Susan Steele – Book Coach

What is your specialism within book publishing? 

Coaching to clarify ideas, message and audience.


Can you describe what you do in 10 words or fewer?

I help first-time nonfiction authors write their book.


What led you to go freelance? 

It’s the ultimate in freedom and being able to set my own pace and the kinds of clients I want.


Do you work primarily for publishing companies or independent authors or a mix? 

Only for independent authors at this point.


What’s the best part of doing what you do?

I get to work with a lot of smart people sharing really interesting, thought-provoking ideas.


What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started your freelance journey? 

Patience! Not one of my stronger qualities, but having my own business has definitely strengthened it. Also, you have to be constantly selling yourself, constantly looking for new business. I underestimated how long that would take.


How many books are in your TBR (to be read) pile/list? And do you plan to read them all eventually? 

My list is over 200! I think at some point I will read the vast majority of them. It’s rare for me to have a book that I don't intend to read. It's just a matter of time. 


Do you prefer physical books or ebooks?

No preference. Ebooks are usually cheaper and since I'm literally running out of room in my house, they make more sense. But I will buy used books if it’s something I want to have reference to or mention frequently (in social media posts etc.).


Do you have any advice for anyone considering a career in publishing? 

Have a clear message and focus on your target market. The publishing industry is huge; you only need your little corner to create your business, so don’t cast the net too widely.


What is your favourite children’s book and your favourite adult’s book? 

Favourite childrens book would have to be the Little House on the Prairie series; I still have the boxed set I received when I was around 10 years old. Picking just one adult favourite is so hard! Id have to go with Persuasion by Jane Austen. Its just such a sweet story and I love a happy ending.

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