Persuasive Copywriting is a great book for both experienced writers and novices. It has some keen insights and excellent advice on improving your copywriting, particularly with a view to sell. I particularly enjoyed the psychological aspects. I generally enjoy the psychological aspects of things like this.
However, there is a caveat (which I will get to in a minute).
If you’re looking for a solid book on copywriting for marketing purposes this is just the ticket. It’s a good book with solid advice. Maslen talks at length about emotional selling, and how to write copy that is emotionally engaging. As a writer I’m looking for insight into how to tap the emotions of readers. As such I thoroughly enjoyed these elements of the book, which comprise the majority of it. The later part of the book takes a look at ways of compelling readers. How do you draw readers in? How do you make your writing more enjoyable? Again, I appreciated these elements. They are well written and contained extremely good advice.
I’m not a psychologist, but I am extremely interested in psychology. My sister is a clinical child psychologist, I’ve done extensive personal research into psychology in my hunt for knowledge about bipolar disorder and mental illness, and I’ve researched psychological topics for numerous clients and written pieces over the years.
And still, I do not profess to have any kind of psychological expertise.
I may be wrong on this point, but as far as I’m aware Andy Maslen has no training in psychology. Yet there is a definite psychological slant to this book, including a chapter on the manner in which the brain functions. I found this incredibly interesting, and his research was certainly enough to satisfy me, however I am hesitant to fully endorse it because I am well aware of the incredibly changeable nature of psychological research. I’m not 100% certain where Maslen’s information for this book is coming from, how reliable it is, and how likely it is to change.
The book has been marketed with a prominent psychological slant, and that’s certainly why I bought it. I fear this may be a tad misleading on the part of Maslen’s marketing department (though this is not, I hasten to add, necessarily indicative of Maslen’s feelings and hopes for the book). I think the issue is that the marketing’s reach was further than the book’s grasp. In trying to write a heavily psychological book Maslen may have ventured a little out of his zone of genius. It’s never a bad thing for an author to stretch themselves, and certainly I use psychological theories and research to infuse my own writing and methods with a little extra human element. For a non-psychologist, the book is excellent and very useful, but I believe a trained psychologist – or anyone with a background in psychology – could find it frustrating.