The Top 10 Best Copywriting Books
You can't be a great copywriter unless you study the masters. The genius copywriters whose books have become classics are must-reads for anyone who wants to take their writing to the next level.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a career as a copywriter is to immerse yourself in books written by the copywriting legends.
Below is a list of top copywriting books that can help you improve your skills.
Top 10 Best Copywriting Books
There is an amazing wealth of great copywriting books on the market today. This curated list of books stands out as the best among them.
1. The Copywriters Handbook by Robert W. Bly
The Copywriter's Handbook is an essential handbook and a great place to start. This book is for freelancers, copywriters, creative directors, marketers, anyone who is writing copy.
Bly offers a series of great copywriting tips that will become part of your everyday writing process.
This fourth edition has been revised to include copywriting for digital marketing including how to write content marketing, videos, and landing page conversions.
This book will become like an old friend you turn to when you need advice.
2. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads by Luke Sullivan
This book is a great resource for copywriters who need up-to-date digital skills in the digital age. Sullivan writes about how to get started in the industry and how to build successful campaigns.
He brings an honest, authentic look to the sometimes tough advertising business and gives his own real-world perspective.
His book dives into branding and how to create brand experiences online. Witty and informal, this guide covers all digital, social, and traditional media.
Make sure you add this one to your book collection.
3. Elements of Style by Strunk & White
Talk about standing the test of time, this book was first published in 1935 by Oliver Strunk and has been universally known as the gold standard for writing style.
Your foundation as a writer must be built on good grammar and proper usage of the English language so you will find everything you need to know in this slim revised fourth edition.
4. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy
Considered the "father of advertising," David Ogilvy wrote this international bestseller that became the bible for anyone whose job was to write copy.
Seriously a creative genius, Ogilvy wrote the book on branding and also gives insights into PR, marketing, and how you need to understand the world of business before you can sell products through advertising.
5. The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert
The Boron Letters is uniquely written from the perspective of letters to his son explaining the secrets of persuasion.
Considered a jewel among books about copywriting, The Boron Letters effectively offers actionable copywriting tips that can be immediately used in your writing.
Easy to read and absorb, Boron's book will improve your copywriting skills and keep you coming back to those dogeared pages.
6. Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Copywriting is all about persuasion. Understanding the intricacies of the psychology of persuasion and incorporating these concepts into your writing will greatly enhance your success as a writer. Writing for advertising is an art form.
Cialdini's highly acclaimed bestseller dives into why people say yes and how to apply this to your everyday business and personal life.
You must read Cialdini's Universal Principles of Influence backed up by his 35 years of evidence-based, scientific research.
Understanding how to influence is a key component of writing to persuade and should be an important part of your writer's toolkit.
7. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman
Joe Sugarman is regarded as a legend in the field of copywriting so no list of the best copywriting books would be complete without mentioning this essential handbook.
His books explain how to motivate and move people to buy, taking customers from passive to purchase.
His guidelines and copywriting tips will prove invaluable to any writer who needs a mentor.
8. Words That Sell by Richard Bayan
Richard Bayans book comes with 75 powerful lists of words that have been proven to sell. He offers alternatives for over-used and tired words and beefs up your linguistic library.
As a copywriter, you are always looking for the right words to persuade your reader.
Bayans book is a crash course for copywriters who are stuck or just need a fresh look at how to entice readers with the most influential words.
9. Copywriting Secrets by Jim Edwards
Copywriting Secrets focuses on copywriting as selling. He covers all aspects of selling via writing for social media, online, offline, direct mail, or in-video. and gives examples of how to make your readers click, call, or PayPal based on your words.
This book is filled with street-smart copywriting tips that will take you from a good copywriter to a great copywriter.
Regardless of skill level, Edwards teaches you how to write in a way that will have a profound difference on your ability to influence and make money through your copywriting skills.
10. Finding the Write Message by Jennifer Havice
Jennifer Havice focuses on customer research and how this will help you determine the right message to send through your writing.
Havice, a messaging strategist, and customer-driven copywriter teaches you how to ask the right questions so you can find out what your customers want and what messages make them respond.
This book is filled with templates, examples, and case studies so you will have a complete understanding of how to incorporate customer research into your copywriting plan.
11. The Art of the Click by Glenn Fisher
The Art of the Click is all about direct-response advertising. Fisher is a seasoned copywriter who covers topics such as "where to find inspiration" and "how you can write irresistible offers that no one can refuse".
Written and read to you entertainingly and engagingly, Fisher will fill you in on industry secrets to improve your copywriting game.
Don't forget about audiobooks. Now you can listen and learn while you are driving to the grocery store or exercising with your earbuds.
If it is hard finding time to read, audiobooks may be the answer for you.
Your Copywriting Toolkit
If you take the time to read the books on our list, (and you should if you're serious about becoming a copywriter), you will learn about copywriting, advertising, direct-response, influence psychology, writing style, and customer research.
Every great copywriter knows the importance of reading books about their trade and continuing their education to learn and update their skills.
Why Copywriting School?
In addition to improving your knowledge through reading important books, every budding copywriter should consider attending an Ad school or copywriting school.
There is much value in working with talented instructors who can teach you how to apply all the knowledge you have gained.
Some of the things a good copywriting school can offer are convenient online classes where you can learn at your own pace and study topics that are targeted to your needs and experience level.
The San Francisco School of Copywriting gives copywriters the extra edge needed to be successful in a competitive but lucrative field.
Typical classes offered are:
How to Choose the Best Copywriting School
During your search for the best ad school to attend you should look for a few things that will help ensure you have made the right decision.
Make sure the staff is made up of seasoned and successful copywriters that can share their experiences with you.
Most people are working full-time; studying at the same time requires flexible class times to fit your schedule. Are classes online, in-person, or both? Is the location and commute time ideal?
Are the courses broad or more specific to your writing needs and style? For example, if you are interested in becoming a direct response writer, does the school offer classes that focus specifically on this area?
After all, your hard work, does the school offer a certificate of study completion so you have a credential to add to your resume?
Find out what previous students are saying about the school you are interested in. Reviews from copywriters who have completed the program will give you a good idea if the school is the right fit for you.
Making the Write Decision
When you're armed with all the tools you need to become a great copywriter, your copywriting skills will really start to pay off for you.
Today's market needs people who can write well for advertising, content marketing, and branding.
Reading copywriting books written by experts and attending the perfect ad school can change your life as a copywriter.
Contact the San Francisco School of Copywriting to try a free course and you will be on your way to next-level copywriting.