Review: “Made to Stick”

I read a lot of marketing books, because I’m interested in the writing that goes into marketing and advertising. I just finished “Made to Stick.” The tagline of the book is “Why some ideas survive and others die,” which I find to be a very valuable set of concepts for a writer.

The book is clearly aimed towards marketers, but most of the techniques it contains could be used for some advantage in creating a successful article or even a short story. The book focuses on why people remember one idea over another, and if a writer can get an idea stuck in a person’s head, that writer is successful.

There are only six techniques discussed in the book (Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible. Emotional, Stories), but each one gets its own chapter, chock full of examples and case studies. While I’d consider “Made to Stick” a bit of a pop-business book, just from the way it’s written, the content does make a solid argument. It’s even a quick read. 252 pages, plus another 50 or so of back matter.

The authors know the material they’re writing about, as well. Chip Heath teaches this sort of material at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, while his brother Dan is a consultant for the same topic. If you’re not ready to jump into another book quite yet, they blog at

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