By far, the most common question I’m asked is some variation of “What should I read to improve my copywriting skills?”
So I don’t have to keep answering the same question over and over, I’ve decided to list my favorite books and reading material in one place.
If you take the time to read this stuff, I guarantee you’ll be far more knowledgeable than 99% of all the other marketers and copywriters out there.
But first, you need to understand that this information will help you become a better direct response sales copy writer.
If you’re looking for tips on how to write cute articles for your blog, how to become an “SEO copywriter” (don’t make me gag) or for easy “formulas” that promise to make writing easier, this list ain’t for you.
However, if you want to learn how to sell crap loads of products and services using the secrets of master salesmanship in print, keep reading. If you want to write hard-hitting ads that whip consumers into hungry mobs that are desperate to buy, you’re in the right place.
Direct response marketing, although a microscopic sub-niche within the massive worldwide advertising industry, generates billions and billions of dollars every year.
Get good at it, and some of those billions of dollars can be yours.
Below you’ll find my list of recommended material, along with a brief description and links where you can purchase or access each item (not affiliate links, by the way).
I’ve put them in the order I think you should read them.
Let’s get started…
Ross Trittipo’s Favorite Reading Material For Sales Copy, Marketing, Advertising And Business
A fantastic introduction to direct response marketing that is easy to understand and enjoyable to read.
Of special interest is a detailed explanation about the sorry state of modern marketing, how it got so bad, and what you can do to fix it.
The definitive quick-start guide to writing powerful sales copy for websites, info-products, print ads and all other types of marketing.
Combined with what you’ll learn in Monopolize Your Marketplace, your education is 80% complete from these two books alone.
Fascinating compilation of real-life letters that sales copy legend Gary Halbert sent to his youngest son while incarcerated in California’s Boron Federal Prison.
This book contains invaluable marketing and sales secrets that expound upon lessons learned from the first two books in this list.
Must-read insider secrets that teach you how to build upon your new sales copy skills and how to implement what you’ve learned.
Sales letters come in many forms: Landing pages, emails, resumes, direct mail advertisements and more. This book shows you how to compose killer sales letters that people will actually want to read.
Another must-read masterpiece that makes direct marketing seem simple. Chock full of wonderful advice and sales secrets.
No B.S. is a great resource for all marketers, but especially those of you who might have worries or confusion about direct marketing.
This is the granddaddy of them all… Tested Advertising Methods is one of the first books available to the public that dug deep into the secrets of selling and advertising.
All other books on this list are basically extensions of this one. Nearly 100 years old, it’s a classic that still packs a serious punch.
All serious markets need to read this book at some point.
Uplifting instructions for getting what you want without trampling over others and burning bridges.
How to Win Friends is nearly 70 years old, but don’t discount the valuable advice. What you learn here directly relates to writing world class sales copy.
And you just might become a better person in the process.
This one might be hard to find, but if you can get your hands on a copy, it’s worth its weight in gold.
Not only is it stuffed to the gills with information that’s worth entire kingdoms, it’s a near perfect example of how sales copy should look and read.
After all, it was written by the legendary Gary Halbert.
Written by Grand Cardone, who some see as a little over-the-top, The 10x Rule is nevertheless a powerful little book that will show you exactly how hard you need to work to become successful.
Cardone targets his advice to sales professionals and business owners, but it translates easily to the world of direct response sales copy. I highly recommend it.
Like The 10X Rule, The E-Myth Revisited wasn’t written with sales copy writers in mind. However, it’s a can’t-miss book that teaches how to run a business, so you should read it anyway.
Even if you don’t own a business and don’t intend to start one, the lessons learned here will show you how important consistency, quality and accountability are, which all directly relate to your skills as a marketer.
This is actually a website. Honestly it’s a little hard to figure out at first, but spend a few minutes poking around and you’ll get the hang of it.
It’s a treasure trove of free direct response secrets from the world’s best writers. You must check it out.
The following books don’t directly relate to sales copy, but you’ll be better off if you read them.
Classic marketing book with all kinds of little nuggets and ideas you can use.
Especially useful when combined with direct response techniques.
For some reason this isn’t a well known book, but I absolutely love it. Like Duct Tape Marketing, it will give you barrels full of ideas that, when combined with direct response techniques, become extremely powerful and effective.
A feel-good “cult classic” that teaches business people what should be motivating them. Once you figure out what motivates you, it’s much easier to be successful.
How to Fly a Horse is extremely valuable to anyone who creates; artists, musicians and writers can all benefit.
Personally, it helped me figure out a foolproof way to overcome writer’s block.
The Equivalent Of A College Education On Your Own Time And For A Fraction Of The Cost
There is so much to learn in these books, they are the equivalent of a college education. And the best part? They are affordable and you can read them in your spare time
I’ve listed 15 books. With an average price of $20 a piece, that’s a measly three hundred bucks. And you’ll learn things that aren’t taught in any school.
Here’s a fact for you: Every single one of the best direct response sales copy writers this world has ever known are completely self taught.
Maybe they went to school for something…but it wasn’t for direct response sales copy writing. That, they had to learn on their own. Then they got very, very rich.
The list above will teach you everything you need to know to become one of the best.
If you’re into marketing, would you rather spend five figures on a degree you’ll probably never use, or three hundred bucks on a stack of books that could make you a multi-millionaire many times over?
The choice is yours.
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