Book Coaching Services

Fiction Coaching:
Expert Guidance Every Step of the Way

Almost nothing gives me more satisfaction than helping writers craft manuscripts with cohesive plots, unforgettable characters, and a point and a purpose—especially when that something involves history.

Over the years, I’ve found that most writers benefit from starting with the Fiction Blueprint, no matter where they are in the process—especially if you’re new to me. Once we get a sense of how we work together we can move on to monthly coaching as you write forward or revise.

Although my first love is historical fiction, I also enjoy coaching literary fiction, women’s fiction, book club fiction, and mystery. I’m probably not the best fit for action-packed thrillers, and I don’t coach horror or erotica (but I can refer you to others who do).

Interested in having an informal chat about your project? Sign up below!

The Fiction Blueprint

A powerful process that can set you on your way to writing a first draft that’s more like a fourth draft, or simply help you see the big picture of a manuscript you know needs work, but you’re too close to see what.

You answer a potent set of questions in the Blueprint Workbook, including creating a unique kind of outline that works for both pantsers and plotters—a brilliant tool that is the brainchild of Jennie Nash, CEO of Author Accelerator.

The package normally takes about ten weeks to complete, and it’s a great way to see if we’re a fit for monthly coaching.


Monthly Coaching

Here’s where we get in up to our elbows together and I act as your cheerleader, editor, co-conspirator, brainstorming partner, and more—whether you’re just starting, stuck in the middle, or embarking on the revision process!

You will have two deadlines a month where you submit 25 pages a deadline. Each deadline includes my in-depth review/edit and a half-hour coaching call to go over everything and answer any questions.

Minimum commitment is 3 months.

per month

“Susanne Dunlap is a warm, encouraging book coach who emphasizes what is good and special in your work, and then works with you to bring the story into its best and most marketable form. Because she herself is not only an editor but a multi-published and well regarded novelist, she understands what it is like to create something, take it apart, and form it again until it lands on a publisher’s list of acquired books and eventually on the perfect reader’s nightstand.”

–Stephanie Cowell, author of CLAUDE & CAMILLE, American Book Award Winner

Nonfiction Coaching:
From Blueprint to Proposal to Pitching

As a former academic and historian, I love digging into nonfiction projects as well as fiction. Nonfiction stretches the business part of my brain and forces me to think differently about things like structure. For nonfiction, you need a book proposal first and foremost, and usually two to three sample chapters. A complete manuscript is only necessary for memoir.

This process has three steps:

1. The Nonfiction Blueprint: $2,500

2. Proposal Development: $7,200

3. Agent research and pitch materials: $2,500

Step 1: The Nonfiction Blueprint

This step includes your work on the nonfiction blueprint workbook, an initial review by me, your revision, and a final review, with coaching calls at the end of each review.

Step 2: Proposal Development

Here we take the work you’ve done on the Blueprint and mold it into the different proposal elements. How long this process takes will depend on your capacity for work. It’s normally a 2–3-month process.

Step 3: Agent Research and Pitch Materials

We work together to create a strategy for pitching and identifying a list of 30 agents, as well as crafting a compelling query letter. Note: I do not offer pitch coaching as a separate service.

“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


In special circumstances—a looming deadline, for instance—I create custom packages for qualified clients. This is not a way to pay less for coaching, in fact, these packages are intensive, high touch, and generally at least double my usual rates. If you would like more information, please contact me!

Self-Paced Online Courses

5 Pro Craft Skills
Every Writer Needs!

Learning these simple craft skills can take your writing to the next level! Sign up today to learn how to spot and fix passive voice, filtering, descriptive dialogue tags, and more that will spruce up your writing so it’s more polished and professional.

$99, or 4 payments of $24.75

Rein in Your Research!

The course that will give you tried-and-true methods for making the most of your time—and avoiding the pitfalls of endless research!

Prioritize, organize, and energize your research so you don’t end up down the research rabbit hole.

$399, or 4 payments of $99.75