Creative Rules for The 21st Century
Written by the copywriting legend Herschell Gordan Lewis, Creative Rules For the 21st Century should be the textbook for all Advertising Agency writers. This book is the definitive bible for all magazine, newspaper and website advertising. The book is published by American Writers and Artists Inc. more commonly known as AWAI.
Whilst the AWAI’s Flagship program (called the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting) deals with longer salesletters, the focus of Creative Rules is more on shorter display ads.
This is not the book if you want to learn the nuts and bolts of writing killer copy. It’s geared more for someone who has already mastered the fundamentals of direct response advertising and is looking for a way to take their skills to the next level.
Creative Rules is not light reading. Herschell Gordon Lewis does tend to get a bit long-winded and has a somewhat stiff and formal style of writing, reminiscent of an earlier era of writers (which he comes from) If you’ve read any of the classic copywriting books (like Robert Collier, Joe Sugarman etc) you’ll know what I mean. But he is also an incredibly witty and funny writer and I did enjoy reading the book.
The book is geared more toward the professional copywriter, rather than the marketer who wants to write copy to promote his products or services.
There are exercises sprinkled throughout the book to help you master the skills taught, but I found these of limited value because there was no answer guide. Whilst having an obvious right and wrong answer would be impossible in a creative field like copywriting, some guidelines would have been useful.
Creative Rules is also filled with dozens of examples of print ads that illustrate both what to do and what to avoid. (I’d hate to be the ‘marketing genius’ behind one of those bummers!)
You also get 2 DVD’s of live presentations given by Herschell at the AWAI 2006 Bootcamp.
Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll learn in this comprehensive 104 page spiral bound book:
* How to determine what to charge with a sample rate table
* Advice for newbie copywriters on how to handle the tough questions – Questions like “Have you written this type of copy before?” when you haven’t.
* Some easy rules that will save you time, make you money, increase response rate and assure professionalism.
* The 3 basics of success in direct response….. if you lack these, you’re doomed to failure.
* Herschell also shares 4 great copywriting laws…. If you know these you’ll never have to worry about writing bad copy again.
* Email and Web Copy strategies that turn clicks into cash
* Writing to the ever-growing Baby Boomer market – Herschell is a senior citizen himself so he knows what he’s talking about!
* Some strategies for writing fundraising copy