Do you think readers actually read what you write? Research says that only 20% of readers read your copy while others only skim through it! It is up to you to grab their attention. The goal is to create text (or copy) that is catchy, persuasive, personalized, and compelling enough to ultimately increase sales. For that, you need exceptional copywriting formulas! You needn’t worry as you have copywriting books to help you out.
We have a list of the top 40 best copywriting books that will help you understand the definition of copywriting & become a great copywriter. These books cover everything from the science behind advertising and marketing—the psychology of what makes people buy certain products—to how language works! So, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
- The Boron Letters
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Ogilvy on Advertising
- Breakthrough Advertising
- Made to Stick
- Finding the Right Message
- Never Split the Difference
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Building Distinctive Brand Assets
- How to Write a Good Advertisement
- Tested Advertising Methods
- The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
- The Copywriter’s Handbook
- Everybody Writes
- How to Write Seductive Web Copy
- From Blag to Blog
- Making Your Website Work
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger Media
- Copy Logic!
- Scientific Advertising
- Wired For Story
- The Power of Moments
- The Advertising Effect
- Start With Why
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
- READ ME
- The Copy Book
- On Writing
- The Ode Less Travelled
- Confessions of An Advertising Man
- 2001 Greatest Headlines Ever Written
- The Everything Guide to Writing Copy
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
- Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising and Marketing
- Wizard of Ads
- The 48 Laws Of Power
- Breakthrough Copywriting
Top 40 Best Copywriting Books Of All Time
This blog enlists the top 40 best copywriting books of all time. These books will help if you want to become a better copywriter and learn how to write compelling sales copies. There are also some great resources on business skills like improving your email writing and other types of copywriting. Start at number one on this list, and by the time you finish reading all 40 books below, you’ll be ready for anything!
1. Hey Whipple, Squeeze This
Author – Luke Sullivan
Luke Sullivan is an exceptional advertiser. He is the inspiration of countless ad students, copywriters, and young creatives who want to make their mark in the industry. Published in 1998, ‘Hey Whipple Squeeze This’ talks about the importance of testing and data-driven copywriting. This book discusses how you can use data to improve your ad copy, website, business, or marketing. It will help you sharpen your writing skills, expand your creativity, and help you expand the level of your marketing from amateur to professional!
Do read our other blog post to know the top copywriting secrets.
2. The Boron Letters
Author – Gary Halbert
Gary Halbert is a great copywriter; his insights are most valuable in this field. Since the book is originally a collection of letters that Gary Halbert wrote to his 16 years old son Bond, these words of wisdom, anyone can understand it. Published in 2013, “The Boron Letters” is a collection of letters that contain the cream on how to convince the customer to buy your product or services. It is hands down the best specific and actionable training on how to write convincing copies or ads. The best part about the book is that the tips, secrets, and sales strategies told in this book are going to be relevant in the far future!
3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Author: Robert B Cialdini
Robert B Cialdini is an award-winning behavioral scientist and author. In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, Cialdini talks about using and embedding the influential factor in your ad copies without sounding too pushy. This classic book is a great easy read that you can use as a reference tool for your marketing. It extensively discusses why people say “Yes” and how to apply these insights ethically in your marketing campaigns. Backed by Cialdini’s 35 years of research, this book is a comprehensive guide having principles to move others in your desired direction. The strategic tips and insights offered by this book earn it third place in this list of best copywriting books.
4. Ogilvy on Advertising
Author – David Mackenzie Ogilvy
David Mackenzie Ogilvy is the “Father of Advertising”. His book “Ogilvy on Advertising” is a must-have for both aspiring and professional copywriters. It is a classic that talks about writing practical copies that sell. With a lot of great advice and many great examples, this book has made it to the top shelf of professional copywriters. It packs everything you need to work and grow as a copywriter, everything that practically matters, from getting a job as a copywriter to generating successful copies that get the audiences’ attention. This book is undoubtedly an honest and crucial primer on all aspects of advertising from the man that humanity has called “The most sought-after wizard in advertising”.
5. Breakthrough Advertising
Author – Eugene Schwartz
Eugene Schwartz is one of the best copywriters in history(source: his sales records). Initially published in 1966, “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz is not just for copywriters or advertisers. It’s a whole sack of intellect and guidance for anyone wanting to increase their sales. It addresses the universal problem of –
“How to write a headline? and How to write an ad following the headline?”. It will tell you how to understand and control the marketplace to your favor. It is a book that every business owner should own as it talks about every aspect you need to consider for making high yields- Copywriting, marketing, persuasion, and human behavior!
6. Made to Stick
Authors – Dan and Chip Heath
“Made to Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath reveals the anatomy of catchy or “stick” ideas. Published in 2007, “Made to Stick” will transform your advertising and communication entirely. This humorous and eye-opening read will tell you the essential principles of ideas that stick or win. It contains a tour of success and failure stories and how you can learn and apply these rules for making your message “stick”.
7. Finding the Right Message
Author – Jennifer Havice
Jennifer Havice helps businesses convey their messaging and sell more with better-performing websites. As a result, in 2016, Jennifer published “Finding the Right Message” to help business owners all across the globe. In this book, Havice talks about the questions you need to ask the customers to learn what they need to hear from you to take action on your website. Havice walks you through finding the right message for your customers in her book. She also speaks on the benefits of finding the right message and the consequences of not being able to find one.
8. Never Split the Difference
Author – Tal Rahz and Chris Voss
Never Split the Difference is not only a book about being good at negotiations. It brings forth profound wisdom conveyed with great humor, storytelling, and insight, making you an effective human being. In their book “Never Split the Difference,” Tal Rahz and Chris Voss take you inside their world of high stake negotiations. Being an FBI kidnapping negotiator, Voss was often faced with robbers, gang leaders, terrorists, etc., for negotiations. And in this book, he reveals the 9 fundamental principles of negotiating and getting the “high ground”.
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow
Author – Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman won a Nobel Memorial Prize (2002) for his work on behavioral finance and hedonic psychology. In his groundbreaking must-read “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” Kahneman explains the 2 systems that drive the way we think. He also talks about where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we reap the benefits of slow thinking. He gives us insights into how choices are made and how we can be better decision-makers. This is one of the best copywriting books that is sure to change the way you think about thinking.
10. Building Distinctive Brand Assets
Author – Jenni Romaniuk
This book is for anyone and everyone having a brand. It will give you insight into future-proofing your brand. Jenni Romaniuk, in her book “Building Distinctive Brand Assets,” talks about how to make strategies to build strong brand awareness. The book has 3 sections where Jenni explains strategies, management approaches, and strengths and weaknesses of different assets. This book focuses on the most unappreciated yet essential areas of brand building, so you don’t fall short.
11. How to Write a Good Advertisement
Author – Victor I Schwab
In his copywriting book, Victor I Schwab discusses writing powerful, hard-hitting copies that can make your product and services irresistible to potential customers. It has an engaging style with a chock full of practical examples. This excellent copywriting book is the force that changed amateur entrepreneurs into expert copywriters and experts into masters!
12. Tested Advertising Methods
Author – John Caples
This book contains proven sales coaching that will fill your arsenal. It explains the “science” behind advertising, removing the guesswork from your process. With “Tested Advertising Methods,” John Caples shows you how you can make every one of your advertisements successful. You’ll discover how to find the right appeal for your audience, write headlines that will attract new readers, choose graphics that will help you sell your product, and much more!
13. The Adweek Copywriting Handbook
Author – Joseph Sugarman
The advertising business dramatically depends on great copywriting. This is one legendary sales copywriting book you can get your hands on. Joe Sugarman provides proven and expert advice on writing product-selling copies. This is one of the best copywriting books for beginners as it contains the essence of all you need to know about what can convince your audience to take the desired actions. It talks about what motivates, entices, or moves customers to buy. This book is the ultimate resource for anyone who wants to grow their business.
14. The Copywriter’s Handbook
Author – Robert W. Bly
Robert W. Bly is a copywriter and author. He has written many books on copywriting, including “The Copywriter’s Handbook”. This book is for anyone who is even remotely related to copywriting. Whether you are a business owner, marketer, or salesperson doesn’t matter. This book can cover all your needs. It contains numerous techniques to help you write ads, commercials, direct emails, etc., with clarity and persuasion.
15. Everybody Writes
Author – Ann Handley
Ann Handley creates a go-to guide that will increase your business and sales. “Everybody Writes” has the secrets you need to attract and retain customers. This book is quite literally for everybody, whether you are a web content creator, marketer, writer, or even a social media influencer! In her book “Everybody Writes”, Handley provides guidance and insight into the process and strategy involved in content creation, production, and publishing, with actionable ‘how-to’ advice. This book is designed to yield results!
16. How to Write Seductive Web Copy
Author – Henneke Duistermaat
This short read by Henneke Duistermaat contains factual information in a few pages. It is an excellent book for people who are new to this business. It includes anything and everything you will need to know as a fresher. Henneke writes clearly and precisely, making it a very easy-to-read book worth your time.
17. From Blag to Blog
Author – Jo Watson
In his book “From Blag to Blog, ” Jo Watson shares loads of advice about writing blogs that people want to read. The main focus in this book is on 13 concepts that will help you improve your blogs. The author says blogging is storytelling and is one of the best ways to market your business to your prospects. And this book will tell you exactly what you were lacking till now. So, get this on your shelf and get ready to grab some attention.
18. Making Your Website Work
Author – Gill Andrews
This will tell you precisely what the title suggests. “Making Your Website Work” will tell you how to drive more business through your website instead of hiring professionals and throwing your money. After reading this book, you will know what makes a great website. It provides practical tips that have an impact. This book does not deal with all the theories, but it tells you the practicality of what you should and shouldn’t do.
19. How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger Media
This ebook will help you understand the process behind creating catchy headlines. It will help you attract new customers and retain the old ones. Writing catchy headlines is a skill that every content writer must have. And this book will help you in achieving precisely that! It is amongst the best books about copywriting to help you create effective headlines.
20. Copy Logic!
Authors – Mike Palmer and Michael Masterson
This is one of the best copywriting books that can cut your learning curve in half as a copywriter! From direct marketing expert Michael Masterson and master copywriter Mike Palmer, “Copy Logic!” is a book that will turn your ‘B-level’ copies into an ‘A-level’ copy. They breakdown their methodological approach and techniques used to help a company boost its revenue to $300 million a year!!
21. Scientific Advertising
Author – Claude Hopkins
This is probably the 1st name you came across while searching for the best copywriting book. The reason behind it is simple, and it is the best. Claude Hopkins is known as the father of modern advertising techniques, and in this book, he shares it all. It covers many important aspects of advertising like establishing advertisements, headlines, psychology, budgeting, and whatnot. It has everything!
Author – Drew Eric Whitman
All big marketing agencies use ‘hacks’ to influence people to buy. Want to know what these secrets are? That’s what “Ca$hvertising” is about. Drew Eric Whitman wrote all these little daily secrets about advertising in this book. So, whether you are a marketing giant or a small corner shop owner, using these secrets will get the crowd flowing in for you!
23. Wired For Story
Author – Lisa Cron
Lisa Cron is a big name in writing and storytelling. In her book “Wired For Story”, she talks about all the cognitive secrets of a reader and how you can use them to your advantage. It will help you to plan your content and upscale it tremendously! With the use of research in neuroscience and examples from novels, this book offers you revelations of the mind from the reader’s point of view.
24. The Power of Moments
Authors – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
There they are again! The famous Made To Stick writers. This book is an addition to the ‘know your reader’ segment. It played around with the idea of what makes moments memorable? And can it be applied to any given situation? It talks about how some segments of the same memory are more apparent in your head than others. It uncovers the secrets of the human brain that, if a marketer knows well, can do wonders!
25. The Advertising Effect
Authors – Adam Ferrier and Jennifer Fleming
Adam Ferrier and Jennifer Fleming are here to teach you how to influence other people’s behavior (in a positive way). In this book, they reveal the 10 most impactful techniques that giants across the globe use! These techniques are backed up by psychological theories and award-winning examples that explain how an action is more effective than conventional advertising techniques.
26. Start With Why
Authors – Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why” puts up an interesting point. It asks WHY do people do WHAT they do? Once you get the answer to this question, you’ll be able to convince probably anyone on this planet. It is an excellent read for salespeople and copywriters with the most insightful and meaningful techniques. Simon believes that people do not buy WHAT you sell. They buy WHY you sell it. And if you’re asking, “WHY should I read this book?”. That’s precisely the question you’ll ask and get the answer to upon reading this book.
27. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
Author – Gary Vaynerchuck
Social media expert Gary Vaynerchuck shares insights on how to connect with customers and beat the competition. This book is the blueprint for social media marketing and copywriting that hits the audience (no pun intended). This book shows that social media platforms are forever growing. So, while communication is still key, context matters more than ever.
28. READ ME
Author – Gyles Lingwood and Roger Horberry
This award-winning work of Gyles Lingwood is going to launch your writing career. It contains the knowledge and trade secrets of all professional writers. This is one of the best copywriting books as it contains many examples and lessons you can learn from. Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood filled the pages of this book with practical tips and features that can crank up your persuasive skills.
29. The Copy Book by D&AD
The pages of “The Copy Book” are filled with essential lessons for content writers. This book by D&AD is considered to be the Bible of creative writing. Filled with essays by 53 copywriting professionals, this book is going to help you in creating clear and persuasive messages. This work is not just a “must-have” for copywriters and marketers. It is a “should-have”. It is often considered the best book on copywriting as it includes the leading copywriters’ content and insights.
30. On Writing
Author – Stephen King
Stephen King is the author of over 60 best-selling books. And one of those books is named “On Writing”. It contains clear, helpful, and revealing insights into King’s writing journey. He gives insights and advice on being a better and more immersive writer. He takes the reader on a journey so realistic and practical that you will not be able to resist being a great writer!
31. The Ode Less Travelled
Author – Stephen Fry
No, we did not misspell that. This is not the famous poem “The road less traveled”. What it is, though, is a witty and entertaining guide to unlocking the poet within. Stephen Fry believes that if you can write or speak English, you can write poetry. It is an art form that should be available to everyone. And in “The Ode Less Travelled,” opens the mysteries of poetry writing for you.
32. Confessions of An Advertising Man
Author – David Ogilvy
David Ogilvy is hands down one of the most fabulous advertisers of all time. And this book says no less. It is a must-read in numerous advertising classes in the United States! Ogilvy, being creative, wrote this entire book as an advertisement copy. The pages are filled with Ogilvy’s groundbreaking ideas and inspirational philosophy, forming the blueprint for sound business practices.
33. 2001 Greatest Headlines Ever Written
Author – Carl Galletti
Many readers only read the headline. And that’s precisely why you need to give this book a thorough read. Coming up with catchy headlines can dramatically increase traffic. A convenient, easy-to-use collection of fantastic, catchy headlines will always come in handy. It doesn’t matter if you write ads for web pages, email, or sales. This is surely the best book to learn all about copywriting. You can seek inspiration from a large collection of successful headlines.
34. The Everything Guide to Writing Copy
Author – Steve Slaunwhite
UPS, HP, Mitsubishi, AAA, and many more have benefited from Steve Slaunwhite! And the same Steve Slaunwhite wrote “The Everything Guide To Writing Copy”! In this book, Slaunwhite talks about writing compelling copies for various media like print, web, magazines, emails, and many more. This step-by-step guide will help you create innovative and effective ad copies generating more sales.
35. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author – Anne Lamott
Anne Lamott is a bestselling author of several nonfiction books, and “Bird by Bird” is no different. The book has not stopped selling since it arrived on the shelves in the 1990s! This book contains the experiences and learnings of Anne Lamott that she got by trial and error, essentially preventing you from going down paths with no yield. She has beautifully written a wise and beneficial book for all serious writers and writers-to-be.
Author – Robert Cialdini
Robert Cialdini is an expert in persuasion, compliance, and negotiations. “Pre-Suasion” is a global bestseller wherein Cialdini completely transformed the way we think about the art of persuasion. This revolutionary copywriting book will teach you how to win people before even uttering a word!
37. Copywriting: Successful Writing for Design, Advertising, and Marketing
Author – Marc Shaw
Author Marc Shaw, in his book “Copywriting”, shows how you can write impactful ad copies for all formats and contexts! Creating an engaging copy is essential in today’s design and advertising industries. Marc Shaw was a great copywriter of his time, and this book contains everything he learned over the years and his experiences. If you want to explore the challenges of commercial writing and want the tools for becoming a leading copywriter, this is one of the best copywriting books for you.
38. Wizard of Ads
Author – Roy H Williams
Roy H Williams is known for his persuasion skills. And in this book, he tells every tidbit you need to know about persuasion. This book contains the guidance of Roy H Williams with beautifully written true stories that will help you understand the roles of neuroscience, chairs theory, poetry, and art in persuasion.
39. The 48 Laws Of Power
Author – Robert Greene
“48 Laws Of Power” is a bestseller by Robert Greene. This book is the definitive guide to helping readers achieve what many famous figures like Louis XIV, Queen Elizabeth, Machiavelli, and Robert Kissinger learned throughout their lives. There are 48 laws illustrated with the help of these significant figures’ tactics, triumphs, and failures. Its comprehensive coverage and explanation put it amongst the best books on copywriting.
40. Breakthrough Copywriting
Author – David Garfinkel
Breaking sales records with mere words is a tough job. The pages of this book have insights that will help you achieve precisely that. “Breakthrough Copywriting” by David Garfinkel is one of the best copywriting books for beginners as it breaks down the process involved in writing an excellent ad copy into simple terms. It will guide you through these steps and how, why, and where you should use them. So, get this book on your shelves to break through the market with great ad copies!
Start Your Reading Journey With The Best Copywriting Books of All Time
So, if you are passionate about becoming a copywriter and have some spare time, check our list of best books on copywriting and pick up your favorite book to improve your copywriting skills! You’ll find they can help you understand what copywriting is and get you off on the right foot in no time.
We hope this list helped you find new ideas or resources to use when writing content for your clients. Do try our free blog post generator to craft converting posts.
A copywriting book is one that helps you write copies that sell. There are several books that help you learn the tips and tactics to write compelling copies for landing pages, sales pages that convert.
The books well-suited for beginners include The Copywriters Handbook by Robert W. Bly, Influence by Robert Cialdini, The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Sales Letter.
YouTube can help you learn specific concepts easily but there there are not many channels that provide in-depth knowledge of copywriting the way books by renowned authors do.