Help design "The Gary Halbert Letters" The Book

by Bond
39 replies
Hello everyone,

This is Bond Halbert and I am putting together some of my dad's best letters into a book.

So far I have had professionals whose opinion he respected choose thirteen of his best letters for the book, three of which have never been posted.

It would be awesome if some of you would let me know what your favorite letter was so I will know what was missed.

Thanks for reading.

All the best,
Bond
#bond halbert #book #boron #copywriting #design #gary halbert #the gary halbert letter #the gary halbert letters
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Hi Bond,

    I love the "water ad" for the filtering system. Great example
    of agitation.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1150913].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    Bond, I like most of your Dad's stuff but I'm particularly fond of the "Joe Polish" one. The one where he says:
    You should put a lot of thought into everything you write... right? Wrong.
    The very best writing involves almost no thought whatsoever. In truth, to the extent it is possible, you should strive to make your writing an almost 100% "thoughtless" endeavor.
    later in the same letter he explains -
    After you've been doing it for thousands of miles, you don't have to think about it anymore.You literally do it on "autopilot." In other words, once you're good at it, you do it thoughtlessly.
    So it is with writing. And, to help you understand that, I want you to think about another form of communication which is called... talking. When you are in a relaxed conversation about some subject about which you really have your **** wrapped tight, you don't think about talking, do you? Of course not. There's no need. After all, like driving a car, you've been doing it for years. Talk requires no thought whatsoever. Neither does great writing; it's both thoughtless and automatic.
    But the best bit (of the same letter) has got to be this -
    Anyway, Joe has paid me (a ridiculously small amount) to come visit him three times this year and, every time I go he sucks my mind so dry... that... by the time I get on the plane to fly back to Miami, I sit there in my seat like some kind of zombie who yearns to get back to the peace of his coffin. In fact, it got so bad the last time that when the stewardess came up to me and asked, "Coffee, tea or milk?"I snarled at her and said... "Don't you ever ask me something like that again... If this airline thinks I'm going to give them free consulting to questions like that so they can obtain a higher retention of their customers, they are sadly mistaken!"
    "Gee, I didn't mean to offend you,"the stewardess replied, "is there anything I can get you?"
    "Yeah,"I said, "get me some pure heroin and something to inject it with!"
    "Oh,"she said, "you've been out to see Joe Polish, haven't you?"
    I must admit, after that, the flight did go a bit better.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1150989].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Bond
      That is funny. I got back from Joe's 25k group Saturday night and I felt drained for a few days.

      To further his thought,when people said "this is well written" he looked at it as a sign he didn't do his best because the reader should never notice your writing, only your message.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151043].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
        Hey Bond,

        I think a great letter would be Gary's "Grabber" letter.

        The way he used the "Dollar Bill" letter is definitely legendary. But also the mexican peso... baggie of sand.

        I know Joe Polish and many others still use the dollar bill letter today. Followed up with the 2nd mailing with a piece of string "Reminder" attached.

        One thing that Gary taught that I try to always remember is ..."Through movement not through meditation".

        Thank you for keeping Gary's letters going... it's definitely a million dollar education in copywriting and marketing.

        Your dad was truly one of a kind.

        Take care,

        Bill Jeffels
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151243].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Bond
          Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

          Hey Bond,

          I think a great letter would be Gary's "Grabber" letter.

          The way he used the "Dollar Bill" letter is definitely legendary. But also the mexican peso... baggie of sand.
          Bill,

          I have a small stack of Iraqi Dinars with Saddam's face on them my dad bought to use as a grabber. I can just imagine the pitch about inflation and how fast paper money can become worthless. Heck I should do a piece like that to sell a Forex trading system.

          Anyway, if you send me an email with your address I'll pop one in the mail for you. It isn't worth the postage I'll use to send it but it was Gary's and I saved them for his fans.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151498].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
            Originally Posted by Bond View Post

            Bill,

            I have a small stack of Iraqi Dinars with Saddam's face on them my dad bought to use as a grabber. I can just imagine the pitch about inflation and how fast paper money can become worthless. Heck I should do a piece like that to sell a Forex trading system.

            Anyway, if you send me an email with your address I'll pop one in the mail for you. It isn't worth the postage I'll use to send it but it was Gary's and I saved them for his fans.
            Yes, that would be great Bond.

            Very much appreciated... I'll Personal Message you my address. Thanks again.

            Bill

            P.S. Can you try to convince Scott Haines to keep his blog rock'n... I e-mailed him and he said he's going to take it down. Scott's got alot of valuable info in that blog . Oh ya, Scott also mentioned he liked that poem that I wrote for your dad ( 3rd down)... thegaryhalbertletter.com/rememberinggary.htm
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151634].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author maximus242
    I have read every issue many times and taken thousands of notes. My favorites were Gary's two newsletters on how to become a good copywriter in 30 days.

    The Gary Halbert Letter
    The Gary Halbert Letter

    By the way I did actually follow garys advice and it was the worst month of my life haha. Writing out that stock market ad was hell on earth. Took days.

    But I did learn a lot. The thing which I learned the most from was where he said to write out an ad, then have it typset and camera ready. I actually went out and did that and something did shift.

    I did Joe Karbos ad and when I held it in my hands after getting it typset and everything. I realized that the copy was not something that came out of a mysterious black box nor was it nearly as hard to write good copy as I thought it was.

    Anyways, the Gary Halbert Letter has been a source of light and inspiration in my life, im sure you will keep that light going.

    P.S. One of my other favorites was one you wrote, where you break down A.I.D.A. that was a nice newsletter
    Signature

    xResponsive Advertising Agency | Direct Marketing | Online Advertising | Create Breakthrough Campaigns for Your Business http://xresponsive.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151204].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Bond
      Originally Posted by maximus242 View Post

      P.S. One of my other favorites was one you wrote, where you break down A.I.D.A. that was a nice newsletter
      You just made my day.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151448].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Hey Bond,

    Off the top of my head I'd say "Triple Your Energy" was definitely one of my favorites. VERY tough choice though.

    I love the subhead "The Last Person Alive To Know Everything There Is To Know In The World!"

    That's how you kick off a story and force people to read.

    To say I'm a huge fan of your Dad's stuff is an understatement. Thanks for dropping in to the forum.

    -Scott

    (Edit: I'm an idiot. I was thinking sales letters he'd written, not The Halbert Letters... Too hard to choose, sorry for the confusion.)
    Signature

    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151451].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
    Wow...

    I bought hundreds of those things over there for souvenirs and what not...

    This was 6 years ago, they've just been sitting around every since. I can't believe I haven't thought of doing something with them.

    *Swipe*... Talk about a man full of great ideas.

    I'm going to use them for a local marketing campaign, I don't have a ton... But a nice story about me spending my perfectly good money to buy worthless money could work well.

    Thanks for that one! The wheels are already spinning.

    -Scott
    Signature

    Over $30 Million In Marketing Data And A Decade Of Consistently Generating Breakthrough Results - Ask How My Unique Approach To Copy Typically Outsells Traditional Ads By Up To 29x Or More...

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1151536].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mccflo99
    Definitely include Gary's infamous perfume ad.

    Chris
    Signature
    Copywriter With High Profile References...
    Click Here >>> Copywriter
    Personal Blog (Music Reviews, Bad Business, Poetry)...
    Click Here >>> http://www.ibechris.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1152415].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
    Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

    Is there a "starving crowd" out there willing to pay for only 3 letters that have never been published before (online) and 10 letters that are online and available for FREE?
    There is definitely a "starving crowd" out there.

    You could print those 3 letters on toilet paper... and in crayon... and people wouldn't be able to get their credit cards out fast enough.

    Best,

    Bill
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1152600].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Subtle... you just made my day.

    -Dan
    Signature

    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1152609].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bond
    Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

    Is there a "starving crowd" out there willing to pay for only 3 letters that have never been published before (online) and 10 letters that are online and available for FREE?
    I think so. People still by copies of the Boron Letters and three newsletters which were $20 a pop when they weren't rare, should get them to buy a few copies.

    Plus, the main point is more about branding his name. The letters and ads which made people his fans should be the best ones to get newbies into his content. It will also have some impressive blurbs on the cover for those who have heard of one of the others big names in DM but not his.

    For the die hard fans who help us drive it high on the bestseller list, buy buying it during the launch, we are going to offer them some sort of bonus material like one of his mini seminars.

    I think it sounds like a strong offer but you never know.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1153034].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Bond -

      Getting personal for a second, your fathers letters literally saved my life. I battled with depression after my first divorce and would read your dads newsletters every night for months on end. I printed all of them out and they are bound together for me to go over again whenever I need.

      Your father was a ray of light in my darkness.

      That's all I have to say.

      Thanks

      Tim
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1153048].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    This is Bond Halbert and I am putting together some of my dad's best letters into a book.
    I think you'll sell this for sure.

    But here's an idea you might have been thinking about - which I would like to see more than above - although it's a decidedly bigger task than a "highlights" book...

    There's enough content on copywriting in amongst your da's newsletters (and I'm sure everything else he's written too) for a good book.

    But it would need editorial, rearranging and so on...

    Chapter 1: Introduction to direct response
    Chapter 2: Before you write one word
    Chapter 3: The Big Idea
    Chapter 4: How to write a headline
    Chapter 5: How to write a lead
    etc

    The benefit here would be something that's more coherent and accessible for newbies... As the newsletters aren't in any structured order like that. Then there's additional commentary and that kind thing.

    So basically you'd be writing around the "meat of the message," which would be Gary's. And you'd have a Copywriting 101 By Sir Gary Halbert.

    That's a book I'd be more inclined to buy.

    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1153570].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Bond,

      Think about including Gary's letter with the eye surgery ad. It's a good one. I like the way he used the Claude Hopkins' Schlitz beer technique. Very effective.

      Alex
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1153939].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author OnlineMasterMind
        [DELETED]
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1155481].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
          Banned
          Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

          This is the best letter he ever wrote:

          The Gary Halbert Letter

          No question.
          That's a great letter but where's the ad? He says "open up that ad (it's enclosed with this letter) and then very carefully read every word of it before you continue reading this newsletter." I'd really like to read that ad now.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1155799].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
            Originally Posted by Metronicity View Post

            That's a great letter but where's the ad? He says "open up that ad (it's enclosed with this letter) and then very carefully read every word of it before you continue reading this newsletter." I'd really like to read that ad now.
            The ad Halbert is talking about is here:

            Gary Halbert Personal Ad


            Signature

            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1156159].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
              Banned
              Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

              The ad Halbert is talking about is here:

              Gary Halbert Personal Ad


              Oh man - that's a beauty isn't it! He was quite a character. Thanks!
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1156379].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author jasondinner
          Originally Posted by OnlineMasterMind View Post

          This is the best letter he ever wrote:

          The Gary Halbert Letter

          No question.
          Where is the ad he spoke about in this letter? Is there a copy available online somewhere?
          Signature

          "Human thoughts have the tendency to transform themselves into their physical equivalent." Earl Nightingale

          Super Affiliates Hang Out Here

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1342362].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by jasondinner View Post

            Where is the ad he spoke about in this letter? Is there a copy available online somewhere?
            Check Subtle's post above.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1343220].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ramohr
    I liked the online letter your Dad wrote on showing people
    how to set up their own home business. Using Mountain West Publishing
    as their order taking service. He got mad at people for not taking action
    and using every excuse imaginable for not getting started.

    And he even gave us a product to promote..His Gary Halbert Letter along with a list of
    names.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1155520].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
    Originally Posted by Bond View Post

    Hello everyone,

    This is Bond Halbert and I am putting together some of my dad's best letters into a book.

    So far I have had professionals whose opinion he respected choose thirteen of his best letters for the book, three of which have never been posted.

    It would be awesome if some of you would let me know what your favorite letter was so I will know what was missed.

    Thanks for reading.

    All the best,
    Bond


    Hey Bond:

    If you'se are indeed the son of the Legend....then let me be the first to tell you that your old man was the greatest of all time.....in my book.

    I devoted one my early blog talk radio shows to him....because his wisdom is timeless.

    Damn...I miss him.

    Gary Halbert was the Last of the Mohicans.....they don't make marketers like him anymore....they never will.

    Yeah...I said "MARKETER."

    Most people remember Gary for his copy writing skills.....I remember him for being one of the greatest marketers who ever lived. There's a big difference.

    That's something so many of today's often arrogant copywriters will never understand about the Prince of Print....and why he was so great...and why he was able to generate so many millions long before the "net."

    He was a marketer first...copywriter second.

    Your Pops had an incredible gift ...the ability to spot an offer "they couldn't refuse."

    That's something they don't teach at CopyWriting 101 University anymore.....the ability to sell **** people want. Your Pops....did.

    The rest was easy....because he simply used his magic with words to describe why people couldn't live without this or that....why the needed to buy now....and the rest was history.

    Gary never attempted to use his brilliant copy writing skills to sell a pig in a blue dress...cuz he was too damn smart to waste his time trying to be "clever and brilliant."

    He figured out the best "sales copy" was the sales copy that made MONEY. That's how you keep score in my book.

    LOL. Gary Halbert would have pissed off a whole lot of peeps on this "section" of the Warrior Forum for sure.

    I'm pretty sure he would have gotten his crusty, cranky ass banned from this Forum too....and considered it a badge of honor. Then he would have gone out and made another million or two just to spite the haters. Gotta love him!

    I could never dishonor the man's legacy by choosing any one thing he put out... as being "the best."

    When I think of Gary C. Halbet...I see a body of work that stretched a career that will never die....and it was all brilliant to me...and life changing.

    But I can tell you the single greatest life changing bit of advice your pops ever revealed in terms of its effect on Vince here.....

    "...You can't screw around with the American public today. You have to give them something they almost can't live without. People are scared. They are afraid of losing their jobs. They are not going to shell out money for THEORY. But they will spend money to look thin, look younger, attract the opposite sex.... and to make more money etc....." --Gary C Halbert


    That bit of advice has changed my life... and made me more money then any book, course, or guru theory......ever pushed.



    xxx Vegas Vince


    PS I remember your dad talking about a book he was having published through a mainstream publisher...and actress Margeux Hemmingway was going to be the spokesperson for it???? Sadly....she died too.

    What ever happened to that project? Cuz that's one book I would love to read.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1155962].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MissEvonne
    I just recently found these letters and I am really enjoying them!! I do not understand why I have not come acroos them before. Great Read!!
    I'll be back to post my favorite.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1156829].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jon Steel
    I would say the boron letters as well ... but here's a question: Are you adding ads as well?

    js
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1336394].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Originally Posted by Bond View Post

    Hello everyone,

    This is Bond Halbert and I am putting together some of my dad's best letters into a book.

    So far I have had professionals whose opinion he respected choose thirteen of his best letters for the book, three of which have never been posted.

    It would be awesome if some of you would let me know what your favorite letter was so I will know what was missed.

    Thanks for reading.

    All the best,
    Bond
    Bond,

    My choices:

    A Starving Crowd
    How To Write Better Copy, Faster!
    The Rolls Royce Letters
    The Can You Guess letters
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1343262].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author David Babineau
    Originally Posted by Matt Jutras View Post

    I printed them all out into two 4" binders. My wife thinks I'm nuts. She's like "wtf is that, your taxes from the last 18 years?"
    That's funny

    Man, it must have taken you hours to do that! (I wonder how much it would cost to outsource that on eLance?...)

    Cheers,
    Dave
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1351317].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AnneE
    Any time table for when the book might become a reality? I was just thinking that I'd like to read the Boron Letters. I was cleaning my shelves and came across where I had started to print them off one-by-one from the website. But they didn't have page numbers on them the way I did it and I think I got them out of order and stopped.

    I'll take a nice PDF that I can print or a 'real book'. I'm sure there is still a market for this. I hope it's still going to happen.

    Anne

    P.S. I was just reading and granted he's quoting someone else, but this line made me laugh:
    "Most of the world's work is done by people who didn't feel much like getting out of bed."
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1689346].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Bond, thank you for asking here. I love the idea that more people could get introduced to your Dad's approach. Thanks for releasing the archived material.

    My favorite letters are the ones where he describes the situation before he started writing. Off the top of my head I remember that he explained how he came up with Tova perfume, how he came up with "A pile" out of desperation for the coat of arms letter, and the story of water ad. For those of who weren't there at the time, this context really helps to learn about his thought process.

    I would love to see an introductory note about each of the letters, from someone who was involved at the time. Was it a "bet the company" gamble? Did Gary come up with the offer? Had other marketing consultants and copywriters failed them? Did they like his advice or did he drag them kicking & screaming to give it a try? Etc.

    These behind the scenes stories are what we can't get from just reading the letters themselves. If it was possible to add those to the book, it would make it that much more fascinating and valuable.

    And let me add a voice from the starving crowd who'd love the Boron Letters as a complete set. Maybe also transcripts of the memorial talks about him.

    Most importantly... anything you'd like to add personally about what you thought of his work and how the Boron Letters affected you. A lot of people want to respect your privacy but gotta say it, there's a lot of curiosity too!

    The cover picture is already perfect. The title of the book (on the spine), of course, is "Dear ****weasel."

    Chris
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1690159].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Thanks, Ken, I totally overlooked the dates. I guess it came back up to the surface because someone asked about the other Halbert materials. Well, it was totally worth it to me just to see that Bible-bound picture. And I think my idea of situation + letter could be a winning formula for some other master copywriter with vast experience. Would love to see a book like that from John Carlton or Clayton Makepeace, for instance. Of course nobody else could get away with my suggested title for the book!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1690239].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author herrick
    bond was at John Carltons simple writing seminar this past weekend I talked to him about this and he is still actively working on this project. He also has a group of fellow marketers meeting in L.A. that's open to anyone. Gary's site with all his old newsletters is still active and Bond has been updating posts to it. I dont know the url offhand. I'll post it tomorrow.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[1694109].message }}

Trending Topics