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-one books for authors and publishers, 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. My ghostwriting projects have appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller’s list and been published by Indie publishers, full-service self-publishers, and major publishing houses, including one of the Big Five.
I have a BS in Business and Information Systems, an MBA in Technology Management, 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 highly technical, to sales and marketing, to the creative 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 clean out my office and leave the corporate world behind to focus on what I enjoy most and do best: write.
Eight book contracts 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’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!)