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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 December 2016
Some copywriters work for clients and charge a fixed fee. Others charge a fee and ask for a percentage of the revenue generated on top so they gain financially if the item sells well. Neither of these groups of writers lose out if the copy flops all together.

Some copywriters, like Joe Sugarman, made their reputations by going out and finding interesting products to sell, writing their own copy and buying advertising space. These copywriters had the opportunity to win big but also to lose. The lessons they learn can be brutal but they strike home quickly.

This is a great book. It is based around an expensive course ($2,000 in 1977) that Sugarman gave to the people who wanted to understand how he did what he did to make a fortune and develop a cult following for JS&A space age products. Once he even sold an aeroplane from a magazine advertisement when he decided to flog off the third corporate jet that he used least often.

At its core is copywriting for display advertisements in newspapers, magazines and catalogues. A headline, sub-heading, photograph, copy and the JS&A symbol people learnt to look for. Towards the end of the book, he explains how the ideas can be transferred to other types of marketing including the Internet.

It's strange to think of a business book as charming but this one is packed with Sugarman's panache. The book is based around his 15 axioms, 3 emotion principles, 10 graphic elements, 23 copy elements and 31 psychological triggers. 30 of those triggers are covered well here but are explored more extensively in Triggers: 30 Sales Tools You Can Use to Control the Mind of Your Prospect to Motivate, Influence, and Persuade. These factors are all neatly summarised at the back of the book when you want a quick reminder.

What makes this book even better is that Sugarman picks some advertisements written by other people and analyses them with you, explaining exactly what the copywriter is doing and why. He also includes the full text of some of his own advertisements including that plane he sold.

I read a lot of business books but this is one of the few that I have as a physical book and as a Kindle book. That way, I can carry it around with me. It really is that good. Note to self, re-read the best of the best more often.

About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice. I aim to be a tough reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb the key messages. 5 stars means that I think that overall it has some vital messages in it.

Paul Simister, a business coach who helps business owners who feel stuck, get unstuck.
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on 7 June 2015
I'm brand new to copywriting so I took an online copywriting course to start getting the basics down. After reading this book, it now looks like my online course was pretty much influenced by this book (it's ok I got the course on a very cheap sale :) I can only speak as someone very new to copywriting but I've found this book to be very educational, very informative and very helpful. If you Google Joe Sugarman you will know he is regarded as one of the best copywriters out there and for me this book definitely reinforces that point. It's written in a very down to earth manner and some of his tips were actually very funny! Overall I learned a lot, I enjoyed the read and I thought that Mr Sugarman comes over as a pretty decent guy. This e book was expensive but to be honest I think it's worth it. It's one book I will be returning to a lot. P.S. this review was written quickly so I've not really proof read it LOL!
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on 29 October 2014
Received this book this morning, bought on someone's recommendation. A quick flick through tells me already this is an excellent book to have in my book collection. I think I will be referring to this book quite a lot from now on. It is written in an easy conversational tone that I find very appealing for a 'learning' book. He also peppers the book with personal stories (with lessons to be absorbed) which are highly entertaining and thought provoking. Am now about to settle down with this book as am already hooked :)
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on 2 May 2016
Must have book. The way he writes is so seductive you can't help but read. He sucks you in and sets you on a slippery slide and before you know it you've read the whole chapter. Excellent writer. Even if you generally can't be bothered to read, this book changes everything as I can almost gaurantee you will read the whole book. Love the writer, love the knowledge he gives away in his book and love his stories. Thanks
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on 15 February 2018
This book helped me to become a better writer, event though I'm not a sales copy writer. After reading that book, I write better articles and blog posts that attract engagement from the audience it's intended to. This truly works. I would only take the time to read it completely.
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on 25 June 2016
This book is the best book on direct advertising I ever read. Joe Sugarman is someone who I am already familiar with. His book has given me a great insight into the world of direct advertising/marketing and has inspired me to start copywriting for local businesses and online businesses. If you are interested by copywriting and direct marketing then add this to your collection of books because I guarantee that you haven't read anything like this. This book has pure wisdom distilled inside and once read it and internalize it you too will be able to write great copy.
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on 19 June 2016
This is a first class publication. The subject is covered in detail and there are lots of concepts that get you thinking. I think using this book can only improve your copywriting.
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on 17 July 2017
I've read half so far, and absolutely love it. This book really is an essential guide, and has demonstrated how incredibly creative writing ads can be. Highly recommended.
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on 25 February 2013
Joe Sugarman is an expert in direct mail, all the advice given in this book has been tried and tested in the field. For anyone who needs a boost in sales this is well worth the very cheap purchase price for the information contained within. I would also recommend Jay Abraham.
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on 22 August 2015
Brilliant tips and actually quite an enjoyable read. This only really covers long copy direct sales advertising, but makes a brilliant foundation course in copywriting. I've heavily highlighted, which is a good sign!
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