Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed business woman and writer Anne Janzer about her book, what inspires her, and the advice she has for others.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I wanted to write a book years ago, but chickened out. I went as far as identifying a topic and interviewing people. Then I felt like it was too big, and I was not enough. I returned to writing for others (as a marketing consultant). I wish I could go back and whisper encouraging words to my younger self! Instead, I encourage other aspiring authors.
When did you take a step to start writing?
In 2014, I decided to take another run at writing a book. I had an idea that I wanted to share about marketing, and no one was talking about this angle. That became Subscription Marketing. It published in January of 2015 and has been through two editions since. It’s also been translated into Japanese and Korean.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
I thought I had to rush to get the book out before everyone else did. (The idea seemed so obvious to me.) So I moved quickly, and published as an indie author. It took about six months from conception to publication. Most of my other books have taken longer, and usually come in around a year, with research.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
My latest book (my sixth) took about five months—less time than most of my other books, in part because it’s quite short. It’s called 33 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Business Emails and is part of multi-author series with the same “33 Ways” title. The series had a launch date that defined my timeline.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write 33 Ways Not To Screw Up Your Business Emails?
The publisher, Melissa Wilson of Networlding, invited me to participate in this series, and her vision is compelling. Business books don’t have to be long and serious, and indie authors don’t have to operate alone. I chose the topic of business emails because it is a specific and well-defined topic area, and at the same time appeals to a broad audience. (We all write emails, right?)
What were your biggest challenges with writing 33 Ways Not To Screw Up Your Business Emails?
Keeping to a 20,000 word limit made me choose my stories carefully. I also dialed back on the amount of research I cited (and accompanying end notes). But the challenge was fun and made my writing tighter.
What was your research process for 33 Ways Not To Screw Up Your Business Emails?
I spent the first couple months reading other books, looking into academic research, interviewing people, running short surveys, and asking people to share their stories with me. There’s always more research than shows up in the book.
How did you plan the structure of 33 Ways Not To Screw Up Your Business Emails?
In this case, the structure was defined by the series title: 33 ways not to screw up something. Having the structure and size already decided accelerated the writing process. Otherwise I can spend months envisioning the book and tinkering with an outline.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did 33 Ways Not To Screw Up Your Business Emails need?
I always make several revision and editing passes through my manuscripts before sending them to a professional copyeditor. A professional proofreader also gets a pass through before it’s published. (Even then, a few glitches sneak in!)
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Don’t wait for the perfect book proposal or outline to arrive. For many of us, the final book outline arises from the work itself—from researching and drafting and struggling.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I have a couple of ideas simmering on the back burner, and will start diving into research soon to see what takes. I want to explore the connections between nature and writing. I’m not sure what that will look like, but I will have fun exploring. And maybe I’ll do something else.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
The real payoff for me is having a positive impact on others. People occasionally send me emails or notes about the impact that The Writer’s Process had on them, or how they used Writing to Be Understood as they drafted their own books. Those notes give me fuel, and make everything worthwhile. That is the real measure of success in my book.
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
Books (Universal links)
The Writer’s Process: https://books2read.com/u/49P7kk
The Workplace Writer’s Process: https://books2read.com/u/bapqD6
Writing to Be Understood: https://www.books2read.com/u/md0DQR
Subscription Marketing: https://books2read.com/u/bW195x
Get the Word Out: https://books2read.com/u/bQK0J0
33 Ways Not to Screw Up Your Business Emails: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FFDC1VH/