Let’s face it: You’re here because you’ve written something and you need help getting it to its audience.

This is what we do.

Fiction Editing

Non-Fiction Editing


Back cover copy

Author bios


e-book formatting



Need more than one service? We’ll offer you a discount.


And more!

We also offer some client-only services, including help writing queries and synopses, discounted help with your back cover copy and author bio, and more. Need someone to be on call to run plot points past while you write? Use the While You Write service! Need input on what sounds like a good publisher? Help finding reviewers? A fresh eye for your cover? A proofread for your author newsletter? Anything else you can think of?


At West of Mars, we’re interested in building community and helping you sell the most¬† books you can. You won’t find a professional who gives you this level of service anywhere else.

Our clients say:

India Drummond said, “Her sample edit was amazing (I’ve already incorporated 97% of what she suggested into Chapter 1), and I’ve found her professional on every level–and yet friendly and easy-going at the same time.”


Kelly Washington said,¬† “Other than her sharp wit, amazing attitude, and a strong affinity for the written word, Susan Helene Gottfried is an Editor Extraordinaire. I trust her wholeheartedly with my manuscript–one that I (perhaps I’m biased) think is already fantastic–and she does something amazing: she takes it to another level. There are editors that can fix your grammar; they can assist you in polishing your dream novel; and then there are editors that “get” your voice and cherish it as much as you do. Susan not only has a ninja-knowledge of turning a first draft into a polished gem, she listens to you, she offers suggestions, but she is never pushy. She is never “I know best.” I consider Susan a full-fledged partner. She understands my characters, sometimes better than I do. I’m reluctant to share her–I want her all to myself–but I realize that this might not be a healthy thought! Simply put, hiring Susan as my editor might have been one of the best decisions I’ve made in, oh, a very long time. You won’t be disappointed.”


GG Vandagriff said, “I love the way Susan edits. If it is a straight grammar correction, she makes it. However, if it is a suggestion of how she thinks it would sound better (i.e., show me frustration, don’t just tell it), she doesn’t make the change, but just comments and leaves it up to you. In other words, she treats you like you are an adult, not a dumb writer. She is also very supportive during the writing process when you need her input.”


Aneeka Richins said, “My manuscript didn’t need a lot of work, but I wanted an editor that could give it that extra shine. I tried several editors, but when I saw Susan’s sample edit, I knew right away that she could do the job. She caught all the minor grammatical errors as well as improved my wordsmithing, especially that critical first sentence. I’d highly recommend her to anyone in need of a good, polishing edit.”


Matthew Turner, the Turndog Millionaire, said, “The real draw was her style and voice. She loves music and came across an interesting person. She was someone I wanted to read about, which I thought was a good sign.”


Carol Brill said, “I am so grateful for Susan’s proofreading eagle eye. It is clear she sweats over every comma and does it with a sense of humor and encouragement along the way. Working with her made me a better writer and Peace by Piece a better novel.”


Serrene Turpin said, “I like the way your mind thinks. You’re always referencing other books, which tells me you have a wealth of other author’s writing styles in your head waiting to be resourced. Thanks for being dedicated to your craft. I know my novel will be much better because of it.”


Cassie Frame said, “Susan is a very sharp copy editor. In addition to helping with the mechanics of my manuscript, her insights into what was clunky or not tight enough or out of character were all spot on. I accepted probably 99.99% of her tracked changes. From the business side, she was extremely prompt replying to emails and professional every step of the way. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her again or recommend her to others.


Tom Gromak said, “Susan’s feedback always helps me to become a stronger, more effective writer. In fact, her comments on my last story were just echoed by an editor who won the World Fantasy Award for editing! I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with her.”

West of Mars accepts PayPal. You can even use the Bill Me Later feature, as all payments are due in full before work can begin.