The Boron Letters (Book Review)


title: The Boron Letters

author: Gary Halbert (with notes from Bond Halbert)

what you’ll learn: 47 years of worldly wisdom from a legendary copywriter who got rich, lost everything, and got rich again (and then lost everything and got rich again)

Why You Must Read It

If you’ve been around my site, you’ve heard of him. The Master Wordsmith. The Prince of Print. The Best Copywriter in the World. The one and only …

Gary C. Halbert

There is a very good reason why I keep on talking about Godfather Gary: he shaped me into who I am today. Without him, I would never have gotten in marketing, especially copywriting. I would not have written the way I do. And I really doubt my site would even exist!

I still remember the first time I heard about him. I was browsing around the blog of my favorite Indian kid. Neville kept raving about something called “copywriting” and highly recommend everyone to read The Boron Letters.

I faithfully follow his directions and got my copy. I did not know what to expect. But from the very first paragraph, I was hooked. Halbert was teaching me things I have never learn in school or from my parents — namely how the real world works and how to make money through the power of your words.

That’s kinda crazy. It’s like a Jedi mind trick. You’re telling me that by having the right audience and by saying the right words, people would give me their money?

It’s true! After finishing The Boron Letters, I jumped into his newsletters. Within a month of getting introduced to copywriting, I dove right in and implemented his advice. I sold five-figures worth of products in 3 e-mails. (I’ve since stopped working with the company. That will be a story for another day.) I created money for myself from thin air — based on my creativity and my words. I later went on to make $200 per hour in one-on-one consulting sessions.

This was all done on a very part-time basis. The bulk of my time is spent getting through medical school. Looking back, it is as if I am living a dream.

When I was stuck in class or when I was studying for my exams, I got e-mails saying money magically showed up in my account. I still get them to this very day. It’s not so magical now, but there is something extraordinary about making your very first sale online.

Again … without his letters, I would not be where I am today. I can honestly say that reading The Boron Letters opened the floodgates of my small success in online business. It gave me more confidence in my abilities to survive any hardships. (Heck, Halbert went broke so many times, but he always bounced back.) If I had to choose between reading The Boron Letters or read a medical textbook, I would choose the letters in a heartbeat.

The Boron Letters was written by Gary when he was in prison. The letters — 25 in all — were for his son, Bond. I’d imagine that Gary still wanted to be a good father, even though he could not be there physically. So he did what he does best … he wrote.

When you read it, you’re getting a heart-to-heart talk from a business veteran who has “been there and done that.” You’ll learn the most important lessons he learned from his 47 years on earth. You can tell it is informal and nothing-but-truth, based on the way he writes. Personal. Raw. (It can’t get any more raw than a father in prison writing to his son.) And crazy-practical.

(If textbooks you had to read in school were like this, you’ll have a lot more educated children than the dummies we have today.)

Before writing my review, I went back and re-read the whole thing … especially my notes and the highlights. The memories and important lessons came flooding back. Why? Because it reminded me of all the things I take for granted now. When I first read it, it was like opening my eyes for the first time. Or hearing for the first time. It was mind-shattering.

In particular, Halbert’s words of wisdom will teach you:

  • the best way to determine if you have a market (which will also determine if you have a viable business)
  • what to look for when renting a customer list to maximize sales
  • how to calculate if your direct mailing will be profitable
  • how to increase the response rate with one easy tweak
  • how to create the perfect informational product on any subject in any field
  • how to create a killer sales letter <– this is Gary’s forte
  • what is AIDA and how to implement it into your copy
  • Halbert’s favorite gimmick to draw in any reader like bees to honey
  • how to keep a reader’s interest once you got his attention
  • how to get someone to take action after reading the sales letter
  • how to write better (I faithfully followed his advice and my writing improved by 10x — crazy!)
  • how to format your copy so people will wanna read it
  • the 7 steps to direct mail success
  • the #1 mistakes people make in business
  • how Grandmaster Gary became the “best copywriter in the world” of his time

(Basically, you’re gonna learn a whole lot.)

Once you get The Boron Letters, I urge you to read it 3 times. When you read it for the first time, your eyes will open and you will truly see. When you read it for the second time, your mind will open and you will understand. And when you read it for the third time, you heart will open and you will absorb his lessons into your being.

If you wanna run a successful business, no matter if it is brick and mortar or online, no matter if it is product-based or service-based, no matter if you got a college degree or no degree, you have to read this book.

Even if you don’t wanna run a business, but if you just wanna write better or even just get ahead in life, you have to read it. It’ll be one of the wisest investments you’ll ever make.

Click on image to buy now!

Table of Contents

The Boron Letters #1 – #25

Choice Excerpt

Dear Bond,

How’s my favorite youngest son? I’m sitting here waiting for the phone and I decided to start writing so let’s push forward.

Today, we are going to get started on the subject of how to make money. Usually, when someone asks me what is the #1 big secret to making money I tell them they should get involved in whatever excites them the most.

This is good advice. Money, in my opinion, especially big money, is most often a by product of enthusiasm. If a person, secretly in his heart, wants to be an architect, he shouldn’t go into selling real estate, for example, just because he has heard that that is where the money is.

The money is where the enthusiasm is. Please remember this! Remember it also, when, in the future, you need to hire someone. Always look for the most enthusiastic person, not necessarily the most qualified.

When it comes to making money, attitude is the most important thing of all. That’s why you are so appreciated at Advanced Management. You have exactly the kind of attitude that a sharp employer looks for. So remember all this and when it is your turn to hire someone. Usually, Bond, when I discuss making money with someone, I spend a lot more time on attitude because it is so important. But you already have a great attitude so I’ll save any further discussion for later.

Also, you already seem to have a natural talent and enthusiasm for direct marketing so I am going to directly proceed to that area.

Now, pay attention. The very first thing you must come to realize is that you must become a “student of markets”. Not products. Not techniques. Not copywriting. Not how to buy space or whatever. Now, of course, all of these things are important and you must learn about them, but, the first and the most important thing you must learn is what people want to buy.

And it’s easy. You see, the way to deduce what people want to buy is to simply observe what they DO buy!

It’s as simple as that. But be careful. You want to know what people actually DO buy, not what they SAY they buy.

Click on image to buy now!

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  1. Was copying his “coat-of-arms” letter the other day and it was really effective, if dishonest. Gets right to the reader’s self-interest though

  2. Gary Halbert was the best copywriter of his time! I think there is not a person today who could be as good as him!

    I have read a lot of his stuff online and even remember when i was younger before the internet seeing these full page ads in the newspaper taking about a watch and how it can benefit you.

    The man was an excellent story teller and it made him a lot of money! I’m going to have to get back and learn some more!
    Great Post Alex!

  3. Matthew O'Connell says:

    So what’s that five figure story? Haha

  4. Very good post Alex. Probably one of the best I’ve seen on your site in terms of writing.

    I look forward to hearing about your 5-figure story some time later too.

    I’m getting the book.


  1. God-Mode Enabled: How to Win in Life No Matter What — Alex Ding says:

    […] to meditate and write. Gary Halbert went to prison and he turned out okay. In the process, he wrote The Boron Letters.) Don’t think that god-mode is limited to a select few. Anyone can turn on god-mode. […]

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