Five Terrific Books for Copywriters

Looking To Write Copy? Learn From The Best.

Copywriting isn't easy. There are certain rules to follow (and break), words to use, and it's a talent you have to develop over time. These books will help you hone your copywriting skills and move toward a successful copywriting career. Although these books may not be the newest on the block, they contain a ton of wisdom from some of the greatest advertising minds ever to put pen to paper (or these days, finger to keyboard).

Words That Sell

By Richard Bayan, McGraw Hill, ISBN 0809247992 - Can't seem to find the right words to truly capture your target audience? This book is a library of powerful words you can use in emails, websites, sales letters, direct mail, print ads, commercials and more. 

Whether you're a fledgling copywriter still cutting your teeth, or a veteran with 20+ years in the field, this book gives you access to those words that capture the attention of prospective customers everywhere. Updated to include over 6,000 entries, you will be hard pressed to find a better book that gives you such quick and easy access to a shopping list of killer buzz words. 

The Copywriter's Handbook

By Robert W. Bly, Henry Holt and Company, ISBN 0805011943 - Perhaps the most famous copywriter of all, Bob Bly walks you through the many facets of copywriting in this essential guide. Whether you're looking for a freelance gig or you're ready to start your career in an ad agency, everything from creating writing samples to how to succeed is fully explained.

If you need any further reason to pick up a copy of this excellent book, the front cover is adorned with one of the most powerful recommendations ever given:

"I don't know a single copywriter whose work would not be improved by reading this book. And that includes me." - David Ogilvy.

Teach Yourself Copywriting

By J. Jonathan Gabey, McGraw Hill, ISBN 0658012010 - Anyone can write copy. However, copy that sells is another matter entirely. Copywriters, promotion directors, art directors, designers, and anyone wanting to improve their writing skills can benefit from this guide. The updated version includes Email and Internet marketing tools as well, which are essential in today's online-obsessed world. 

Written in a very entertaining style, Teach Yourself Copywriting runs the gamut on copy guidance. Inside, you'll find a plethora of information on copy for radio, TV, print, slogans, direct mail, the Internet, public relations, recruitment, and even slogans for charity. This is one book that belongs on every writer's bookshelf. 

The Elements of Copywriting

By Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly, Longman, ISBN 0028626303 - Another book in the list from the great Bob Bly, and just as important as The Copywriter's Handbook, this straightforward approach to writing copy is as relevant today as it was when it was first published.

Tackle the tricks of the trade. Gain tips on how to write all types of marketing materials. Discover the benefits of short, punchy sentences. And of course, learn how to write punchy copy for testimonials, guarantees, and even coupons. 

Phrases That Sell

By Edward Werz and Sally Germain, McGraw Hill, ISBN 0809229773 - Building on the number one choice, Words That Sell, this book identifies over 5,000 phrases you can use in your advertising materials and gives you the "10 Basic Rules of Copywriting."

A great companion to Words That Sell, this book is the ultimate phrase finder, and can be invaluable when you have writer's block, or cannot seem to find that great turn of phrase that will turn your copy from good, to great.