Susanne Dunlap
Book Coach

It’s Never Too Late to Achieve Your Writing Goals

Go ahead, take the leap into writing that book—
I’ve got you!

I know a thing or two about making dreams come true later in life. For a start, my first novel was published when I was 50 years old. No one thought I’d ever get a book published. I wasn’t a writer, they told me. And now, I have ten published novels.

But I don’t let other people define who or what I am. I’ve never been afraid of reinventing myself. I’ve been a musician, an advertising copywriter, an assistant professor, a nonprofit executive, a startup cofounder—and I’ve probably forgotten a few things.

It wasn’t until I became an Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach—in both fiction and nonfiction—at the age of 65, though, that I found the role that would let me live a life of books and writing, the life I really want. Book coaching brings together the many skills and talents I have accrued over decades, and challenges and fulfills me every day.

What I’ve learned since then is that there are many others who’ve lived and struggled and transformed themselves, and who yearn to achieve their dream of writing a novel, memoir, or nonfiction book.

If you’re one of them, I have the tools and experience to help you.

I love coaching literary fiction, women’s fiction, historical fiction (my own genre), romance, mystery, YA, and middle grade. I’ve had some fabulous memoir clients, and can help nonfiction authors create a book proposal that’s polished and professional.

Coaching starts with a conversation. Complete the form at the link above or below if you want an informal, no obligation, chat with me about how I might be able to help you achieve your writing dreams!

Let’s have a conversation about your writing goals!

Just complete the form at the link below, and I’ll get in touch with you to set up a no-obligation Zoom call to discuss your project.

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Jump Start Your Book

This is a brand-new offering, specifically designed for people who are just starting to think about writing a book and want to brainstorm about it for an hour.

Do you have an idea for a book or a memoir that’s tugging at your mind, but you’re not sure where to start? Have you written a few pages and aren’t sure if they’re heading in the right direction? You’re not alone—and this is a phase that both experienced writers and those who perhaps don’t consider themselves writers go through all the time.

It’s also the perfect point to get a little input to help you move forward. That’s what this Jump Start package is for. It’s an easy, no-commitment way to get my expert input on your rough idea—including up to the first 25 pages you’ve written. Sometimes, all you need is a little encouragement and direction to put you on the path to writing the book you’ve been dreaming of.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Top-line review of up to 25 pages of your manuscript (no more than 7,500 words)
  • One-hour feedback and brainstorming Zoom call
  • Suggestions of next steps and ways to move forward

Because this work will be at its very beginning, I won’t read it like the taskmaster I know I can be, LOL! The goal is encouragement and a nudge to help you continue or get started. My one caveat is that I will be very honest about your book’s chances in the traditional publishing market—and what it will take to write your very best book.


Here are a few ways I might be able to help you:

I can help you get started:

The 3-deadline Blueprint Program is a great way to start your brainstorming about your project, even if you’re at the very beginning and haven’t written a word. It’s full of smart tools to get those creative juices flowing and help you see your project from the very start.

I can help you keep Going:

Ongoing coaching puts a cheerleader, editor, and taskmaster in your corner as you get those words on the page. You can start here, or do the Blueprint Program first. This is a 12-deadline intensive program to help you get that draft finished, revised, or polished.

I can help you cross the Finish Line:

Whether you need to revise a draft, craft an effective query letter, or polish a book proposal, I have packages that are tailored to whatever you need to get you to your goals.

Hear what my book coaching clients have to say:

I have learned so much from working with Susanne. She strikes the perfect balance between encouragement and valuable instruction and feedback. Susanne brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her coaching. It is so helpful to sit at the feet of someone who has climbed the mountain. Most importantly, she has helped me rediscover hope in my writing and the joy and wonder of crafting compelling fiction. 

Jake Chism

Fiction Book Coaching Client

Susanne is a joy to work with. She led me from a little glimmer of an idea for a book to a full fledged book proposal—and she did it all with an abundance of insight, good will, and grace. She knows what agents and publishers are looking for—as well as what makes for a truly compelling book—and her feedback is always spot on. She is an amazing guide and champion. I literally could not have done this without her!

Amelia Perkins

Nonfiction Proposal Book Coaching Client

Really pleased with my experience of working with book coach, Susanne Dunlap. I had written a novel that received interest from literary agents but no offer of representation. After working with Susanne, I have a clear plan for for how to strengthen and revise my manuscript. I only wish I had used Susanne’s book coaching earlier in the process of writing my novel!

Jody Callahan

Manuscript Review Client

“Susanne showed me a whole new way to look at my memoir. She encouraged and inspired me, taking me through specific exercises each week to narrow my focus and heighten the narrative. She was very thorough, professional, and timely in all our exchanges via email and Zoom calls. Most of all, she gave me the confidence to know that I had a story worth telling.”

Louise Jones McPhillips

Memoir Book Coaching Client

Advanced Book Coach Certification

I am an Author Accelerator Certified Book Coach in both fiction and nonfiction, which means I have fulfilled the requirements of two rigorous courses and submitted practicums. I’m privileged to be among the premier community of book coaching professionals!


What is book coaching? How is it different from hiring an editor?

Book coaching is an ongoing relationship based on meeting pre-determined deadlines that include reading and commenting on pages; doing exercises to help focus your project on your genre, audience, and market; and having regular, scheduled conversations to discuss your work. It’s like having a cheerleader, project manager, editor, and friend by your side every step of the way as you reach your writing goals—whether it’s finishing that novel, finally writing your memoir, or putting together a top-notch book proposal that gets your expertise in front of readers to build your business.

The right book coach can help you conquer the challenges of writing your book. It’s a way to ensure that your book is in the best shape it can be—for submission to agents and editors or for self-publishing. And a book coach is also an experienced, professional editor.

I love working with writers at all different stages in the process and at all different levels—from those who have never written a book before, to those with publication credits under their belts and who just need specific help meeting a deadline.

How do you choose a book coach?

A book-coaching relationship is personal, one-to-one. Not all coaches are a fit for all writers. That’s why the relationship has to start with a conversation. After you complete an intake questionnaire, we’ll get on the phone or have a video call to talk about your goals and expectations.

If we work together, I will help you make a plan for your work with concrete deadlines, usually every two weeks. Each deadline includes a written review of your material and a half-hour call to talk about my comments and let you ask questions and share how it’s all going.

If you think book coaching might be the right answer for you, contact me using the form below. There’s no obligation, of course. 

Will you help me write a bestseller?

The short answer is that there are no guarantees in publishing. Success in the market depends on so many variables that can have nothing to do with the quality of your book. Very few writers make those bestseller lists.

What I can do is help you achieve the writing goals you set, whether it’s to finish a manuscript, to self-publish, or to get to a point where you’re ready to submit to agents and editors. I can guarantee that I will bring to our working relationship all my experience as a published author and an expert editor who understands the mechanics and psychology of storytelling.

I put my whole heart into working with authors, and seeing you meet the milestones you set is one of my greatest satisfactions.