Your audiobook is waiting…

Writing to Be Understood

What Works and Why
Narrated by: Anne Janzer
Length: 4 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Have you ever wondered what makes your favorite nonfiction books so compelling, understandable, or enjoyable? They're connecting with you, as a reader (or listener). This book will help you recognize and apply the methods of your favorite writers to your own work. 

Writing to Be Understood is the thinking writer's guide to effective nonfiction writing techniques, such as: 
 

  • Using analogies to illustrate unseen concepts 
  • Appealing to the reader's innate curiosity 
  • Alternating between abstraction and detail in explanations 
  • Balancing humility with credibility 

For each topic, the book combines insights from cognitive science with advice from writers and expert practitioners in fields of psychology, technology, economics, medicine, policy, and more.  

Whether you're an expert trying to communicate with a mainstream audience or a nonfiction writer hoping to reach more people, Writing to Be Understood will help you expand the impact of your words. 

Gold Medal Winner, 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards  

©2018 Anne Janzer (P)2019 Anne Janzer

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As Valuable as Lamott's Bird by Bird to Writers

This book was extraordinary and immediately as I was listening, I realized I had made a mistake in one of my recent books that I could now fix. As non-fiction writers we become expert and interested in our writing, but sometimes forget to include the backstory of what brought us to that passion on the topic. The book by Anne Janzer is a refreshing reminder that what we do isn't provide static information to a broad audience, but that we begin by providing specific detailed help for our tribe. It may later catch wider reach, but the heart of successful non-fiction comes down to doing the things that Anne tells us about really well through significant revision and reflection. It felt like I was in a non-fiction writing masterclass, except it was only $10. Highly recommend reading this Anne as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A no-frills approach to writing

This book is a collection of well-thought-out pearls of wisdom. The strategies, techniques, and methods suggested in every chapter follow the K.I.S.S principle down to the last detail. However, if you're looking for something more thorough, the author has interwoven a thoughtfully curated reading list for digging deeper into the concepts she addresses. From all the gift books I've received, this is by far the one I've enjoyed the most.

“I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review”

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Many ideas about understanding book readers

I was given a free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review:

There is a LOT of information in this book about understanding the mind of your reader. This is awesome for “data junkies” (unfortunately, I’m not one). I did enjoy some of the author’s voluminous and far-reaching research and was impressed by how many studies she had actually investigated, how many people she had interviewed, how knowledgeable she is about how the brain works and how much she knows about the psychology of readers.

That said, I felt that I needed more “to hang my hat on.” Overall, her very scholarly and technical language level, along with many brain details about the amygdala, frontal cortex, etc., was not that of my more “keep it simple” level. She is a former English teacher and her extensive knowledge of that subject creeps into her writing (for example, mentioning “iambic pentameter” and other English class terms). Others may welcome that level of erudition and techno-speak. In fairness to the author, she does say that no book will appeal to every reader.

I found myself craving HOW to actually apply all the research in the book to become a better writer. For example, I love stories and really wanted some practical hints on using them. The author did use a number of stories throughout the book but, unfortunately, the chapter on stories was too theoretical for me. I listened to it more than once and had the same reaction each time.

Lastly, since I do not have a perfect memory (few of us do), I would like to have seen an Audible “View PDF” file for this book. It could have contained a Writer Tools Check List of all the “tools” detailed in the book which a writer might consider using (e.g., tone, paragraph length, style, humility, stories, metaphors and many others). That would have been a much appreciated bonus for me.

She does mention (at the end of the very audiobook) that she has more information at AnneJanzer.com/resources. For this book (she has several there) you can download a “Summary of the book’s writing methods.” This is a very nice 20 page PDF book summary, chapter by chapter, which gives you some great ideas about each chapter.