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on 1 September 2012
I'm not a fan of writing critical reviews as I always believe that an author puts their heart and soul in to their book and it's all too easy to find fault. Sadly, don't think that's the case here. This feels like a rather lazy exercise in copywriting made into a book about copywriting!

I've given it two stars simply because it's at least very readable but then you'd expect that of a copywriter.

However, it seems to me he didn't follow one of his own key rules: know who you're writing for! The people reading this are very UNlikely to be copywriters in the professional sense of the word but rather people who need to write copy as part of what they do - business owners, fundraisers, freelancers etc.

There is almost nothing worth having for these people in here. Instead, it should have been called, "How to be a Brilliant Copywriter" )in fact, "how to be a copywriter - an introduction" would have been the most accurate description!

His barely-concealed supercilious attitude to "them" and "they" and what a tough life it is putting up with idiots - ie. his clients who are almost universally useless at providing this hard working copywriter with the information he needs - is tiring and unpleasant.

And when he finally gets to giving some actual advice on writing copy (around page 68!), it's skimming and almost an afterthought - a list of things he must include to say he's done his job.

Likewise the final section with interviews is the lazy man's way of making a very short, very sparse book look a little fatter and meaningful.

I'm afraid that if you want a book on copywriting skills, this is not it. It has done the "Brilliant" series a disservice I'm afraid. I would go with Joseph Sugarman everytime - sure, it's dearer but you're not buying a book to not spend money - you're buying it to learn.
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on 24 February 2010
Roger Horberry's `Brilliant Copywriting' is both a practical and delightful piece on copywriting. Want to learn how to write brilliant copy? Okay then, sit back and let Mr Horberry ground you in the basics, then join him on an inspiring journey through the creative process from planning through to editing. Roger clearly loves copywriting and this clearly comes across in his writing, which is full to the brim with cheerful commentary and good humour.

The book is bursting with practical tips. Roger offers us suggestions not only on planning, writing and then editing the copy, but also on how to deal with writer's block, with dull projects - not to mention prevent your own work from lulling the reader to sleep! - and with customers. He also shows us how he went about some of his own copywriting projects and offers a few samples of copy he wrote for them -- and yes, it lives up to the title of the book!

The book is rounded off with a series of interviews from some of the big guns in the field. In the interviews they people tell us how they started, how they work and where they have taken some of their inspiration from.

The front cover looks more like a study guide, but don't be put off: the content is pure gold. `Brilliant Copywriting' is well worth investing time and money in. I hope we see more books on copywriting from Roger Horberry.
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on 21 January 2010
In one word: SUPERB.

I wasn't sure which book on copywriting to buy from Amazon so I went ahead and ordered 5 different ones with 4 or 5* ratings. Including this little beauty by Horberry.

Well, "don't judge a book by its cover" just took on a whole new level of meaning for me. (No offense intended to whoever was paid to design the cover, but lets be honest here; it really doesn't help sell the book does it! Looks like some boring school textbook or something.)

So anyway... I plowed my way through all of them, a couple were ok, one was reasonable and one made it very difficult to keep the old eyes open. Except when it came to this cheeky little green and grey number. Finished it in one sitting and then went back and read it again the next day.

Quite simply it's just a pleasure to read, and says what all the others seemed to be trying to say, but in a tightly packed and often humorous way (yes, there are quite a few "laugh out loud" moments). Mr Horberry cetainly knows how to make every word and every sentence count. And, obviously following his own advice, he manages to avoid the unforgiveable sin that plagues the other books: dullness. It's entertaining from start to finish.

It's packed with useful advice, very well written, and useful for old-time copywriters and those just starting out...

To summarise: it's by far the BEST book I have read on copywriting and I know I will keep returning to it again and again for advice...
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on 16 September 2009
Me too! I'm in the back of this book. This makes me a little nervous about writing anything at all, in case readers should comment, "That's not brilliant. Pretty average, I'd say." But this is not about me, it's about Roger's book. There are loads of "how to write books" and as part of the writing industry, I've glanced at many and appeared in quite a few and read one or two from start to finish. This is the best one so far. Some of them are astonishingly boring, which I think is inexcusable in any book which claims to help you to impove your writing. This is a chirpy, entertaining, almost unputdownable and (dare I say?) inspiring book. I'm going to buy it for all my trainees.
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on 13 April 2015
I've read a few titles in the 'Brilliant...' series, some warranted the description, some didn't. 'Brilliant Copywriting' is certainly one of the better ones. Don't be deceived by the relatively slim size of the book, the content is excellent. The chapter of interviews with other professional copywriters really stands out. There is a wealth of good advice in that chapter and throughout the book. I think any would-be copywriter will find it very useful.
You can also get some great real-world examples as a PDF download from the author's website.
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on 30 September 2011
Unattractive cover aside, this book was just amazing. I literally read it in a day, only stopping for a quick night's sleep in the between. The author delivers the content in a clear, yet witty way - inspiring me and hopefully others as well. There's no jargon nor boring parts. The writer has a humble approach, which makes the reader to appreciate the insights provided. As a nice touch, everything important is listed with bullets after each section, so when I dig into the pages for a second time, it's easy to find what I'm looking for.

I'm confident that this particular book will help me in my aspirations of a copywriting career. I mainly recommend Brilliant Copywriting for anyone who's just starting his or her career. It's less useful for experienced writers, but as we know - all reading is good.
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on 8 August 2011
Unbelievably useful, fast-paced and a pleasure to read. It's not just a manual or a self-help book for depressed copywriters. It really got me started, giving me confidence, method, advice, and humour (loads of it). If you're in the business, you'll surely see yourself in his views, troubles and bad habits and will be pleased to laugh about them. I started to highlight sentences in different colours in order to distinguish hints from humourous pearls of wisdom and bits of experience, because every word is relevant. If you visit his website you will give a nice face to the friendly teacher materializing from his pages.
This is definitely one of my "first drawer" manuals and I know I will go back to it again for advice and fun.
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on 5 May 2010
A great book about copywriting but you won't find many SEO's agreeing with page 87.

The author states that "SEO isn't even appropriate for many websites - in these situations other web marketing strategies can be much more effective" and goes onto referring to SEO as being "darkest of arts".

Obviously I disagree with the above statement, but other than that the book is a good starting point for any copywriter. Many of the points made about organising online copy are well thought out and I agree with the positive comments made by many of the other reviewers.

I guess that I was hoping for a more tips based approach, but perhaps this is just my dark side emerging.
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on 19 March 2014
I'm a copywriter and have been for coming up to two years; I thought I'd refresh my knowledge by picking this book up, not expecting too much from a chain book. Boy, I was wrong.

Roger's style of writing is fantastic; very colloquial, it puts you at ease, and is simple but effective to understand. The book is split very nicely into sections which make it a breeze to get through and find the bits you want to read.

All in all, a gem of a book and it definitely has a recommendation by me as a go-to how-to copywriting book!
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on 29 April 2010
Do you want to write profitable and persuasive copy? Then start with this book.

Here are five reasons why you should buy "Brilliant Copywriting" today:

1) It's clearly written and teaches you loads of useful things
2) The tone is light so it's fun to read
3) There are great practical examples and quotes you can learn from
4) The interviews with famous copywriters are invaluable
5) I'm a copywriter myself and it's one of my favourite textbooks

"Brilliant Copywriting" is a real "must-have" if you want your copywriting to perform better. Why not give it a go?
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