Item description for Steal This Book!: Million Dollar Sales Letters You Can Legally Steal to Suck in Cash Like a Vacuum on by Harlan Kilstein...
The number one goal of every business is to increase the return on investment of each marketing dollar. Whether you want to generate a huge response from a newspaper or magazine ad, a direct mail letter, or an internet site, the most important element you need to know is "What really works?" Every time a business experiments in testing, it costs money and may not produce a return. Finally, there's an opportunity for the ordinary business to become extraordinary. Harlan Kilstein has produced a collection of proven sales letters that have generated millions of dollars in sales for both online and offline companies. Kilstein's sales letters are pure gold; one recent online letter brought in $110,000 a minute. In Steal This Book: Million Dollar Sales Letters You Can Legally Steal To Suck In Cash Like A Vacuum on Steroids, not only do you get examples of what really works, you also get instructions on how to adapt these letters for any business. Ask any copywriter what his most important possession is and he'll point to his "swipe file" of proven winners accumulated over years. Now, you have the opportunity to get a multi-million dollar swipe file in your hands and put it to use. The Forward to Steal This Book was written by copywriter John Carlton.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.9" Width: 8.1" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.9 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2005
Publisher Morgan James Publishing
ISBN 193359649X ISBN13 9781933596495
Availability 110 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 01:35.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Steal This Book!: Million Dollar Sales Letters You Can Legally Steal to Suck in Cash Like a Vacuum on?
Steal This Book? No Thanks Jul 30, 2008
I'll break this review down into two parts: what I liked about Steal This Book by Harlan Kilstein, and what I did not like.
What I liked: Catchy title, cool graphics on the cover and a few interesting sales letters I'd never seen before.
What I did not like: It's hard to tell who this book was written for, people just getting into the field of advertising copywriting, or experienced pros looking to expand their swipe file. If you are new to the field of copywriting, you may be impressed with the author's authoritative tone and writing style. But if you are new to copywriting there are many other (IMO) better places to start learning, such as Tested Advertising Methods by Caples, Scientific Advertising by Hopkins, and How to Write A Good Advertisement by Schwab. Pick up those three (plus Ogilvy on Advertising) and study them, and you will have gained an excellent education on direct response copywriting. And you can buy all of those books for less than half of Steal This Book.
If you are an experienced copywriter looking to expand your swipe file, I think you will be really disappointed with what you find in this book. The content is weak. The examples provided are just not that well written.
Pros already know the best way to build a top shelf swipe file is to buy a product or two from the big mailers in a specific industry and collect the promotions they send you in a box. This approach allows you to hold each package or sales letter received in your hands, which is a different experience than just seeing a picture of it in a book. Plus you get the added benefit of seeing how winning pieces evolve over time as previous controls are replaced by news ones.
Don't waste your money Mar 10, 2008
The price of this book is a joke. You can get more and better letters and instruction for FREE just by going to Bencivenga Bullets or Clayton Makepeace on the web, or saving your junk mail. I'm a direct response writer and have made $100k+ freelancing for over a decade, and I think it's morally reprehensible to try and get this much money from beginning writers. Author doesn't seem to have even one original idea -- the book's name isn't even original -- Abbie Hoffman famously wrote "Steal this Book" more than 30 years ago. Kilstein isn't interested in helping beginning writers, just in stealing from those trying to learn how to make it in the biz. SHAME ON HARLAN KILSTEIN!!!!!
Not Recommended Nov 15, 2007
This book was disappointing and over-priced. First, Harlan Kilstein is not a recognized A-level copywriter. I don't think he is even a recognized B-level copywriter. If you are going to study ads and salesletters and add them to your "swipe file", shouldn't the ads be written by a top professional who has proven their ability by writing controls for the big name publishers? Has Harlan Kilstein ever written a control for Boardroom? Or Philips? Or Agora? Or any other well-known mailer? I don't believe he has, or he would say so in his book and on his web site. Your money would be FAR better spent picking up Clayton Makpeace's "Steal These Secrets Volumes I & II" where you will find actual full color magalogs Makepeace wrote, which mailed in the MILLIONS of pieces. Makepeace is an established and widely recognized A-level copywriter who earns a reported $4,000,000 + per year in royalties from the copy he has written. Now THERE is a copywriter to learn from. Owning both "Steal This Book" by Kilstein, and "Steal These Secrets" by Clayton Makepeace, I can tell you Makepeace's swipe file is 100 times more valuable.
The Price Tag is a JOKE for a Huge Swipe File... Aug 18, 2007
First of all, his sales copy isn't that great. If he claims that these letters have made his clients (and not even himself) millions then it goes to show that any half-a-brain can write a decent sales letter and make money.
This book was over $100 and maybe worth $35 at best. Why? You can collect your own swipe file for free by just saving your "junk" mail.
I analyzed a lot of the copywriting and established that Harlan Kilstein isn't really that great. Some of his grammar is off. He doesn't write a headline or subhead properly. Some of the letters are capitalized while others aren't, ruining the continuity of the piece(s).
I recommend you study Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate Sales Letter) or study Gary Halbert's letters (if you can find them) because those two are the two best copywriters on earth. (Gary Halbert is now deceased as of this year but his copywriting legacy will live on forever.)
Furthermore, it seems that Harlan Kilstein just did copywriting for companies and never took his own risk in doing his own mailings (like I do). Therefore, does he care how the copywriting turns out? Does he give it 100%? And does he really know what the results were when the mailings went out?
He claims that he is giving you million-dollar sales letters but then admits that one (or more) he's written were never mailed. What!? That makes the title sort of deceiving, right?
I do like his book title, though..."Million Dollar Sales Letters You Can Legally Steal to Suck In Cash Like a Vacuum on Steriods."
That would make an excellent headline (in a slightly different variation) for any kind of business opportunity piece.
It is inaccurate, though. Since he wrote those pieces for clients as a "work for hire" situation, you cannot "steal" or plagarize any of the sales letters word-for-word, no matter what he says. Even as the author of the materials, he cannot give the legal go-ahead for just anyone to copy his work because he did it as a work-for-hire for someone else.
Check out Herschell Gordon Lewis and his "swipe file" (or any of his copywriting books) or just collect your junk mail. Within a short time you'll have your own million-dollar sales letter treasure chest.
One last comment: For being a "swipe" file, there aren't that many sales letters anyway!
This book is a STEAL Feb 18, 2006
WOW this book is truly amazing! THis is a concentrate of powerful sales writing techniques. Thank you for putting it all together in one book. !