10 Most Read Books on Copywriting

Words are powerful and can leave a lasting impact on our actions, thoughts and decisions without us knowing.  

"Make it simple.  Make it memorable.  Make it inviting to look at.  Make it fun to read."


Leo Burnett.

With the right words you can succeed at anything, and this can be done using words at the right time.  Copywriters are more aware of this than any other writer because they use words to persuade people and influence them.  

If you're new to copywriting or maybe you just need a helping hand, then why not learn from the experts.

1. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters By Joseph Sugarman

Joseph Sugarman built his multi-million dollar business with mail order sales letters, and wrote some of the funniest and most unique sales letters out there.  Which proves he can think outside the box and produce brilliant copy.

From a true master of copywriting, Sugarman shows you that you need to know your customer to be a great copywriter.  It includes some really good points of action like, you should write quickly, and how to handle lousy first drafts, and how to polish your copy like a pro. 

2. Web Copy That Sells: The Revolutionary Formula for Creating Killer Copy That Grabs Their Attention and Compels Them to Buy By Maria Veloso

Maria Veloso looks to the rise of social networks and shows you the need for newer techniques in a world where attention-grabbing has become more sophisticated than before.  Discover how to simplify key messages down to irresistible "cyber bites" and use them in Facebook ads and other interactive web banners.  Learn the most up-to-date tactics that compel customers to buy, master the art of script writing that sells.  All of these tips will help you pack a powerful punch in sales generation.

3. Ogilvy on Advertising By David Ogilvy

Time magazine called him "the most sought after wizard in the business."  Hailed as the "The father of Advertising."

Ogilvy on Advertising takes a broad look into the science and art of advertising, as well as narrowing down what makes really good advertising copy.

With many examples from different types of advertising and marketing wrapped up in one book, this book will help you understand and give you the right mindset to approach any kind of copywriting job.

4. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Advertising By Luke Sullivan

In a rapidly evolving industry, Hey Whipple, Squeeze offers updated tools to navigate the field of copywriting both in the technical world and social media landscape.  Teaching you how to tell brand stories, create content for Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.  Sullivan will enhance your creativity while sharpening your writing chops, and raise the level of your work whether you're new to the profession or already practising the profession.


5. Phrases That Sell: The Ultimate Phrase Finder to Help You Promote Your Products, Services and Ideas By Edward Werz

A word said wrongly and you lose a sale.  However, if you choose the right phrase or slogan, you can easily make a sale.  This shows you how powerful words are for success and opportunity.  Phrases That Sell is the ultimate resource for anyone who wants hands-on, instant access to key-phrases, slogans and attention grabbers that will sell more products.  Organised by category, indexed and cross-referenced for easy use.  Full of hard-to-describe product and service qualities and product/service attributes that are subtle or abstract.  You'll have no problem tackling any challenging copywriting tasks and eliminating "writer's block."

6. The Online Copywriter's Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Write Electronic Copy That Sells By Robert Bly

The birth of the internet created a unique set of rules for writing uncompromising copy.  In this authoritative guide you learn what those rules are and how they differ from normal print audiences.  This book is suitable for novices and copywriting veterans alike looking to add impact and results to their online activity, covering everything from general fundamentals of writing effective copy to distinctive copy.

7. Tested Advertising Methods By John Caples

John Caples, a legend in advertising, brings this guide to generations of creative marketing people. A classic work that has been updated by advertising consultant Fred Hahn, it still retains all the clarity, candid analysis of his time-tested experience.  Including invaluable award-winning ideas from the original copy, with current insight on the many new changes seen in the advertising industry.

8. Breakthrough Copywriter: A Field Guide to Eugene M. Schwartz Advertising Genius By Dr. Robert C. Worstell

This well regarded classic has been the go-to for many, and even made millionaires out of some.  This guide has been carefully collated to include notes of his lectures and other text to teach you how to put the power of persuasion into your copy.  You'll learn how to tap into existing demand, while being shown how to generate new demand, and how to control the audience by being their friend. 

9. Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion By Robert B.Cialdini

Psychology professor Robert Cialdini reveals the psychology of why people yes and how these insights can be applied ethically in everyday life.  Employing relatable examples, memorable stories, Cialdini explores this subject with ease.  

With Cialdini's Universal Principles of Persuasion:

  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment and Consistency
  • Social Proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity
  • Unity

This is all backed by Cialdini's 35 years of evidence-based, peer reviewed scientific research, this comprehensive guide will help move others in the direction you want them to go.

10. How to Write Seductive Web Copy: An Easy Guide to Picking Up More Customers By Henneke Duistermaat

This easy-to-read book brings you straightforward and concise insights from Henneke Duistermaat, using her 15 years of marketing in companies such as Philips Electronics.

This book can be used to write new copy for websites or just update existing web copy.  This simple guide will not only tell you how to write, but also help you decide what to write.  Copywriting and marketing experience aren't required to benefit from this book, it will help you to convert web visitors into new business leads and customers.

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Read more:

Copywriting: Hints and Tips for Various Projects

Copywriting: How to Hit the Right Tone

Copywriting: How to Use Psychologyto Engage, Influence and Sell

Copywriting: Mastering the Art of Persuasion

Copywriting: How to Polish Your Copy

Copywriting: Tools and Resources to Make Your Life Simpler

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