Since the birth of the Internet, the books are proclaimed dead with particular regularity. Copywriting seems especially unsuitable for book format.
But here’s the trick:
Blogs have their drawbacks. Here are just some of them:
- Anecdotal. The claims made on the Web are impressive, but can you trust them?
- Lacking authority. Having no copywriting legend to back every passage does not automatically prove them wrong, but it would be nice to know the author’s portfolio.
- Pitch-heavy. It’s sometimes hard to spot the idea behind all those buzzwords.
To release you from elaborate research, here’s a list of 60 books on copywriting that will help you master several of its aspects:
- Persuasive Online Copywriting
- Catalog Copy that Sizzles
- Wired for Story
- Net Worlds
- Adweek Copywriting Handbook
- The Ultimate Sales Letter
- The Online Copywriter’s Handbook
- Words that Sell
- Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This
- D&AD Copy Book
- The Boron Letters
- On Writing Well
- Copy Logic!
- Read Me: 10 Lessons for Writing Great Copy
- The Elements of Style
- The Well-Fed Writer: Back for Seconds
- Creating Fat Content
- The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells
- Letting Go of the Words
- The War of Art
- The Art and Craft of Feature Writing
- The Idea Writers
- The Fortune Cookie Principle
- Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
- Type and Layout
- The Tall Lady with the Iceberg
A good starting point for those of you who search for information on copywriting specifically crafted for the Internet use. It teaches how to make readers subscribe or buy from your source with the help of web copywriting.
Want to know how to attract more clicks? And learn about some useful writing tools? This one is for you then.
Catalog copywriting for the web can be tough, most of all because you need to write dozens of similar texts. Imagine, there’s a big supply of otter gear or knitting hats in your store. Find out how to make your content writing sell.
Less is more. Want to know how to achieve maximal effect in under 50 words? Grab a copy and find out.
Instead of focusing on aesthetic properties of writing, Lisa Cron suggests neuroscience as a basis for building an engaging story. She describes many processes happening in the brain when perceiving information.
All top copywriters understand and use psychology in their daily writing. You can do the same by reading this book.
Instead of praising copywriting—a common approach to copywriting book titles—Nick Usborne gives a thorough review of the techniques that do not work and gives reasons why that is so.
Nick Usborne has also written dozens of articles recommended for every copywriter to read. In writing, he focuses on online marketing, especially web content and newsletters composing.
A practical guide to writing a successful text from the industry legend Joseph Sugarman. Some theses may be outdated, but the message of success is invaluable to this day.
Ready to perform some training? Learn to research topics, analyze competitors’ websites, and develop fresh ideas with this handbook.
A focused insight into one of shorter forms of written texts—business letters. Dan Kennedy provides excellent examples of good and inadequate strategies and offers samples of copywriting any business can adopt.
Working on a blog, you need also know a lot of stuff aside usual article writing. This book teaches how to make graphics fit the page and what headlines’ formulas to use for better SEO.
A classical work by Robert Bly, updated and revised to address the specifics of digitalization. It contains everything you need to know from the absolute essentials to subtle details useful for experienced copywriters.
Writing for web doesn’t resemble writing for other genres and purposes. In the book, you may find a lot of advertising secrets to using for the better banner, e-mail, home pages, and landing pages composing.
One of the most searchable copywriting ebooks out there, Richard Bayan’s work provides an exhaustive list of valid synonyms and terms to create an ultimately successful experience.
Technically, it consists of around 80 lists for various selling purposes. Make your copywriting ads more efficient with those unique grabbers, techniques, strategies, and benefits.
What does a copywriter do with the rapidly changing professional field? They change their approach, style, and tricks. And do that the best.
A fascinating take on the modern copywriting environment, this book by Luke Sullivan, Sam Bennett, and Edward Boches will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the advertising in the digital age. It shows what features have stayed the same when digital copywriting has developed, and what tricks won’t work anymore.
An iconic book by D&AD on writing advertising texts, this edition is updated to include information relevant to SEO copywriting, recent case studies, and insights from numerous copywriting celebrities.
48 leading professionals in advertising shared their approaches and tips to writing, and you can find them all in these guidelines.
A collection of letters written by Gary Halbert to his son combine the wisdom and professional grip with passion and friendliness—a combination which creates one of the best books on copywriting.
If you’re interested how the famous copywriter spent his daily routine and what tricks he used to stay motivated, you should analyze those letters.
If you feel that your writing lacks clarity and precision, here’s the kicker: a witty and smart book of advice on improving your writing without disrupting the style. A book written by William Zinsser.
You don’t need any particular software to apply his tips—always find a central idea of the topic; focus on issues that matter; use precise description, or omit clichés and unnecessary details.
An A-level copy in under 24 hours is impossible, right? Not anymore, according to Masterson and Palmer, who are ready to defend their position with evidence.
This book is a practical tutorial with step-by-step instructions. It is useful for students in marketing and amateur writers.
It may look like just another of many copywriting books for beginners, but the advice it offers is actually trickier than they sound and will be equally compelling for seasoned copywriters.
Check out this book written by Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood.
A practical reminder by W. Jr. Strunk and E.B. White on the absolute essentials for every copywriter. The best part? Its PDF version is completely free for download.
The book gives many beneficial tips on how to use grammar and develop your perfect writing style. For example, it advises to avoid passive voice, needless words, and breaking sentences into parts.
An updated edition of a brilliant guide by a successful freelance writer Peter Bowerman. Easily one of the best books to learn copywriting thanks to its applicability and style.
Learn more on commercial writing including newsletters, landing pages, banners, brochures, and speeches creating.
A successful course created by Dr. Andy Williams and updated to match the changes introduced by Google in the recent years is now available as a book. It will give you an idea of what constitutes good content and how to write the content your customers want to see.
One of the top copywriting books, the work by Robert Bly remains relevant despite the changes associated with digital age.
The author investigates typical issues that bother copywriters and help to resolve them. He answers such questions like: What is a perfect outline for a sale letter? How to make text look nice in a brochure? How to increase the readability of the text?
Appearance is important, but the content is vital. Janice Redish explains how to design a web source that would attract visitors by giving the desired answers.
This informative and affordable guide also makes it clear what is excellent for your SEO and how to handle it even if you’re a beginner.
While it does not contain information on copywriting, Pressfield’s book aligns well with it concerning advice and general aesthetics.
Steven Pressfield is known for its historical and non-fiction novels. He also wrote screenplays for King Kong Lives (1986) and Above the Law (1988).
With a strong emphasis on storytelling, William Blundell details his writing experience and gives useful tips in one of the best books for copywriters.
You’ll learn where to find inspiration, how to satisfy readers expectations (and why it’s essential), what rules to follow for a perfect outline, and how to make proper quotations of other people or publications.
Instead of focusing on advice from a particular copywriting legend, this book gives us an overview of the evolution of the concept from the leaders of the past to the newest ideas.
Going to compose a cover letter or post a Tweet? Remember, your content will compete with all other sources online. This and other innovative ideas are presented in the book. Without the understanding of these concepts, it can be challenging to engage in digital writing.
A good story is essential for success. Now: does it mean it will work for the brand image? Bernadette Jiwa says it does, and describes how exactly it should be done.
The author illustrates the way many companies turn their copywriting into means of attracting clients. She shares the main principles of professional writing for brands, and teach to use them correctly.
In the world of online communication, everyone is a writer dealing with the same opportunities and barriers. This book by Ann Handley is a comprehensive checklist to succeed in the age of content.
With this e-book, you can practice credible writing based on easy grammar tricks. The author teaches to use empathy in writing and understand customers’ needs.
This is a collection of brilliant design decisions and warnings against wrong ones–gathered in just one source by Colin Wheildon.
With the help of case studies and other statistics, the author analyzes various types of writing and outlines. In the book, you can find the best of them proven with official investigations.
Intended for movie scriptwriters, this book by Robert McKee has a surprising potential for those interested in sales, offering tips on the emotions behind words and the role of customer.
Robert McKee provides courses and seminars on specific marketing topics. He included this information in the book that is much cheaper than attending the lectures.
In copywriting, simplicity is highly acclaimed yet hard-gained. Anne Miller’s book will provide you with the instructions on how to create a perfect metaphor. It gives a lot of information on abstract ideas and business communication. If you want to persuade customers more professionally and sell your product without efforts, you need to spend a lot of time learning to write as a specialist, and this book will teach you how to accomplish that.
- Tested Advertising Methods
- Breakthrough Advertising
- Scientific Advertising
- Advertising Secrets of the Written World
- Ogilvy on Advertising
- Scientific Advertising
Successful ad copywriting may be tricky—it often goes beyond intuitive assumptions and requires scientific basis.
You can learn more than 50 methods to apply to your marketing projects, various tips on headlines’ writing, and ways to reach customers. A work by Jonh Caples delivers this—and more.
This book by Eugene M. Schwartz and Martin Edelston might be among the most sought for—and for a reason. The author’s solid psychological background is backed up with copywriting examples in audio format from practitioners in the field.
The point is: human psychology doesn’t change even when centuries pass by. You can use many tricks in your advertising that would have worked years ago, and they will still work.
This one surely is outdated, right? Wrong. The essentials of advertising laid out in easy and informative manner age surprisingly well. That’s why this book by Claude Hopkins should be a must for those of you pursuing copywriting jobs.
When based on scientific approach instead of guesses and hope for magic, your marketing business gets an enormous potential. Try to find out what’s the best option: perform tests and decide what tactic to choose or guess one that you like more? This book will teach you everything about the first type of advertising.
If you’d have to pick just one book to start your career as a copywriter–you would not need to look any further. An entertaining yet useful copywriting material from Sugarman will give you a head start and leave on a reasonable basis to go on.
How do you become a copywriter? You learn a lot and do hundreds of exercises to polish your skills of persuasion, content development, proofreading, individual approach, customer avatar creating, and so on.
A solid work in advertising, marketing, and branding by Mark Shaw may be somewhat hard for inexperienced readers, but those who will persist will be rewarded.
Instead of taking a straightforward approach to describing the copywriting services, Drew Eric Whitman shows you the perspective of the educated consumer.
The author reveals many secrets of a successful advertiser. Which one? He tells how to develop excellent promotional materials without a copywriting diploma, make your customers buy without even knowing they were pushed to the decision, and test your text on the chances to be a successful selling tool.
Finding a job in advertising can be unbearably difficult. This book helps to understand the basic concepts of a super-marketer every company is waiting for. It can be useful not only for those who advertise but for those who want to hire a specialist for their business as well.
In the end, the copy is intended to be sold—and to do it right, we will need both a powerfull theory and a real-life experience, which Ogilvy readily provides.
Free copywriting ebooks are rare, and probably none of them matches the one by Claude Hopkins either in its acclaim or wit. A step-by-step guide which covers all aspects of the business with unmistakable humor and passion for storytelling.
- Irresistible Offer
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
- The Long Tail
- Robin Hood Marketing
- Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead
- The New Rules of Marketing and PR
- Permission Marketing
- Integrated Marketing Communications
Copywriting is a dynamic field which needs to keep up with modern trends to stay afloat. The work by Mark Joyner will provide you with necessary insights into modern marketing.
Want to learn how to apply marketing strategies to your business easily? Then, read this collection of illustrated case studies and find out where they can help you sell the product. It presents a lot of basic knowledge but also make many professionals think of some extra tricks.
The whole world of marketing boiled down to 22 surprisingly deep laws that will allow you to assess your chosen copywriting strategy–and more. A book by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
Writing a great copy isn’t everything. Even with excellent selling materials, you can still lose to your competitors. Why? Find out in this guide. And never forget to apply tools presented in the book to make your work more effective.
Most copywriting books focus on a successful product and pay little attention to its positioning. This book by Al Ries, Jack Trout and Philip Cotler set the record straight.
The guide can give you practical tips on how to use competitors’ weaknesses to make your business thrive.
The Digital Age changed the behavior of consumers, principles of marketing, distribution, and even manufacture. What’s the bottom line? Copywriters must catch up, and the book by Chris Anderson is a good head start.
The book includes a lot of statistics and case studies that make everyone to reflect on their own business.
Ever noticed how inefficient non-profit copies can be compared to those of big businesses? Here’s the trick from Katya Andresen: just steal them!
There is a broad range of case studies to show you how to “steal” these successful ideas and apply them to your business—no matter what you sell.
Sometimes to achieve success, you need to break some rules. And what’s the best place to find an example? Rock music industry. The Grateful Dead allowed fans to record their tracks and sold tickets directly to them. They never got any significant income from their albums and earned money only by giving concerts. How did they manage to earn anything? Know in the book written by marketing gurus David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan.
It’s simple: today, once you harness the opportunities presented by digital communication, you’re at the top of the food chain. To do this, you need to learn several copywriting tips, customers’ psychology, and create high-quality texts. This book by David Meerman Scott has just the thing to help you.
According to Seth Godin, the current “interruption” marketing model must go. Businesses must instead seek customer’s permission to communicate. An offer by Godin also makes its first 4 chapters free.
A seminal work on the shift from the mass media marketing to a more specific, customer-focused variety to address the modern fragmented market. As a marketing specialist, you need to know how to eliminate common fears customers have when they buy a new product, and even use this fear to your advantage.
This book by Don E. Schultz, Stanley I. Tannenbaum, and Robert F. Lauterborn may help a lot.
- The Art of the Pitch
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
- Crucial Conversation Tools for Talking when Stakes are High
- Influence: Psychology of Persuasion
- Made to Stick
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- Trust Agents
Ever noticed that your presentation lacks pitch? Coughter’s book gives you an opportunity to improve that–and not get bored in the process. It teaches you to communicate with your customers as a professional, make top presentations, attract the attention of your audience, and behave naturally on the scene during a speech.
With Harvard Negotiation Project as its basis, the book will explain to you what a successful negotiation is, and show you the best way to achieve it. The book is written by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton.
This is not a copywriting book per se, but its take on the mastery of language will certainly be useful for anyone in the field. As a marketing professional, you need to be sure in your communicative skills such as transforming negative emotions into an opportunity to sell your services. Read this book created by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.
Ever wondered why your obviously successful plan failed? Chip and Dan Heath break it down for you, and offer advice on how to improve it.
It’s a powerful book that provides a 4-step instruction for making better decisions.
A book by Robert B. Cialdini on persuasion techniques which combines effectiveness and accessibility. Will be of use for copywriters seeking to improve their mastery of words. Persuasion is art and skill that demands a lot of efforts. You can learn how to make someone say “yes” to your advertising content with the help of this tutorial.
Ever wondered why some stories become popular while others sink into oblivion? This book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath will explain it to you–and teach how to create your own sticking texts.
The author transmits a unique insight into sales and content development. Even a professional writer can fund exciting ideas in this guidebook.
The essence of influence and persuasion, Carnegie’s seminal work deserves its place in our list of copywriting books.
Learn 12 new approaches to persuade people to accept your ideas and several ways to make people like you.
Sales today are all about gaining the trust of consumers armed with modern research tools of the Internet. The authors Chris Brogan and Julien Smith describe the fortunate experience of existing businesses and explain how you can reach the same effect.
- Empower Your Writing
- 2k to 10k
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
- It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be
- The Synonym Finder
- Bird by Bird
- Ignore Everybody
- On Writing
If you still struggle with the lack of organization in writing, this book will set your work straight. Farnoosh Brock offers a collection of useful habits, tips, and provocative questions to boost your productivity without taking the fun away from the process. This book will show you the typical mistakes every beginner makes in their writing.
As the title suggests, this book will help you raise your daily word count without sacrificing the quality. Rachel Aaron offers a five-step method developed and verified by her that requires little to no changes and yields impressive five-fold boost.
Improve your outlining skills and learn to write like a pro. Although the author creates fiction most of the time, her tips are perfect for any types of writing.
Rather than providing direct advice on writing, Seth Godin will help you in this book to attain the level of creativity needed to stand out in a competitive environment that is copywriting.
If you lack motivation or feel frustrated at work, reading this book can help you to get the energy for further development.
A step-by-step guide by Paul Arden on how to overcome barriers and reach success in just about any endeavor.
The book consists of persuading statistics, unique facts, and unforgettable quotes that will help you to do the best for your personal growth and professional skills.
A source of inspiration by J.I.Rodale rather than an effective reference material, the paper edition of thesaurus may give you a much-needed boost. The dictionary has an alphabetic arrangement that is comfortable to use and is appropriate for any writing genre.
Increase your word-stock to become the best fiction, content, or SEO writer.
If you are tired of a constant pursuit of sales, this book by Anne Lamott may be just the relief you seek. An insightful story of creative writing that will provide you with advice and support if you ever feel short of words.
A collection of unconventional wisdom from Hugh MacLeod to help you think out of the box from an experienced copywriter. Learn new ways to discover inspiration every single day at work and home. Work on yourself and your creativity, and there will be no topic you’ll not be able to write a great piece of copy about.
Say what you want about Stephen King, but there are two things you cannot deny: he is prolific, and his books sell like crazy. Want to know how he does it? It’s all here covered by Stephen King himself.
Read the biography of this popular writer, and learn that failures always lead to winnings if you keep trying.
While the list above may be incomplete, it offers more than enough for those of you who want to boost their skills, find a missed opportunity, or simply get a view on a familiar problem from the fresh perspective. You may not see all of the suggested books on copywriting useful for your purpose–but this is hardly surprising. Writing is diverse, and even those of you working in the same industry may come up with radically different solutions to the same problem.
What’s the bottom line?
There’s more to copywriting than just creating a copy that sells. In fact, there’s more to it than this list can cover. But hopefully, it will show you the trade of choice from an unfamiliar angle. So go ahead, grab a book that intrigued you–whether it is one of the free copywriting books or a paid edition–you are sure not to come up empty-handed.