Hi, there. I’m Susan, here in Colorado. Most people know me as an outdoor adventure 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. Unless I’m mentioned in the acknowledgments, my name doesn’t appear on any of these books, and I don’t promote them.
I’ve authored or ghostwritten more than fifty books for publishers and other authors. My work has been published by indie publishers, hybrids, and major publishing houses from the Big Five, and appeared on the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists.
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, 5280.com, Alpinist, Colorado Mountain Club, Out There Colorado, RootsRated, Scribe Media, The Woodmen Edition, and The Gazette.
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 work spanned a number of industries from high tech, sales, and marketing, to creative fields like television production and even higher education (yup, I taught many business courses to as many as 125 students each quarter at a private nonprofit college). As any skilled writer working in the business or academic world can attest, when colleagues find out you can write well, you end up doing a lot of writing!
Eleven years ago, I got my first book contract. That inspired me to leave the office and the classroom behind to focus on what I enjoy most and do best: write.
Eight book contracts and more than forty ghostwriting gigs later, I’m still in love with my “job” as a self-employed freelance author, columnist, and ghostwriter.
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 do-it-yourself 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 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 and the East Arête on Mount Russell, both in California; the Emmons Glacier on Mount Rainier, Washington State; the Gooseneck Glacier on Gannett Peak, Wyoming; the Jamapa Glacier on Pico de Orizaba and the Ayoloco Glacier on Iztaccihuatl, both in Mexico; and she has climbed to over 20,000 feet to the Ventimilla Summit of Chimborazo via the Whymper Route in Ecuador. She’s also hiked to more than 100 lakes and 150 waterfalls and soaked in more than 50 hot springs.
In her first four books, Touring Colorado Hot Springs, 2nd; Hiking Waterfalls in Colorado; Climbing Colorado’s Mountains; and Touring Colorado Hot Springs, 3rd; Susan guides you to the best hot pools, waterfalls, and mountains in the state. In her fifth book Woman in the Wild, she shares the skills she developed over decades of hiking, climbing, and camping, exploring the backcountry safely and independently. In her sixth book, Hiking Waterfalls Colorado, 2nd, she teams up with co-author Stewart M. Green for even more waterfall hikes. The two also worked together on Susan’s seventh, eighth, and ninth books, Colorado’s Best Lake Hikes, Trails to the Top, and Easy Access Colorado, scheduled for publication in October 2022 (Lakes) and May 2023 (Trails and Easy Access).
When she’s not exploring the state or writing guidebooks, Susan is a sought-after ghostwriter. Her 50+ 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.
- Colorado 14ers and 13ers: 14ers.com – Member Stats
- All Peaks US: Lists of John – Member Stats
- All Peaks Worldwide: Peakbagger – Member Stats