Featured New Book Spotlight … Goes Dark?


I love doing the Featured New Book Spotlight. I’ve hosted a huge number of authors for this spot, and not once has the song choice failed to interest me. It’s widened my music horizons and I’ve heard from readers that the author did such a good job on their post, the reader went out and bought the book. So I know this feature is more than just another link in a line of links. I know it sells books. People tell me when they buy.

But finding authors to fill the spotlight has gotten harder and harder, even as there are more and more authors out there, promoting their books aggressively.

So what gives? Is one question too many? Is it too hard a question? Is it that I’m not looking to run the same thing as twenty others? Or is it that now that West of Mars isn’t ranked in the top 125,000 anymore (according to Alexa), I’m not worth the time and energy?

The Featured New Book Spotlight is a free service, folks. Well, unless you want to reserve your date, and then I’m charging a measly five bucks. I see authors shelling out hundreds of dollars for book tours or book reviews, sometimes protesting they can’t afford to have their book edited.

Ahh, maybe that’s it. West of Mars has evolved over the years, from an author’s site to an editor’s business platform.

Don’t be worried I’ll try to sell you an edit. Sure, I may mention it if we chat (“If you’re ever in the market, come on back and I’ll work up a sample for you” is my usual refrain, if the conversation gets that far), but do I mean it? At the moment, sure. My door is always open to new clients. But mostly, I do it to be polite. To put it in your head that I’m here, and maybe you’ll share my name with your friends — either for the Spotlight or for editing work.

But that’s only if we chat and the conversation goes in a direction where I can bring it up. If we don’t, no loss. We’ve still had a nice interaction, I’ve been able to help you promote your book — and at the end of the day, helping each other is what matters. At the end of the day, I run the Featured New Book Spotlight because I want to see authors succeed.

So spread the word, will ya? Featured New Book Spotlight. Open to all authors, of any genre. Free unless you want to reserve a specific date. No hard sell for the editing services.

Consider this my labor of love.

And watch for something new and even more fun on the horizon, doubling your opportunity to play along and get word of your book out there.



  1. Dana Griffin

    December 22, 2014 11:08 am

    The problem with the new book spotlight, or what I considered a problem, was coming up with a song that had a theme similar to my book. I never could come up with one, and it seemed like a huge investment in time to sit and listen to various songs to identify one that did.

    But, I could be, full of shit and don’t understand the new book spotlight and have been passing up this fabulous opportunity for years now.

  2. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 22, 2014 11:17 am

    Definitely full of shit, Dana. It’s about what song makes you think of your book. Doesn’t have to have anything to do with the theme. It can be “Let it go” because you’re finally done with it. It can be AC/DC;s “Highway to Hell” because while you were writing it, the first draft was like being on a Highway to Hell. Or it can be deeper. Nothing More’s “Ballast” because those are the lessons your character needed to learn. Some Cannibal Corpse song because your book’s about embracing a dark, ugly side.

    It’s up to you — there’s no right or wrong (just verbose and not enough)! Although one other author said she loved the question because it made her see her book in a whole different light and she loved that.

    • Dana Griffin

      December 22, 2014 11:30 am

      So, let’s see, for Coerced, I might’ve chosen Neil Diamond’s, “Love on the Rocks.” 🙂

      I’ll keep thinking about it and may send you a request to be spot lighted.

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    December 22, 2014 11:32 am

    Yes, do! “New” is a relative term around here…

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