Meet Anne Janzer, author of Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Meet the Author

Anne and I have known each other for several years and she always has great tips about writing. She’s even written a guest post for me about BookBub Ads. I am sure you will find helpful information in her interview.Anne Janzer headshot

Tell us a little bit about your book and business.

I’m a nonfiction author and unabashed writing geek, on a mission to help people communicate more effectively through writing. I’ve written four books about writing itself, including The Writer’s Process and Writing to Be Understood. My most recent book is Get the Word Out: Write a Book That Makes a Difference.

When I’m not writing books or blog posts about writing, I can be found coaching business writers, doing developmental edits of nonfiction manuscripts, or helping business authors through the messy middle of their works.

Why did you write your books?

I write all of my writing-related books for the same general reason—to help people communicate and connect more effectively through writing. I keep coming at that challenge from different angles, and for slightly different audiences.

How did you publish your book? Traditional publisher, hybrid publisher, self-published?

I’m an indie author or author/publisher. By that, I mean that I self-publish, but hire professional designers and editors, and approach the work like a publisher as much as a writer. My books should be indistinguishable from those produced by traditional publishers. It’s been a learning adventure.

How did things change in 2020 and how did you weather the year through the pandemic?

As an indie author, I was able to adjust more easily to the restrictions of the pandemic than many traditionally published authors. I don’t rely on retail bookstores for my sales, and don’t plan for big, in-person events. I could adjust the prices and run discounts to reach people when times were tough. The flexibility and control helped.

The pandemic also opened a few doors, such as speaking at a couple “overseas” events that I otherwise would not have done because of the travel.

Oddly enough, the pandemic also created clarity around the messaging of my latest book, Get the Word Out. I had been working with chapters and ideas for months, but when the world shut down, I realized that the theme of the book was really about making a difference. And I was able to snag interviews with all sorts of interesting people because their travel schedules were shut down.

So I weathered the year by connecting with other authors and immersing myself in writing a book. Not a bad strategy, and a great distraction.

What is your favorite book marketing tip?

My book marketing mantra is this: be generous and strategic. If you are only generous, you will burn out. If you are only strategic, people will burn out on you. Find that balance—help those people who are your readers, or who otherwise speak to your readers. Build relationships. You can do this by writing book reviews, contributing guest blog posts, doing podcast interviews … the possibilities are nearly endless.

What are your goals for 2021?

I hope to keep encouraging and supporting authors who want to step up to writing meaningful books. We’ll see what that looks like in 2021: more coaching or editing, perhaps a few small-group online courses, more podcasts and blog posts. And much more reading!

Where can readers find your book?

The best place to find out more is on my website: annejanzer.com. From there you can sign up for my every-other-week emails about writing practices.

All of my books are available on Amazon (here’s my author page) and Bookshop:

You can also find them on my Bookshop page (supporting indie bookstores).

Connect on social media: @AnneJanzer on Twitter, Anne H Janzer on Facebook, Anne Janzer on LinkedIn.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

For all of those authors who worry about, dread, or resent book marketing, consider reframing the way you think about it. Your book is like a beacon for the people you serve. Marketing is how you light that beacon and fulfil the purpose of your book.

Bio

Anne Janzer is an award-winning author, armchair cognitive science geek, nonfiction author coach, marketing practitioner, and blogger. She’s on a mission to help people spread important ideas through writing.

As a professional writer, she has worked with more than one hundred technology companies, writing in the voice of countless brands and corporate executives. She is author of the books Writing to Be Understood,  The Writer’s Process, The Workplace Writer’s Process, and Subscription Marketing.

Her books have won numerous awards, including the Independent Book Publishers IPPY award, the Foreword Indies Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal, and the IndieReader Discovery Award. They have been translated into Japanese, Korean, and Russian language editions.

Anne also regularly speaks or hosts online webinars for writing conferences, writer’s groups, and corporate marketing teams and writing groups.

Three Reasons to Experiment with BookBub Ads (Guest Post by Anne Janzer)

We reached out to author Anne Janzer after she shared her experiences below in her own newsletter. Anne’s books are marvelous examples of nonfiction done right, and we appreciated her willingness to share her experiments and conclusions with our readers.

BookBub is renowned for its Featured Deals. Every author I’ve spoken with who ever got a Featured Deal sings BookBub’s praises.

But here’s the thing – I’m a nonfiction author, and those deals are harder to come by. (So far, I’ve landed two “international-only” featured deals in the self-help category, but none in the US. Harumph.)

Lucky for me, there are BookBub Ads.

BookBub ads haven’t been around as long as the Featured Deals, and the company has been making changes to the platform. But from my perspective, they’re terrific.

If you’re considering using paid advertising to support a book launch or promotion, BookBub ads definitely worth a look. Experiment and see if they find a place in your book marketing plans.

How they Work

BookBub sends its subscribers emails with the Featured Deals for the day. At the end of that email, there’s an ad. Here’s one from a recent email to me:

The advertiser provided the image. At the bottom of the email, you can see that BookBub showed me this ad because I follow Daniel Pink. If I click on it, it takes me to my preferred ebook source (in this case, Amazon in the US).

While these ads may be less compelling than the Featured Deals, they can perform well. My own experience has been that they can and do send people to the book page and generate sales, with a few caveats (see below).

Three Reasons to Consider BookBub Ads

Successful Facebook advertising still stumps me. Amazon advertising is tricky; getting Amazon to scale up your spending can be a challenge.

In contrast, BookBub ads are consistent, reliable, and have definite advantages for indie authors. These are the things I most love about them:

  1. Control—You control when the ads show. If you bid high enough for a number of impressions, BookBub will show your ad.
  2. Scalable Spending—You can spend as much or as little as you want. For example, test the waters on an ad image by running it as a “pay-per-click” campaign, in which you pay only when someone clicks on the ad. If you’re happy with it, you can drop $30-50 on “pay-per-impression” ads and get a burst of traffic for a few days.
  3. Author Targeting—BookBub lets you target fans of specific authors. This means that if you choose well, you’ll send the right kind of traffic to your Amazon page.

A Few Caveats

As with any advertising strategy, it takes careful copywriting, financial tracking, and a sound strategy to make sense. In particular, pay attention to the following:

Your landing page: If you spend a bunch of money sending people to your Amazon page and it doesn’t do sell your book, then you’re wasting your advertising budget. Start by tightening up that page.

The ad image: You don’t have a lot of territory in the ad image to earn a click. It helps if your book cover is compelling. See this post on the BookBub blog: Top 20 BookBub Ad Designs Readers Want to Click.

The price: BookBub readers sign up to get the heavily discounted books, so these ads work best when you’re running a discounted promotion, or your ebook is priced low. You probably won’t sell a bunch of $9.99 Kindle books using BookBub ads.

The authors: Target fans of authors who would appeal to your readers. People who have big sales on Amazon don’t always have followings on BookBub. Go to BookBub and search for the author’s name to see how many followers they have. You may have to think creatively to find your ideal set of authors.

Your financial comfort level. Your advertising campaign should pay for itself. You can blow through the money using “Pay per impression” ads, so pay attention to how they are performing. Consider allocating a small budget for ads, then tracking your results. Think of it as an investment in learning that should pay for itself.

Success requires experimentation. Run the same ad to different authors, or different ad images to the same authors. Try an ad campaign as part of a launch, or schedule a promotion and advertise it on BookBub. As with everything in book marketing, there’s no single right answer.

Be willing to experiment.

For More Information

Learn before you start advertising. Here are a couple resources:

Anne Janzer is an award-winning author on a mission to help people communicate more effectively through writing. Her books include The Writer’s Process and Writing to Be Understood: What Works and Why. Find her ramblings at AnneJanzer.com.