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Advertising Secrets of the Written Word: The Ultimate Resource on How to Write Powerful Advertising Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters and Mail Order Entrepreneurs [Hardcover]

Joseph Sugarman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Delstar Pub (Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891686003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891686009
  • Product Dimensions: 25.7 x 17.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,157,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on writing ad copy that sells. 27 July 1999
By A Customer
Joseph Sugarman is one of the best coywriters of all time. This book helps even experienced copywriters develop a flow in sell copy. A ton of new ideas that I have put to use in my marketing business. And I thought I was good. Thanks to Joseph Sugarman, I will skyrocket my skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 5 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has transformed my writing - absolutely no nonsense, well written and entertaining. I recommened this book if you are a writer of any form.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Grounding in Copywriting 2 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Covers all the basics, the mindset and advanced strategies.
I was recommended to read this my a top copywriter, and I suggest you read it too
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
97 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm amazed! I'm amazed! 4 Aug 2002
By K. A. Mayer - Published on
I am not a copy writer and I had NO idea how to write ads. I have a couple books on copywriting, but frankly, they were boring. I'd flipped through them trying to find some magical text that would teach me what I wanted to know without wasting my valuable time. Then I found this page and read these reader reviews. I decided to give the book a try.
The writing style is so engaging, I'm finding myself reading every word -- and I tend to be a "skimmer." Mr. Sugarman has such an easy style, it's almost as if he's sitting in front of you, telling you how to write advertising.
What worried me most about spending my hard-earned money on a hard-back book like this was that it would assume too much about me as a copy writer and I would be lost. Not at all! The author explains stuff so extraordinarily well that I couldn't wait to get started using the techniques.
My second concern was that he would be too general. Other marketing courses and articles I'd looked at said stuff like "list the benefit." Well, duh! What they didn't tell me was how I should WORD it such that my readers won't get bored before I can finish telling them about it. Mr. Sugarman does a superb job of explaining why this wording didn't work and why this one did. He walks you through how to discover a talent inside you that you never even knew you had!
The book seems to be geared mostly toward mail order (I'm not done reading it though), but I'm finding that I can apply the same principles and lessons to my web site. Of course, it's easier to change a web site when you find that what you're doing isn't working :o), so I'll be looking forward to trying out new approaches...
In summary, if you're looking for a book that will explain in a captivating way, using tons of examples (he even uses his techniques in the text of the book, which is lots of fun to see), get this one! You will not be sorry!
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick course on marketing from a true master 20 Dec 1999
By Srikumar S. Rao - Published on
Srikumar S. Rao is Louis and Johanna Vorzimer Professor of Marketing at the C. W. Post campus of New York's Long island University.
This book is actually the first volume of a trilogy. The other two are:Marketing Secrets of a Mail Order Maverick and Television Secrets for Marketing Success. The set is one of the best expositions of marketing I have come across and I cannot recommend them more highly.
Joe Sugarman may not have invented the format of full page advertisements in leading publications - such as the Wall Street Journal - packed with dense copy, but he was/is one of its best exponents. In the seventies he made his reputation and fortune by being the first to promote the electronic calculator and other leading edge technology gizmos. His company, JS&A, was synonymous with hugely entertaining and informative advertisements.
These volumes are part biography, part hard learned marketing lessons and part personal philosophy. Sugarman lets it all hang out with unmistakable sincerity. What distinguished his advertisements two decades ago is that he would tell you what the flaws of the product he was selling were. The same honesty is present in this set of books.
The appendices of each volume contain dozens of actual advertisements Sugarman produced and ran. He does not exclusively display his successes, of which he has had his fair share. He shows you good ads that bombed and speculates on why. He tell you why some campaigns worked, why some were runaway successes and why others stalled. It is rare to find this degree of candor from such an established marketer.
Even better, Sugarman tells you many "tricks of the trade" that might well save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. These include methods of testing your copy/price/offer inexpensively before commiting to big advertising expenditure, of buying media at huge discounts, developing customer relationships to capitalise on lifetime value and much, much more. Each book has appendices that list valuable marketing resources. There is some redundancy in this between the volumes, but the recommendations are indeed very good.
This three volume set belongs on your permanent reference shelf. Do however, use it regularly. You are certain to find ideas that you can put to immediate use each time you read any of the volumes. They are sufficiently self contained that you can read any of the volumes at any time and browse freely.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork of deceptive simplicity 5 Jan 2002
By David Garfinkel - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great copy looks so easy -- so simple, so effortless, so "ordinary." There are those who can take the process of writing it and make that process look complicated. And then there's Joe Sugarman.
This is one of the two books I recommend for further study in my home-study "Money-Making Copywriting Course." Why? Because Joe cuts through all of the needless and cumbersome detail so many teachers of copywriting instill in their lessons. He makes the information accessible and entertaining to learn. And he's a super-successful real-world practioner, as well as a very skilled and effective teacher.
A novice might think that because this book does not refer to Internet marketing or the latest trends in print and direct mail advertising, it is out of date. That is a well-intentioned but misguided criticism. Of course very few people know how to market effectively (and close sales) on the Internet. Since I have done this successfully (I've created Web sites that made lots of money, by themselves) and since I spent a year as the editor of a newsletter tracking who was successful marketing online and who wasn't (almost everyone wasn't), I can say with some authority that there are very few people who can market effectively online.
But know this about Joe Sugarman. If he ever chose to do online marketing, he would make a fortune -- just as he has done before in other ventures. Why? Because there are certain principles of human nature, and of selling with the written word, that have not yet changed. And he is a world-class expert in conveying those principles to novices and experts alike.
The technological and situational landscape may make it look like we live in a very different world, but trust me -- as someone who got a 2% response with direct mail at the height of the anthrax scare in the fall of 2001 -- the world we live in now is pretty much the same as the world we have always lived in.
At least as it pertains to writing effective advertising copy.
I can't recommend this book highly enough. You'll learn tons, and -- best of all -- you'll be able to make some very good money with what you learned.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Consumate Master of the Written Word 4 Aug 2005
By John Matlock - Published on
Notice the last two words in the title -- 'Written Word.' Writing something that is intended to be read is different than writing for television, radio, or anything else that is to be spoken. There are different techniques for the two approaches, and Mr. Sugarman is a consumate master of the written word.

The concentration in this book is intended to be mail order writing -- sometimes in letter form, sometimes in the form of a brochure. Mail order advertising has a lot of advantages over other types of writing. The biggest one is that you have an almost instant measure of its success -- how many responses do you get. Then you can change the mailing package - any part of it, the writing, the typeface, the color of the envelope - and again you get an immediate response. There's no room for BS. And the successful people have to be good.

Most of the orientation here is for direct response mail order. The interesting challenge of the next few years, or maybe the next few decades, is to convert this writing style to the web. At first glance, most of the techniques given here would seem to apply. Using them and taking into account the special characteristics of the web is going to be fun.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adweek Copywriting Handbook is the updated version of Advertising Secrets Book 6 Sep 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I ordered Advertising Secrets from our state library system because it is out of print and I didn't want to spend the high prices from the resellers. When I received it, I realized it is an exact copy of The Adweek Copywriting Handbook by Joseph Sugarman which IS in print and is sold for about $39 here at Amazon. The "Adweek" version is word for word the same except for a slight mention of the internet to update the book and a change of title. So don't waste your money trying to get the out of print version. Just go to The Adweek Copywriting Handbook and you'll have a replica of "Advertising Secrets".
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