Today’s a good day.
I won the Being Freelance Community Non-Employee of the Week Award (yaaay me!). It was announced by Steve, our glorious leader, this morning. The fig rolls shall me mine.
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After all the lovely comments about last week’s post I thought this week I’d give you a little insight into life in the far north of Scotland. And a book review.
I’ve been living here 20 years this week and I’m still not used to driving a 5-hour round trip to go shopping in Inverness (our nearest city and place with shoppy shops). The 4-hour each way train ride is a no-no at this time of year as it’s often a replacement bus service. Urgh. Besides, you do the maths. Five-hour round trip or eight?
But yesterday we had to drive down. It fluctuated between -4 and -6C. The roads are twisty turny. It was beautiful, but the sun was in my eyes. And also in the eyes of the lorry driver driving north, who stopped on the apex of Berriedale … a hairpin bend that frequently shuts the road when lorries get stuck. One of the two roads into Caithness. I expect the cars and lorries coming up behind him had a lovely time.
I stopped four times on the way south as the windscreen wash froze in its nozzle and the wipers smeared salt all over the windscreen. Fun that.
But we made it to the city.
Apart from the fact that while my daughter was off getting her hair dyed with beautiful flame colours I nipped for a coffee and finished a brilliant book.
The Art of the Click by Glenn Fisher is a gem. And if you write for business (either your own or as a copywriter) I reckon this book should be on your bookshelf.
Now, I haven’t written any direct-response long copy. Yet.
But this book is inspiring. And I genuinely mean that. After reading it I just can’t look at copy in the way I used to. Hell, Glenn’s even got me looking critically at all the emails that fly into my inbox. On any given day you’ll have me nodding at my phone, or making sucking ‘Oooh, that’s bad’ noises.
I’m now actually reading those annoying emails that come through after chancers have harvested my email address. I’m still deleting them, but I’m dissecting them before I do.
I’ve got a few copywriting books on my shelves. I’ll admit, I’ve not finished all of them (mostly because they were so dry). This one is different.
I like the writing style. That’s probably a given considering what the book is about. Fisher writes the way he speaks. I like that. I do that too.
He’s not sanctimonious, he doesn’t preach and he doesn’t make you feel stupid. But he does make you think. He even gets you to write out a long-form document so that you can dissect it later in the book. (Hint: it takes a bit longer than the half an hour he reckons it might take, but it’s worth doing.)
Basically, this book is like chatting over coffee with a mentor. It’s the equivalent of a day school. The one where you leave at the end of the day with a new point of view and a skip in your step. Not the one where you struggle to stay awake and have to nip to Costabucks for a triple-strength espresso before you go home.
I even constructed a three-page mindmap type thing as I read through the book. It made me that nerdy.
*As I write, a letter has come through from the garage where I bought my last car. It’s quite a good one. I wonder if they’ve read the book? It got me intrigued (there’s some ‘Good News’ about my car, perhaps it’s worth more as a trade-in than I thought?), but unfortunately I can’t afford a new car right now. Shame that.*
When you read this book you’ll find out how to improve your direct-response copywriting. You’ll learn:
There’s more in there, but you should buy the book. I can’t give away all Glenn’s secrets.
This is *the* best copywriting book I’ve read. Hands down, the best.
So did I get back home again?
If you’ve stayed with me this long you’ll remember I was in Inverness, finishing this rather fabulous book.
Well we made it home. But only after I succumbed to the lure of the shops. I came away with stuff that I really shouldn’t have bought and a cast iron skillet. Hey, it’s useful, you can put it in the oven and everything.
When I filled the car with petrol (6p a litre cheaper than up north) I plonked in some neat screenwash that actually said it was ok to -10C rather than the paltry -5C that froze in its tube. And we left early to make sure we got back up that hairpin bend without sliding back down the hill (or over the cliff edge).
I can’t justify all the money I spent, but I reckon that skillet helped us hold the road that bit better.
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