Susan Helene Gottfried

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Susan Helene Gottfried

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in West of Mars
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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 · 332 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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3.65 avg rating — 60 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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25 Years in the Rearview Mi...

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4.08 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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Gelato Surprise by Sadira Stone — The Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Sadira Stone to West of Mars!


Sadira’s a new-to-me author, and I’m glad to meet her and host her here today. Let’s get right to business:

Sadira Stone, what song makes you think of your book?


Call me corny, but the song that comes to mind when thinking of my steamy older woman/younger man beach romance novella Gelato Surprise is “At Last” as sung by Etta Jam

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Published on August 03, 2020 02:38
Shapeshifter : The Demo Tap... ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape... Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...
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4.26 avg rating — 73 ratings

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Susan Helene Gottfried wrote a new blog post

Gelato Surprise by Sadira Stone — The Featured New Book Spotlight













Let’s welcome Sadira Stone to West of Mars!
Sadira’s a new-to-me author, and I’m glad to meet her and host her here today. Let’s get right to bu Read more of this blog post »
Susan Gottfried rated a book it was ok
Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
Naked in Death (In Death #1)
by J.D. Robb (Goodreads Author)
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I'm genuinely surprised I didn't like this, but I think a lot of the reason I didn't is because it hasn't held up well over time.

The head hopping may have been in style the whole way back in 1995, but it's distracting and jarring now.

The first sex s
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Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
"I don't enjoy books where consent for sexual activity isn't clear. This was a classic romance cliche of "She really wanted it, but was too repressed to say yes". So she said no, and tried to leave, but he knows better, and she has the best night of h" Read more of this review »
Susan Gottfried rated a book did not like it
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
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I had expected to love this. It's a best-seller! Everyone raves about it! My daughter owns it!

And... yeah. I hated it. Loathed it.

I hated Cinder. She's not proactive, she's not real smart, she's just... there.

The timeline's a bit off. She finds a c
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Susan Gottfried rated a book liked it
Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
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I read the first Kitty book nine years ago, I think it was. Maybe ten. My, the world has changed since then. So have I.

It took about half the book before things got interesting, and some of it never made sense. Why did Alette close down the highways
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Susan Gottfried wants to read
Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy
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Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
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I read the first Kitty book nine years ago, I think it was. Maybe ten. My, the world has changed since then. So have I.

It took about half the book before things got interesting, and some of it never made sense. Why did Alette close down the highways
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Susan Gottfried entered a giveaway
Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley
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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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Susan Gottfried rated a book liked it
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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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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