Originally posted in June of 2006, this is another of the reviews from Reading 4 Writers, my old blog dedicating to reviewing writing-related books. Although I didn't have as much to say about this book compared to Bob Bly's other books on copywriting, I found it to be a very helpful book for writers and would-be writers.
It's almost laughable: when I recently checked out a bunch of library books on copywriting, three of the books were by Robert Bly! Before we left for our vacation, I grabbed a few books to take with me, and one of them happened to be The Elements of Copywriting, the third book by Robert Bly that I've read on the subject. (This particular book is also co-authored by Gary Blake.)
Having read three books by Bly, almost right in a row, I've noticed many similarities between them. Certainly an aspiring copywriter shouldn't have to read all three. My favorite was the last book I reviewed, The Copywriter's Handbook, but The Online Copywriter's Handbook is useful too - just a little more outdated.
The Elements of Copywriting is also a tad bit outdated - it was published in 1997, almost a decade ago. The chapter about the internet is the most noticeably outdated.
The biggest benefit of The Elements of Copywriting is that it is more condensed than the other books - so if you just need to know the basics, you might prefer a slightly shorter book. However, I still prefer The Copywriter's Handbook, which contains some very helpful information for Internet copywriters.