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The Boron Letters

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,482 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Series of letters written by copywriting legend Gary C. Halbert explaining the secrets to effect marketing.
Kindle Edition, 146 pages
Published (first published February 27th 2013)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,482 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good marketing primer that doles out marketing advice as well as some pretty decent life advice.

Two nitpicks on this book:

(1) It's dated. Halbert was a whiz in direct mail marketing, and the writing shows its age. His son, also in the copywriting biz, does his best to update it for the digital age but the book should be read as foundational rather than a source of the latest and greatest tips.

(2) Every few pages has a cross-sell of some other Halbert product on their website. The book could have
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great copywriting/selling is hardly about the writing. It is way more about the preparation that goes into writing.
- Choosing a list.
- Deciding an offer.
- Picking a great product to sell.
- Researching what a list/market wants.

This is true no matter what the medium is - a 70s newspaper or a present day smartphone screen.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
A surprising amount of just 'life lessons' as opposed to marketing techniques. I really enjoy how personal these letters are and I found them very entertaining to read outside of just being educational.

I wish there were more though. After the 25 letters, I really want to read the more formalized book he mentions he wanted to write. Does anyone know if he did write anything like the book he discusses wanting to do?

One of my favourite take-aways from this book written by a father to his son, is h
C. Spencer Reynolds
Laborious reading and so dated...

We read this in our Book club and although there were a few good points in the book, all-in-all I would not recommend it to others as a good read. If you are a marketing type and want some of his insights then certainly a book worth some of your time, but not for the average gal/guy out there to invest your time with!
Николай Вълев
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Best book on copywriting so far. 🔥
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Written by 'history's greatest copywriter' Gary Halbert, this book is a collection of letters from a father to his adolescent son. In these letters, Halbert teaches his 16-year old the importance of 'road-work', a strong work ethic and the inside secrets of great advertising.

There are some gems in these letters and the fatherly conversational tone makes them all the more endearing. I especially loved some of the ideas on how to grab and hold attention in direct mailers.

While the book is a bit da
Georgios Koutsogkilas
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book . From an
incredible man

While in prison. The world's greatest
Copywriter laid down his life wisdom for
His favorite son.

A must read for any entrepreneur and copywriter . As well for anyone who
Wants to improve his life quality.
Jul 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-dev
I had never read a book in this format: A father sets to transmit every valuable he has to his son. So, although this book is famous among copywriters, there a good bit of "self-development" advice at the 5 first and the 5 last letters. Probably best to read these quickly. This father-to-son format makes it personal and so easy to read. You can feel the words are flowing naturally.

The 15 letters in the middle (out of a total of 25 letters) are gold of copywriting. Things would expect, and things
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love those kind of "Reflexions" a father may give his son, or we may give to our younger self. It's like gathering all the experience we had, and reflect on them, and give a summary of the most important things, of what matters.
Those kind of writing are powerful, because they help us to focus on what matters, and not to get drifted in a wrong path for too long.
Our time is precious, and this helps us to make a better use of our precious time.

What I liked about it:
- The tone of the letters is cl
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: advertising, business
I read the Boron letters on my trip to Vegas for a CXO event. It happened to fall on Halbert's birthday. I didn't know that until after I was reading the book.

I also just finished reading Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. Halbert mentions that Vonnegut has some of the clearest writing, and that Breakfast of Champions is worth reading. I didn't like that book, but maybe I should reread it.

Anyway, I really enjoyed The Boron Letters. I've always loved Halbert's writing style. The book focuses on some
Joshua Pitzalis
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
There were a few good nuggets in here. Mostly came off as sale-sy and contrived. I suppose it made more sense in its own time. With the internet, our exposure to sales writing (in emails) has shot up. As a consequence, we instantly recognising when something is sale-sy. That said, the principles seem sound and with a little recontextualising I think will prove helpful. The gist of the book was to focus on helping people rather than selling them stuff. Make the benefits of your offer vivid and cl ...more
Corey Constable
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These letters to Bond were an excellent base to build off of for entering into the field of copywriting. They were personal, humorous, and insightful. While they may seem a bit outdated, the principles within can be carried over into the digital age with just a little bit of ingenuity. The subject line is the new envelope, the link title is the new bag of soil, etc. I look forward to reading the other titles he recommended.
Aurimas Mikalauskas
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had no idea where this book will lead me. It was supposed to be about direct marketing and mail oder business but it was way more than that. I love Gary's style of telling stories and getting really emotional when he feels like it. Even if it sometimes it has nothing to do with the point he is making. I'm re-reading it again now. Why wait? ...more
Madhav Sekar
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
very gud book on copywriting and such
Ellis Morning
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable letters from father to son with candid revelations, advice for personal improvement, and interesting sales tricks.
Mark Manderson
Nov 08, 2018 rated it liked it
A positive addiction is simply being addicted to something that improves the quality of your life.

A negative addiction is being addicted to something that lowers the quality of your life.


Try everything multiple times. 

Go over your plans again and again daily as they will become more and more clear.

The money is where the enthusiasm is. When hiring someone always look for the most enthusiastic one, not necessarily the most qualified.

Be a student of the markets a
Dean Brooks
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for every kid in high school, though it's also great for anyone who wants to get into business, no matter the education level.

TBL has some of the best advice you'll ever find about copywriting, direct marketing, and direct selling. Fun fact: Direct mail gets a better response rate even today than email and other online promotional marketing methods, which makes this book as valuable today as the day it was written. Halbert's techniques can certainly be adapted to
Dec 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While dated, it gives some 'timeless' marketing advice that is still relevant today.

It's made up of 25 letters that Gary Halbert wrote to his son, whilst serving a ten-month prison sentence in Boron prison in the 1980s.

Halbert actually says in the first letter that he wants the letters to form the basis of a new book he can publish later on. That made my skin prickle a little bit, in a bad way, because I think that's a cringe thing to do. However, the letters do mostly seem warm and genuine. The
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: copywriting
This is my second book on copywriting after Dan Kennedy's "The Ultimate Sales Letter"
The Ultimate Sales Letter Attract New Customers. Boost Your Sales by Dan S. Kennedy Dan Kennedy's

And WOW! This book is easy to read that you won't feel flipping the pages, his style in writing is so addictive to read, because it's a conversation between a father and a son. That's why there is so much emotion.

4real this book is a tresure in the field of copywriting, becuase it's written by the best copywriter ever, and for me (as a beginner in copywriting) this book is perfect start in this
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Part copywriting advice, part self help, part marketing book which takes the form of letters written from direct sales guru Halbert to his son, as he stews in a cell for postal fraud.*

As usual for self help books, most of the advice can be summarised in a couple of pages of notes. For this reason, the book did drag on a bit.

Some of the more specific advice and all of the examples are out of date, since direct mail marketing isn't a big thing these days

However, the book flows better, and is easie
DeAnna Knippling
Jul 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
A collections of letters from famed direct-mail copywriter Gary Halbert, written from prison to his son Bond.

The Boron Letters are an excellent set of marketing instructions that also to happen to give life advice (the first letters are about exercise and diet). I felt like they had a lot of decent ideas, but the real benefit of them is studying them the way that Halbert recommends that marketers study direct mail letters and ads. I didn't write these out by hand, but typed them in and studied t
Edd Thompson
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I have just finished the book. That is the quickest I have ever read a book. It is a good format for a book and is easy to whizz through. As a small business owner looking to improve his copywriting, I am slightly disappointed with the description of the book and what is actually inside it. There are some wise words about copywriting and selling your ideas which are very useful.

If you want a book that outlines the steps of making money via direct mail along with general self-help advice and som
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Miller
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boron Letters is marketed as an insightful look into the world of writing copy. The reality is, it’s a series of letters, written from a father in prison, to his teenage son. Yes there’s a lot about writing copy—Gary Halbert was said to be one of the greatest copywriters of all time, but I saw a lot more life lessons that anything else. This book is a father, attempting to instill valuable life lessons to his son. There’s advice about fitness, psychological & social well-being, even some philoso ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the best marketing and advertising books you should definitely read. The genius is really in how it's written - letters from a father in prison to his son. There's gold in evey chapter. It's stupidly easy to read, but deceptively valuable. Don't rush through it, take your time and really digest each chapter.

Also, this book is a GREAT example of 'just get it done and published'. The font is courier, it's 8.5x11 big, which means it's great for making notes in the margins. The cove
Ksenia Larina
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just came here to say, that I can't argue with those, who gave this book low ratings because they thought the letters were salesy and outdated, BUT :)

2 buts actually:

1. I'm pretty sure the "salesy" part was intentional. As a copywriter myself, I know that there is really no better way to learn how to write better than copying the style/structure/mood from others. So, in addition to telling how to write the letters Halbert thought were good, he showed it too.

2. Yes, of course, the tips Halbert
Damian Zydek
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about selling by written text (mostly).

A few quotes from the book:
"You must always find a market first… and then concentrate on a product!"

"One way to increase believability is to give exact details. Instead of "most car owners" write "77.6% of all car owners""

“The way to deduce what people want to buy is to simply observe what they DO buy!”

"The layout of your advertisement should catch the attention of your reader, but, not in a way that causes him to 'notice' the layout"

Those piec
Leticia Supple
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have only read this once, so can’t really write much about it yet. Like the Robert Collier Letter Book, it needs to be read and digested over, and over, and over again.

Having said that, it’s one of the best works on the topic I’ve read since... well. Since the Robert Collier Letter Book.

Some other reviews note that this is dated. Sure, it’s dated. So are the updates. The point is that all of these things still work, and if you apply the core principles to any format, in any market, it’s still
Phat Nguyen
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The greatest copywriter of all time, Gary Halbert, wrote letters from his prison cell (at the age of 46) to teach his son about life, work ethic, and most importantly, copywriting.

Although all letters are aimed at direct mail marketing, which is an outdated medium for today's marketing, the core principles can easily be adapted to this age of advertising. The author's son, Bond Halbert, helped with this by writing short comments at the end of each letter, adding a bit of this and that so readers
Piyali Mukherjee
I really don't know what it is about the incredibly dated information, the frequent interruptions in the flow from cross-ads about the blog, and the cross-commentary but I could not get through this surprisingly short read. Also this really strange health advice about fasting and how many quarters of a grapefruit to eat.

I understand I'm in the minority here and maybe if I persisted, I would have come across some psychological gems. But I have a finite life, and an even more finite patience. Thi
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