this book. There are words on the first page that guide my style of writing.
8. Mastering the Craft of Writing by Stephen Wilbers
Writing with clarity is the most essential skill a copywriter must-have. The best copywriters know what to emphasize. Wilber provides 52 techniques for writing better copies.
Some of the techniques include using strong verbs, removing wordiness, using punctuation for effect and structuring your paragraphs and sentences correctly.
9. Persuasive Online Copywriting by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Lisa T. Davis
There is an insatiable need for content. Millions of publishers create content every day to satisfy this need. It makes it difficult to survive and thrive as a digital marketer.
The authors of this copywriting book discuss how to get the audience to take your call to action such as subscribing to a newsletter or buying a product. They teach you how to write an effective online copy that sells.
10. The Element of Style by William Strunk Jnr
An outstanding reference for English style, this book is a short read filled with valuable information for every writer. Strunk provides examples to help you understand each principle mentioned in the book.
11. The Online Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly
He is not as popular as Caples and Ogilvy but Bly is one of the best copywriting teachers we’ve ever had. The book covers a lot of topics.
From writing headlines, emails, landing pages, web copies and everything in between. It is a required book for serious copywriters who want to excel.
12. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Technically, this is not a copywriting book but it appears on almost every list. The Heath Brothers explain how to write better books.
They share tips for sifting through the good and bad copy. You’ll learn how to incorporate emotion, credibility, simplicity, and storytelling in your copy.
13. The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
This book wasn’t written for copywriters but for consumers. It teaches your audience how to understand slick techniques copywriters used to grab sales. It calls out the manipulative tricks to help consumers stop falling prey.
For instance, it highlights the “limited time only” and other tricks you shouldn’t use in your copy. I took a deep dive into Cialdini’s book and how to use his principles of persuasion to increase conversion.
14. All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin
You’ve probably heard that storytelling is important in branding and copywriting. We don’t mean literal stories such as The Jungle Book or The Cinderella Story. It’s about matching your story to the one in the customer’s head.
Seth provides many examples to understand your customer’s story, writing call-to-actions and utilizing your powers for conversion.
15. The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier
This fabulous copywriting book contains examples of a winning ad. His circulars, sales copy, and ads have generated millions in sales.
Which of these copywriting books had the greatest impact on your career? Have you read any of the books we’ve mentioned? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.