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I know you used to be a copywriter in the advertising industry...what books/websites/sources would you recommend to someone starting out as a copywriter?

Jun 20, 2012
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I know you used to be a copywriter in the advertising industry...what books/websites/sources would you recommend to someone starting out as a copywriter?

First, watch this Bill Hicks routine and try to let him talk you out of it. Then, read my advice for young folks wanting to go into advertising here. And then, browse my advertising tag.

Honestly, if you want to be a great copywriter, you should read really well-written books not about copywriting, not written by copywriters. Read the best writing you can by the best writers. Soak up their prose.

Don’t read all the same stupid blogs people in the agency world do. Look for inspiration outside of advertising. Brain Pickings always has something interesting.

A good creative director will be looking for a good writer, but they’ll also be looking for someone well-rounded, someone who’s bright and curious and interested. In other words: have something to talk about other than stupid advertising.

For “how-to” or more instructive ad books:

Oh, and make sure to watch this Bill Hicks routine.

71 notes

  1. messerjackson said: I’m a fairly new copywriter. Solid recs and general advice. Question: do you tell rookies to think twice about advertising to weed out the insincere, or because you honestly hope advertising doesn’t ‘take’ good writers out of other industries?
  2. imskyhigh said: cool recommendations!
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