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 twenty-eight books for authors and publishers (including one of the Big Six), 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, 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 interests and job titles spanned a number of industries from highly technical (such as civil engineering designer and Unix systems administrator) to sales and marketing (senior manager at the largest private marketing company in the U.S. and the manager of several departments for a startup that was acquired by EMC and is now part of Dell), to the creative (television producer, video editor) and even higher education (I taught business classes at the college level for several years). 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 cleaned out my office and left the corporate world behind to be a stay-at-home freelancer, focusing on what I enjoy most and do best: writing!
I love hearing from other writers, but 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.
Good writing, and good luck!
When I’m not interviewing brilliant business minds and other exceptional people—or writing memoirs and other nonfiction about business, 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
And…when I’m not hiking to waterfalls, climbing mountains, soaking at hot springs, or writing, I dabble in art and tap dancing, work on my French lessons, read a lot of books (nonfiction writing books to improve my writing and editing skills; nonfiction business, leadership, and technology books to stay up-to-date on trends; classics to keep my mind sharp; and fictional horror and sci-fi to improve my storytelling–and just for fun!) and eat plants with friends (I quit four-legged animals more than 30 years and went vegan in 2013). I’m obsessed with Westworld, Game of Thrones, and The Great British Baking Show (even managed to bake my own spectacular—and vegan!—Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake, and am working on veganizing more recipes from the show). I really like beer, too, but don’t tell my kids.