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: 4.03 · 315 ratings · 102 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...

4.09 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 2008 — 7 editions
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ShapeShifter: The Demo Tape...

4.33 avg rating — 21 ratings — published 2009 — 5 editions
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Mannequin: A Short Story

4.19 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2011 — 3 editions
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King Trevor

4.27 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2012 — 4 editions
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Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...

4.09 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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Broken

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2014 — 2 editions
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Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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BestsellerBound Short Story...

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

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4.07 avg rating — 54 ratings — published 2012 — 2 editions
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The Things Characters do to Themselves

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Graphic of a crossed sword and a pencilLike every other editor — every other human being, probably — I have opinions. Fortunately, I have a blog and a way to express those opinions, especially when they’re food for thought about the craft of writing, and might therefore help someone work toward mastering the craft.

Today’s rant is all about a phrase that’s ubiquitous. Ready?

They thought to themself.

I mean, h

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Published on June 10, 2021 02:15
Shapeshifter : The Demo Tap... ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape... Shapeshifter: The Demo Tape...
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The Gilded Cage
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by Troy Soos (Goodreads Author)
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The Betrayer by Hannah E. Carey
“Hesitantly, he brushed back a few errant strands of her hair, his hand resting along the side of her face. "You have no idea how much I wish I could change thing."

"I think I might," she whispered.

His gaze dropped to her lips, causing her heart to race even faster. When he lowered his head, she held her breath, the memories of their first and only kiss flooding her, a kiss that seemed like it was a lifetime ago. She wanted to experience that again, to feel his lips on hers. She held perfectly still as he closed the distance between them, her breath catching.

When his lips pressed against hers, his touch was soft, exquisite and tender, stirring a fire within her that she had never felt before. She pressed herself closer to him as he worked a hand into her hair.

She wanted more of him. More of the precious connection between them that made her blood heat even as it filled her with an indescribable rightness. But almost as soon as their exploration of one another had begun, he pulled aw
...more
Hannah E. Carey
"Any time I've been asked to give a keynote address or inspiration talk or been asked for my advice to beginning writers, I've always said the same thing. Finish the book. So many aspiring novelists get a great idea and start writing. A few chapter..." Read more of this blog post »
Susan Gottfried wants to read
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Susan Gottfried is on page 25 of 384 of The Gilded Cage
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Susan Gottfried is currently reading
The Gilded Cage by Troy Soos
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by Troy Soos (Goodreads Author)
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" Pretty good over here... drop me a line whenever you like. My inbox and life are always open to you! "
Susan Gottfried is now following JenReadsRomance's reviews
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Bad Heir Day by Wendy  Holden
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Well, I read it to the end, so I guess it gets three stars, just for that, but wow, was this heavy-handed, full of characters it's not even fun to hate, and just overall left me wondering how this got to be a bestseller.

I really need to stop reading
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Nothing But Readi...: Level 1 of the Serious Readers Challenge for 2011 618 910 Jan 01, 2012 11:55AM  
Rockism 101: Rock Themed short stories. 5 19 Sep 03, 2013 08:07AM  
Smashwords Authors: What Editor Did You Use? 4 48 Nov 12, 2013 10:25AM  
Fans of Interraci...: Nov 2013- Question for the Writers/Authors in the group 35 60 Jan 01, 2014 12:01PM  
Hannah E. Carey
“Hesitantly, he brushed back a few errant strands of her hair, his hand resting along the side of her face. "You have no idea how much I wish I could change thing."

"I think I might," she whispered.

His gaze dropped to her lips, causing her heart to race even faster. When he lowered his head, she held her breath, the memories of their first and only kiss flooding her, a kiss that seemed like it was a lifetime ago. She wanted to experience that again, to feel his lips on hers. She held perfectly still as he closed the distance between them, her breath catching.

When his lips pressed against hers, his touch was soft, exquisite and tender, stirring a fire within her that she had never felt before. She pressed herself closer to him as he worked a hand into her hair.

She wanted more of him. More of the precious connection between them that made her blood heat even as it filled her with an indescribable rightness. But almost as soon as their exploration of one another had begun, he pulled away, his breathing ragged and his expression pained.

"I can't," he softly said, his voice coming out strangled. "I'm sorry. I just... I can't do this.”
Hannah E. Carey, The Betrayer: Tales of Pern Coen

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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.
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A group of indie authors, helping each other out and bringing new books to the world
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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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