Hi, there. I’m Susan, here in Colorado. Most people know me as a guidebook author, but I spend most of my time helping other authors write their books. While I’d love to tell you about all the marvelous books I’ve worked on, I take confidentiality seriously and never disclose the names of my client authors or their book titles. My name doesn’t appear on any of these books and I don’t promote them.
I’ve authored or ghostwritten thirty-three books for publishers and other authors. My work has been published by Indie publishers, full-service self-publishers, and major publishing houses from the Big Five, and appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list.
I’ve also written hundreds of columns and articles for newspapers and online magazines, and have been fortunate to work with many talented people at publications including Falcon Guides, Scribe Media, LifeBook, Alpinist, Colorado Mountain Club, Out There Colorado, RootsRated, The Woodmen Edition, and The Gazette.
I have a BS in Business and Information Systems, an MBA in Technology Management, a Copyediting Certificate from UCSD, and 30+ years of business, leadership, and management experience that entailed a lot of writing for private and public companies, from startups to Fortune 500 corporations.
Over the years, my job titles spanned a number of industries from high tech, to sales and marketing, to creative fields and even higher education. As any skilled writer working in the business world can attest, when colleagues find out you can write well, you end up doing a lot of writing!
A few years ago, I got my first book contract. That inspired me to leave the business world behind to focus on what I enjoy most and do best: write.
Eight book contracts and dozens of ghostwriting gigs later, I’m still in love with my “job” as a self-employed freelance author, columnist, and ghostwriter—and don’t even get me started on my amazing boss.
While I love hearing from other writers, I’m not an agent and I don’t hire other writers to do my work. I don’t respond to requests for work (in other words, I am not looking to hire writers) or representation (I will not contact publishers on your behalf). I mention this only because I get occasional requests for work or representation from other writers, and that is not my focus. I do all my own writing and am only interested in representing myself to publishers.
If you want to publish your work—for free, for a fee, or for pay—here is my advice:
- If you’re looking to publish your work, check out full-service publishers such as Scribe Media or do-it-yourself eBook publishers like Kindle Direct.
- If you’re looking for a publisher to pay you for your work, you have to learn how to represent yourself or hire an agent. For this, I recommend Writer’s Market. It’s chock full of information about letters of inquiry, book proposals, and loads of other information about getting published.
- If you’re looking for freelance writing work, go to Indeed, Monster, or other online job databases, or contact businesses that hire freelancers directly. Have a LinkedIn profile and a website (like this one) that explain what you do, so people who need a writer can find you. Great writers are always in high demand, and if you put in the time and effort to market yourself and vet writing gigs, you will find plenty of work.
- If you want to become a book coach, check out Author Accelerator, Jennie Nash’s online fiction coach certification course. It’s not necessarily for ghostwriters, but the lessons translate beautifully to your own fiction writing and ghostwriting.
- If you’re looking for a shortcut to freelance writing, there is none. You have to do the marketing, sales, lead generation, operations, scheduling, finances, IT, communications, customer relationship management, invoicing, and collections, and you have to do the writing, too. It’s just like running a business, with yourself as the sole employee. You don’t need an MBA, but any business experience is a plus.
Good writing, and good luck!
When I’m not interviewing brilliant business minds and other exceptional people—or writing nonfiction books about business, finance, technology, management, leadership, sales, and marketing—I like to play outside and write books about my adventures. My recreational guidebooks are available online and in-store at Barnes & Noble, FalconGuides, Globe Pequot, Rowman & Littlefield, REI, Amazon, and many other locations.
My Guide Books (so far—more in the works!)
My Guidebook Bio
Susan Joy Paul has hiked, climbed, snowshoed, rappelled – and when the winds above 14,000 feet were screaming – crawled across the state of Colorado, reaching the summits of more than 700 mountains along the way and more than 1,000 with repeats. She has climbed all the 14ers in the state, reached the highpoints of every Colorado county, and was the first woman to summit every ranked peak in El Paso and Teller Counties.
Susan has also summited high peaks outside Colorado via routes such as the Mountaineer’s Route on Mount Whitney, the East Arête on Mount Russell, the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier, the Gooseneck Glacier on Gannett Peak, the Jamapa Glacier on Pico de Orizaba, and the Ayoloco Glacier on Iztaccihuatl – and has climbed to over 20,000 feet via the Whymper Route to reach the Ventimilla sub-summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador.
In her first book, Touring Colorado Hot Springs, 2nd, Susan took a break to relax at 32 of the state’s hot springs. In her second book, Hiking Waterfalls in Colorado, she hit the trail, visiting 150 of the state’s waterfalls. In her third book, Climbing Colorado’s Mountains, Susan returned to her first love: the peaks of the state, with a compilation of route descriptions, maps, and photographs of 100 Colorado peak adventures. Finally, Susan comes full circle with her fourth book, Touring Colorado Hot Springs, 3rd, revisiting the springs from her first book and discovering new ones, guiding you to 45 soaking spots across the state.
When she’s not exploring the state or writing guidebooks, Susan is a sought-after ghostwriter. Her 33 nonfiction books have been published via Indie publishers, self-publishers, and major publishing houses among the Big Five, and have appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list. Susan lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.