Susan Helene Gottfried

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December 2008

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Author and freelance editor to an elite group of writers via West of Mars. A former book reviewer for the World's Toughest Book Critics, I think being an editor has made me even more demanding of what I read for pleasure. You can imagine the heights I seek to raise my clients to.
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Popular Answered Questions

Susan Helene Gottfried Hi, Cathy! It's been too long!

Expect a lot of books to disappear into the black hole of potential reviewers. There are a million reasons for this, but…more
Hi, Cathy! It's been too long!

Expect a lot of books to disappear into the black hole of potential reviewers. There are a million reasons for this, but the top two seem to be that readers take on more books than they can review/life intrudes on reading and reviewing time, and that reviewers often won't post a negative review, which is unfortunate because a well-constructed negative review can be very helpful to a reader... and the author.

I always suggest vetting your potential reviewers very carefully. Read their other reviews and (I'm not kidding!) make sure they are up to your level of literacy. I can't tell you the number of reviews I have solicited for some of my books that were so full of grammatical errors, they were horrifying. (And some of those were from people considered "top reviewers," too!) But also, make certain that you're sending a review copy to someone who actually reads and understands your genre. Don't send a science fiction book to someone who only reads Regency Romances, even if your SF is a romance.

I also maintain that one of the best ways to build a reviewer base is by building your network of readers. Interact with the people who review your books (and who you'd like to review your books) -- but on topics other than your books. Work your network.

Remember to post reviews of books YOU read, too! Not only for books written by those in your network, but if you read something and have something to say about it, speak up. Reviews help authors, as you know. It's an easy way to pay it forward, and you never know where those small efforts will lead.

And, once you have people who are writing reviews for you, contact them first when you have a new book out. Of course, you'll have to keep an eye on who is writing the reviews and maintain a list, but again, it's networking and a way to reach a devoted following. Even if they find a book a mis-step and not up to your usual quality, don't kick them off. Only kick them off if they don't post the review (and how timely that post happens is up to you, but remember that with self-publishing, books don't go out of print, so you're playing the long game now), if they say they are done reading your books, or if their reviews of your books are only negative. At that point, they aren't helping you improve.

Hope all that helps, and good luck! Reviews are so necessary, but at the same time, soliciting them can be a full-time job. (less)
Susan Helene Gottfried Catherine, I have formatters who do the work for me and yes, they format for Smashwords. Contact me directly at Susan@Westofmars.com and we can talk r…moreCatherine, I have formatters who do the work for me and yes, they format for Smashwords. Contact me directly at Susan@Westofmars.com and we can talk rates and timeframes. (less)
Average rating: 4.07 · 329 ratings · 104 reviews · 16 distinct works
Trevor's Song

3.82 avg rating — 67 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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Shapeshifter : The Demo Tap...

4.12 avg rating — 34 ratings — published 2008 — 7 editions
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ShapeShifter: The Demo Tape...

4.36 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 2009 — 5 editions
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Mannequin: A Short Story

4.24 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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King Trevor

4.33 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...

4.17 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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Broken

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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BestsellerBound Short Story...

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3.64 avg rating — 59 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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25 Years in the Rearview Mi...

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4.08 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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More books by Susan Helene Gottfried…

Featured New Book: Ashes and Blood by Katie Zaber

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Book Cover for book by Katie Zaber, Ashes and Blood

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I’ve read it and I love it. So you all now need to go get your own copy and see how right I am.


As I said, this is Katie Zaber’s debut — wait. I didn’t say that. Well, now I am! It’s also the first in a series and I doubt I’m the only one foaming at the mouth for the next

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Published on June 08, 2020 02:29
Shapeshifter : The Demo Tap... ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape... Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...
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Susan Gottfried rated a book really liked it
Gator Aide by Jessica Speart
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Come for the atmosphere. Wrap yourself in it because this is some VIVID writing. Wow.

The story? It's a good one, but it's interesting to read this through the lens of 2020. These people are cliched, they are problematic... and they are all too real.
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All You Need by Lorelei James
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I love Lorelei James. We're social media acquaintances, have met at writer's conferences; that sort of thing. She's awesome in person, but the thing that draws me to her is her books.

For me, this was the weakest of the bunch (and I want to cry about
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The Killing Breed by Mark     Graham
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The Resurrectionist by Mark     Graham
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I started reading this, and then George Floyd was killed by a cop and the entire world began protesting because yes, Black Lives Matter. They always have, even though this book is a look at a time when Black lives didn't matter. Yet. Except, they do ...more
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The View from Mount Joy by Lorna Landvik
The View from Mount Joy
by Lorna Landvik (Goodreads Author)
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There was a period of time, as I was reading this, that I thought about giving up. It didn't really have any tension, no through-line, as we call it. What was at stake? What was this even about? Why was it a slow, meandering plot?

A-ha. That's its mag
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Susan Gottfried wants to read
Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley
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Susan Gottfried wants to read
Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep
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Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik
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This was such the right book at such the right time, I can't even. It ticks all the boxes in the best ways, makes full sense, has a nice and tight plot, lays out a ton of possibilities for where the story's going to go...

YES.

I'm already telling fri
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Susan Gottfried rated a book did not like it
Act Like It by Lucy  Parker
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DNF after the first chapter

WHERE do begin with this? I have been fighting a migraine so I handed the first page to my kid, whose mouth screwed up in her "What the fuck is this trainwreck" face and I knew it wasn't me. Because this first paragraph mak
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The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
The Blood of Flowers
by Anita Amirrezvani (Goodreads Author)
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Talk about the old maxim to torture your darlings... our nameless narrator deals with an awful lot, and always manages to keep going and always manages to come back to the thing she loves most. (Not a spoiler, it's carpet making, which is of course f ...more
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A group for fiction authors who have recently become published, and for those readers who would like to find a new voice to enjoy and share.
42697 Kindle Readers and Authors — 371 members — last activity Jul 21, 2019 02:55AM
Discussion forum to bring together readers on Kindle (and other ebook formats) with authors
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A group of indie authors, helping each other out and bringing new books to the world
36407 Reading with Tequila Book Club — 737 members — last activity Mar 13, 2017 12:00PM
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For most of us, writing reviews on Goodreads is a labor of love. We would like to offer some love back to the laborer. It's all about books, that's fo ...more
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Comments (showing 1-11)    post a comment »
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message 11: by Susan

Susan Gottfried Kenya wrote: "I've been promoting your outstanding editing services on twitter...... :-(
You better not get famous and leave me!"


You? No way, no how. Unless I die or leave editing, but even if I leave, I'll come back for you. I told you, lady: I take care of my own!


message 10: by Kenya

Kenya Wright I've been promoting your outstanding editing services on twitter...... :-(
You better not get famous and leave me!


message 9: by Leon

Leon Shure Thanks for becoming my friend,
Leon Shure


Shalonda Williams-McClendon Thanks for the acceptance. I hope that all os well and that the new year is going great! Peace!


message 7: by Susan

Susan Gottfried Marlene wrote: "Well you really deserve it. You really fought hard and I know a little bit how hard it was but you did not give up. I am very happy for you. Hope to see more books :)
Hugs"



Oh, there WILL be more books. But it'd still be nice if a big publisher would get involved! Clearly, there's money to be made here...


♥ Marlene♥ Well you really deserve it. You really fought hard and I know a little bit how hard it was but you did not give up. I am very happy for you. Hope to see more books :)
Hugs


♥ Marlene♥ wow. How good to see your book on here but even more on amazon!!! Good work.


message 4: by Susan

Susan Gottfried Thank YOU, Jeannie!


Jeannie Faulkner Barber Hi Susan and thanks for the friendship!
Blessings,
Jeannie


message 2: by Susan

Susan Gottfried cheesygiraffe wrote: "Umm why does Breeni's email addy show up for you? Did she set this up? LOL"

I think she fixed it. She's my Virtual Assistant. How cool is she to do that for me???




message 1: by Cindi

Cindi (cheesygiraffe) Umm why does Breeni's email addy show up for you? Did she set this up? LOL


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