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The Web Writer’s Essential Library: 9 Classic Must-Read Copywriting Books


I don’t care who you are — blogger, freelance journalist, ghost writer, ad copywriter — if you are writing on the web then you need to absorb copywriting mechanics.

There are two ways to get to that point: learning and practicing. I can’t help you with the practicing part. You just simply need to write … and keep on writing. But I can help you with the education part.

What follows are the nine books from the legends of direct response. Two are more recent than the others (and Influence is not technically direct response). These are the books I would demand you read if teaching a ground-level course on writing for the web since so many principles of direct response copywriting obey the unbreakable law of the web. [Read more…]

Warning: These 4 Books Will Give You a Case of “Rage to Master”


I’m an achievement addict. And I love books. So no surprise that I read books that will help me achieve my goals [no matter how ridiculous they are].

The four that I’ve read recently are high on my list of must-read. Like read them and you’ll get lit. In a good way. Passionate.

In other words, you’ll get a case of “rage to master.” I explain below. [Read more…]

101 Reasons to Be Pretty Darn Euphoric You’re an Intellectual Snob


Admit it: you’re a snob. An intellectual snob.

Just like me.

You’re a hardcore reader who curls her lip at Harry Potter books. American Idol makes your stomach churn. And you tend to spend your time on ideas and projects devoid of practical value. . .but replete with entertaining possibilities.

If so, then yes. . .you are an intellectual snob. [Most writers are.]

It’s okay. We still love you. [Read more…]

6 Ways to Becoming a Hardcore Reader

Penguin Classics

penquin classics

“My concern is not to make people read, but to make them think.” –Montesquieu

Books are dead.

Sure. Whatever. Especially if what we mean by that is the physical object–the paper, the cover, the spine. Because one thing is for sure: reading is not dead.

Kill off the printed book and we’ll figure out a way to read. [Read more…]

How to Abandon a Book

Abandoned Book

Americans are ferociously pragmatic. We nurture an appetite for quick and easy.

For practical. Effective. Profitable.

We love racy articles on how to retire early. How to cram for a test. How to shave a pound off our tummy.

And we want these articles to hammer home the point in 5, 10 or 15 easy steps.

Don’t make me think. At least not too hard.

That’s the prevailing MO.

Naturally, this pragmatism MUST be avoided when it comes to cherishing a spouse, attending a cocktail party or raising children.

But I do strongly believe some things are in lock-step with expediency… [Read more…]

9 Reasons Why You Should Read More Old Books

Library Curve

If you’re like me, you get anxious and marginally depressed when you see all the new books published each year.

It can happen at Barnes and Noble or while scanning the New York Times bestseller lists.

But the result is always the same: an acute sense of failure. How in the world can I read all of these books? [Read more…]

How to Read a 291-Page Book in Two Hours


If you’re like me, you like to read.

And you like to read a lot.

Some people might call you obsessed. [I get that all the time. No surprise since I try to read 100 books a year–and make it a challenge. My wife loves me for that.]

But it can be frustrating. Demands. Lack of time. Big books.

If that’s you, you’re not alone. [Read more…]

Hardcore Writing Advice: Read 100 Books in One Year

Damaged Books Room

The Damaged Books Room by AMERICAN VIRUS

One hundred books in one year is a lot of books to read.

Why would anyone want to do that?  [Read more…]