What are the BEST BOOKS on
Copywriting, Marketing, and Advertising
for a New Copywriter to Read?

I get this question often.  What are the BEST BOOKS for a new copywriter to read?  To get the fastest, easiest, and most profitable entry into this highly-valuable skill set?

My list is below.

First, my shameless plug…

I won’t count my book, The Copywriter’s Guide to Getting Paid, in my official top copywriting books list.  (But I will note it was featured in Bookauthority’s list of the BEST COPYWRITING BOOKS OF ALL TIME.)

I will take a moment though to tell you: if you’re looking to really make a living as a copywriter, it’s a very smart investment.  Particularly if you are interested in building a copywriting business or career (not just learning the skill).

While the coming list is about how to get good as a copywriter, mine is — as the title promises — about how to get paid.

Most books on copywriting will spend countless pages on the art and craft, yet they offer coverage of the business of copywriting only as a passing detail.  I did the exact opposite.  I chose to put together a book that tells you little-if-nothing about how to write copy.  But instead how to take all the knowledge and skills you pick up from all those other how-to books and turn it into real income.

Go here and you can get a free copy of the book, if you’ll pay just a nominal shipping and handling charge.

Okay, on to what you came for…

Here’s My Personal List of the
Must-Read, Best Books for Copywriters

Before we dig in, I need to explain.  This is NOT in order.  Don’t just go straight to #1, decide that’s what you need to be a great copywriter, and forget the rest.  (In fact, I’ve opted not to number them, for this reason.)

This is just 10 books you MUST read if you want to be a great copywriter.  And they are the BEGINNING of your journey, not the end.  Start here, and dedicate yourself to lifelong improvement.

Also, notice most books are OLD, written before the internet, some before TV and radio were viable advertising mediums.  The principles and strategies of selling and persuasion, advertising and marketing remain constant, even as their tactical expression changes with the media.  The best copywriters and marketers I know dedicate their education to a healthy blend of old and new, timeless and cutting edge.

Diving in…

Scientific Advertising and My Life in Advertising by Claude Hopkins

Required reading.  Or, listening.  Here’s the entire Scientific Advertising book, read by yours truly, in mp3 format.

This book lays the groundwork for your entire marketing education.  Its focus on results-accountable advertising should become yours.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz

The thinking in this book is required if you want to connect with your prospect on a level your competitors are not, and create real breakthrough results.

Schwartz was instrumental in building some of the biggest direct marketing Titans of the second half of the 20th century, and you’re not a serious student of advertising if you don’t have this book.

My friend Brian Kurtz has republished this book and you can get it directly from him here.

Great Leads by Michael Masterson and John Forde

From inside the great Agora direct marketing empire, comes the tome on how to apply Schwartz’s most important thinking in writing your copy today.

This book takes the “spectrum of awareness” principle introduced by Schwartz and gives real, practical advice into how to turn it into copy on the page.

It’s very hard for a modern book to make its way onto my top 10 list, but this one did so without question.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples

Caples was the master of the split test.  Not only testing, but keeping records on tests, and deducing deeper lessons from the data.

This book is a compilation of Caples’ most important lessons learned from a career testing advertisements for companies large and small.

It’s a classic for a reason.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab

This is a very practical, tactical book on writing advertising.  While I tend to believe that the message is far more important than how you write it, learning the ABCs of crafting solid copy is important for novice writers.

This book is exactly what it says: a short course in copywriting.  And as a short course in copywriting, it rivals most entry-level copywriting e-books and other programs on the market today.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier

Robert Collier spent a lifetime in mail order, and this is his story, combined with many letters he wrote.

Not just an interesting tale, it’s a deep source of inspiration for some of the world’s greatest copywriters.  Example: Gary Halbert’s famous dollar bill letter — pulled straight from the pages of this book.  What gems will you find?

Click here to buy on Amazon.

Method Marketing by Denny Hatch

I was mad when I found this book, because I came up with the title to write it myself, only to found it had already been written.  I forgave Hatch when I read it though, because it’s really dang good.

This is the least well-known book on this list, but just as good as the rest.  It contains the true story of almost two-dozen marketing successes, with reflection on how they succeeded by getting into the head of the target market.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy

A lot of people say a lot of things about Dan Kennedy.  What I’ll say is that he knows what he’s talking about, and is dang good at copywriting and selling.

This book is a very simple, step-by-step manual for writing sales letters that sell.  Many businesses have been built on following this book to the letter, and millions have been made.  If nothing else, it provides a unique glimpse into the structure of a sales letter, and the thinking behind it.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

The index of this book says copywriting is only covered on pages 61 to 64.  However, Perry is one of the best copywriters alive today, even though you can’t hire him to write copy.  And it’s all about his thinking.

As a copywriter, you need to know marketing.  You need to understand markets, and offers, and how they combine with copy to bring you the results you want.  This book sets that groundwork in a very important way.

You can get this book directly from Perry (plus some valuable bonuses!) for a penny plus shipping here.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

Again, this is less about copywriting, more about thinking.  But Jay Abraham’s thinking about maximization and optimization of results is so critical to my success as a copywriter and consultant that I believe this list would be incomplete without him.

This book covers 21 of Jay’s most important concepts that he’s used to generate nearly $10 billion in sales improvements for his clients and his own businesses.

Click here to buy on Amazon.

You Should Also Know…

…  What I offer at Breakthrough Marketing Secrets is just the beginning.  If you are serious about fast-tracking your copywriting skills and business…  Or you are a direct response marketing or business owner looking to use only the most powerful direct response marketing to grow your business…  You’ll absolutely want to check out BTMSinsiders

It’s an on-demand library of all of my BEST marketing, copywriting, and business-building training.  With well over 100 hours of powerful training you can stream instantly, as soon as you join.  And you get access to ALL of it for a shockingly-low cost of admission with the BTMSinsiders All-Access Pass.

Affiliate Notice: First, please note that I alway only make recommendations I wholeheartedly believe in and that I have  used myself.  My integrity is worth more than an affiliate commission.  That stated, many of the links on this page are affiliate or revenue sharing links. If you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive compensation for referring you.  This compensation is part of how I’m able to support the ongoing publishing of daily content of the utmost value, free for your use.  I’m assuming you are a grown up and can choose how you factor this into your purchase decision.