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How to Write a Good Advertisement: A Short Course in Copywriting Paperback – December 1, 1982

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Wilshire Book Company (December 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879803975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879803971
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, though it seems a little bit old in writing style, is very good value. It starts with a list of the 100 best headlines ever written and explains why they were so. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book!

This book goes into "why" not just "how" so you can learn how to do it yourself.

You'll find chapters on understanding the emotional triggers, using facts, using proof, getting people to take action and much more.

The examples are incredible, all the way through the whole book. Every point made comes with an example that proves the point.

Its not quite a Tested Advertising Book however as a book to put on your shelf that you'll open and read many times I recommend it.
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Don't miss this diamond in the rough!
This is a very overlooked book which touches on a little bit of everything, from soup-to-nuts, about writing copy and placing ads.
I'm not sure why it isn't mentioned as much as the more well-known classics like the Ogilvy and Hopkins material is, because it should be.
Although the book was written in 1962, it reads like it was written earlier -- perhaps that's why it's often not cited by the greats.
Buy it today. You won't be sorry.
Even if you're already a professional, the book will serve you well to stir up some good ideas -- maybe even for that promotion you're working on right now!
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This book was first published in 1962. But the lessons are still as valuable and as valid today as when first published. This is a great manual on how to write advertisement.

Schwab is considered one on the legends in print advertising. He writing is easy to read, well organized and simple to understand.

This is a how to manual. Mr. Schwab starts with the importance of the headline - if you can't get people to read your ad it has no chance of getting people to buy the product. He gives you step by step instruction for writing good headlines.

From headlines, he goes on to teach about attention getting layout, showing people the advantages of your product, proving your claims, social proof and asking for action.

Schwab talks about the copy length, subheads and AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action).

At the end of each chapter is a quiz on the material presented.

If you want an excellent book on advertising and marketing, this is certainly one. If you have absolutely no experience, you will learn all the basics and concepts from this one book. If you consider yourself knowledgable, this is a great refresher course.

Well worth reading if your job involves advertising and marketing.
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From headlines to body copy, this little book does a wonderful job of explaining the basics of writing a good advertisement.
Written in 1964, the content is a bit dated in its references but the basics of good copywriting haven't changed. So this book is still relevant for all of us who want to write better ads and apply the techniques necessary to bring in a sale.
Highly recommended.
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No one interested in writing DM or doing copywriting should think that one book tells it all, but instead should collect a library of must-read books. This is one of them. The advice is as true as the day it was written, in 1962. It constitutes one of the small handful of true classics on writing DM and advertising. Victor Schwab is right up there with the likes of Ogilvy, Bob Bly and Dan Kennedy. Buy this Book!

But...this book hasn't been revised since 1962, and many of the examples date from the 1920s and 1930s . Language has changed and moved on since then. Arm twisting , formulaic headlines and catch copy have also lost some (but maybe not all) of their ability to sell.

When this book was written, there was no Internet,email,iPod, Amazon, Google or Facebook. The basic assumption behind this book is the power of the printed word, which means it has to be treated with caution at times.

But this book is as fundamental a part of any copywriters toolkit as a hammer is to a carpenter. Be aware of its failings. It won't explicitly teach you to write for the Internet, and you may be puzzled by some of the quaint examples. But, if you read it and make sure to pass the tests at the end of each chapter, you're going to take giant steps towards becoming a better copywriter.

The reason for four stars is the dated examples. Otherwise a five start Must Buy Book
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I've read dozens of books on advertising. This is one of the best. Actual examples of Direct Mail ads, comparisons between 2 test ads, and posted results add to the value. There are even Headlines you can use as Templates for your own Headlines. Books by Victor Schwab & John Caples are the Classics I would recomend. Certainly worth the investment.
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Beneath the humble text of this book is deep insight
into human nature and what causes people to buy.

This is not the only book of which I would say:
"If you can only have one copywriting book, get
this one," but it is on the short list of such
books.

Superbly educational. It makes you think. It
seems like a simple course on the surface -
perhaps that was Schwab's gift. At the end of
each chapter he features an essay on a topic
pertaining to the life of a copywriter.

The book is 8.5" x 11". It has enormous margins
in which you could take notes. It would be a
good textbook for a beginning copywriting class
and I think that is why it was written.

Clyde Bedell's "How To Write Advertising That Sells"
was an inspiration for this text and worth reading
as well - though more obscure these days due to
being out of print for many years.
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