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The Robert Collier Letter Book

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THIS IS AN AUTHENTIC WORK DISTRIBUTED BY THE FAMILY OF ROBERT COLLIER. BE SURE THE NEW TRADEMARK RC LOGO WITH "AUTHENTIC ROBERT COLLIER WORK" APPEARS ON THE COVER. The Robert Collier Letter Book is under copyright with Robert Collier Publications, the family of Robert Collier, the author. Other publishers are distributing similar versions that may not be true and accurate. Robert Collier cared deeply about the quality of content, presentation, artwork, etc. that went into every single book he wrote and published. The Robert Collier Letter Book is for the business man who already knows the theory of letter writing but is looking for more effective says of putting it into practice. It shows successful ways of selling all manner of products through proper advertising.

466 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1989

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About the author

Robert Collier

262 books101 followers
Robert Collier was an American author of self-help, and New Thought metaphysical books in the 20th century. He was the nephew of Peter Fenelon Collier, founder of Collier's Weekly. He was involved in writing, editing, and research for most of his life. His book The Secret of the Ages (1926) sold over 300,000 copies during his life. Collier wrote about the practical psychology of abundance, desire, faith, visualization, confident action, and personal development.

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5 stars
154 (44%)
4 stars
127 (36%)
3 stars
48 (13%)
2 stars
14 (4%)
1 star
6 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Joyce.
2 reviews
April 18, 2015
This book is still under copyright with Robert Collier Publications. Please be sure you are purchasing the Authentic Robert Collier work published by the family of Robert Collier. The authentic version has the following ISBN's 9780912576200, 9780912576206 (softcovers) and 9780912576219, 9780912576213 (hardcovers). Avoid pirated versions.
Profile Image for Zainab.
52 reviews46 followers
January 30, 2021
I don't know what to make of it. It's good but it's not necessary. But the good recompenses for the unnecessary. Any book that writes about writing has one common flaw: redundancy. But in Robert's case, I'll call it repetition; and as the book is for marketers, repetition is one of the essential tools to convincing people to buy stuff they don't need. So, I'll give him that. It's okay Robert, you're fine. You sold millions of copies for O. Henty. Remember The Gift of Magi from school? That O. Henry. Yaini, that's simply awesome!

Also, I suggest simply go for Chapter IX called The Six Essentials if you've not been forced by someone to read this. I won't say what these essentials are because then what's the point of writing a review? And maybe look into a few good letters from here and there as well just to sit back and appreciate good writing skills.

I'm copying one of the most successful circulars written for "When the Rattlesnake Struck," just for the sake of it:

"On the one side, we showed a judge and his lovely daughter. On the other, a tough-looking character and his daughter. In between was reproduced the following letter:

When you sent me up for four years, you called me a rattlesnake. Maybe I am one-anyhow, you hear me rattling now. One year after I got to the pen, my daughter died of-well, they said it was poverty and the disgrace together. You've got a daughter, Judge, and I'm going to make you know how it feels to lose one. I'm free now, and I guess I've turned to rattlesnake all right. Lookout when I strike! Yours respectfully,

Hm. Loved it.
Profile Image for Phat Nguyen.
41 reviews6 followers
December 24, 2019
First thing I want to warn: the version on Amazon is FULL OF ERRORS AND TYPOS! It ruined the reading experience completely, as every single page contains at least some combinations of weird characters and typo.

Ignoring all that, this is simply an AMAZING book! It was written decades ago (1941), but the letters and principles mentioned are as relevant in 2020 as in 1941. And you can apply basically all the examples to write ads for today's age.

Just think about it. Totally insane.

If you're serious about copywriting, just grab a copy ASAP.
(Last warning: it may be tedious and boring at times, but just keep reading!)
Profile Image for Matt.
26 reviews
January 5, 2018
Boring but Useful

This book is about how to properly write copy, from the perspective of a man who has successfully sold millions of dollars worth of products using these techniques.

The Robert Collier Letter book starts with the author outlining the core principles of copywriting:

1. The Opening: Get the attention of your target reader by establishing contact with what he's already interested in, and the emotions that he's likely to be preoccupied with.
2. The Description and Motive: Once you have the attention, generate interest by showing how your offer can give him something he desires the most - in other words, don't emphasize your product, but paint a picture of how it will help him achieve what he wants. Appeal to emotions, not the intellect.
3. The Proof: when it makes sense to do so, offer facts or testimonials which give objective evidence of the truth of what you're saying.
4. The Hook: make the offer time-sensitive or limited in some way to spur immediate action, otherwise they will feel inclined to set your letter aside
5. The Close: tell the reader exactly what they need to do and how to do it, making it easy to close the sale

The book goes into a great amount of detail on each of these principles. The best thing is that the author doesn't just keep these concepts abstract; he offers literally dozens of examples of letters that he's written - using these principles - that have sold thousands or millions of dollars. Ultimately, this is where the real value of this book is.

As you read the dozens and dozens of examples that Robert Collier has put into this book, you will start to see the pattern of what he's doing and how he's applying the principles. What is most fascinating about this is that the same principles apply, regardless of what type of product is being sold. Collier gives examples of how to write copy for selling books, socks, jackets, bags, magazine subscriptions, and more. By showing these examples he proves his point that, to paraphrase, copywriting is not about WHAT you're selling, it's about the IDEA behind what is being sold. You sell ideas, not products.

This is definitely a book to be read for the sake of study and not for entertainment. While it's fascinating to read some of Collier's letters and KNOWING that they have brought him a hell of a lot of money, they are extremely boring to read. They all read in a very similar way, which I suppose is good for the sake of copywriters, but it makes it boring to read through over 400 pages of this material. So again, read this book for studying and not for entertainment.

My 2 star rating is purely from the standpoint of a reading experience, for the reason that I mentioned above: it became quite the slog to finish this book due to how long it is and how repetitive the content comes across as. I suppose that if I am ever in a situation to write copy and earn money from it, and if using this book as a reference material brings me even 10% as much money as Collier has earned from it, then I'd probably come back to good-ol' Goodreads and update this to be 5 stars.
73 reviews1 follower
June 1, 2022
This is a brilliant book on classic sales letters. You get dozens and dozens of examples of letters that worked but there’s not much breakdown on why they worked.

I think this would be a great reference but as a book, there’s very little substance, just a lot of examples, which is refreshing Innoway because most copy writing books give very few examples.

The one big caveat to look out for is that I went through this book as an audiobook and I do not recommend that. This should be a printed reference only. I will find a printed version of this book, but listening to one semi-repetitive sales letter after another after another after another is a bit tough to take in an audiobook
391 reviews4 followers
March 18, 2017
One of the best copywriting books of all time. There are DOZENS of sales letters selling a wide variety of products - books, courses, clothes, luggage and more - and Collier's commentary. This book is recommend by Derek Johanson (founder of CopyHour) and Ramit Sethi (founder of I Will Teach You To Be Rich).
52 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2021
Robert Collier offers abundant examples of promotional letter writing from a bygone era. It's fascinating to see how, despite all the technological advances, human nature remains the same.

I found that the age of the samples was actually helpful because it helped me to see the principles underlying the actual writing. If you are familiar with search engine marketing, you will notice many similarities between Collier's tactics and, for example, campaigns in Google Ads.

Collier also discusses the interplay between marketing and business strategy, including accounting and product development. His samples deserve careful study because they provide highly relevant guidance for marketers today.
March 13, 2023
Robert Collier was one of the greatest sales letter writers of all time. This book contains his most effective letters. He sold millions of books, including the Harvard Classics 50-Volume, 5-Foot Shelf of Knowledge by mail. He also wrote the metaphysical classic The Secret of the Ages, the book that 100 years later became the basis for Rhonda Byrnes book and movie The Secret.
33 reviews
February 10, 2022
"A knowledge of your product is essential ... but familiarity with human reactions, human responses to familiar stimuli, is even more important." (p. 346)

"It is difficult to get much worked up over statistics. You read with comparative indifference that 36,000 people are killed and 1,000,000 injured each year in auto accidents. But just let you witness a little child being run down, let you hear the anguished cry of its mother, let you look at the pitiful, mangled remains, and you will never feel indifferent again. Every time you read of an accident, you will see again that mangled child, you will think of the bereft mother, and you will resolve to DO something to see that this wholesome slaughter is stopped.
"The same is true of any catastrophe - of earthquakes, of floods, of famine or war. We cannot visualize them in the mass. The only way to make us feel them is to tie them into the story of one victim." (p. 428)
122 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2022

This book may have been written almost one hundred years ago, but i its message still rings true today. Study reasons why people buy, and their buying habits . Write sales letters based on that information if you want make any kind of profit.
Profile Image for Howard.
283 reviews4 followers
April 11, 2022
Educational, but too boring to listen to - just tons of ads get read repeatedly (actually minor changes between ads of the same product) But you can see the impressions, and he followed many of the rules for advertising even upheld today. Okay book with good examples, but too much repetition.
6 reviews
December 30, 2017
This is a book you’ll need to come back to time and time again. Inspiration for copy.
Profile Image for Franklyn Gonzalez.
Author 1 book4 followers
May 3, 2020
Great copywriting book that provides many examples through each chapter. Understand the person's target audience as you read each sales letter.
Profile Image for Aaron Gertler.
194 reviews69 followers
February 28, 2017
Lots of wonderful classic ads to read and enjoy. Perhaps more useful as a historical document than a guide to copywriting, though I still found many of the examples instructive (as well as the "Six Essentials" of a good letter). An interesting portal back in time, to a world where it was universally assumed that people would want to read books recommended by the principal of Harvard, that everyone knew who Antony and Cleopatra were, and that all working adults were men. From a marketing perspective, I find this age harder to parse, but I'm glad to live in it all the same.
Profile Image for Scott Wozniak.
Author 5 books77 followers
February 25, 2016
Highly technical and very dated examples, this book continues to be a master work of understanding human psychology. It's a series of examples of letters that motivated people to buy (compared with those that didn't do as well).
Profile Image for Malick.
13 reviews
December 5, 2015
Wow. It was a tough read atleast for me. The starting chapters were interesting. Whereas the last chapter thing get really boring, might be the story part im not interested in or its over all very lengthy.
Profile Image for Martin Hamilton.
9 reviews4 followers
February 12, 2015
Awesome book. Robert is one of the top 5 copywriters of all time. Even though he lived and marketed in the early 1900's doesn't mean his principles and techniques don't work still today.
Profile Image for Alex Giurgea.
148 reviews7 followers
March 27, 2016
O legenda a marketingului direct. Cartea e plina de tehnici de vanzare, care au functionat inca din anii '30. Lectii de copy pe paine.
Profile Image for MsFolio *.
114 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2022
Terribly outdated. It's all about writing snail mail letters to sell things. Some fine examples of very persuasive letters, but they are very long. Iy doesn't work like that these days.
Profile Image for Mark Bowser.
Author 19 books3 followers
April 18, 2017
A must read for all sales copywriters

In fact don't just read this book, study it. Then, study it again. This is one of the best books of its kind.

Mark Bowser

Author of "Sales Success"
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews

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