Top critical review
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The wrong book for the wrong people
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.