Friday, December 26, 2014

Press Release: Two Versions of At His Command Available 1/14/15



Award-winning author Ruth Kaufman publishes
two versions of the same book to target two romance genres

CHICAGO, Illinois (12-17-2014)

On January 14, 2015, award-winning author Ruth Kaufman publishes two versions of At His Command, her romance novel set in late medieval England. One version, inspirational, is mild or sweet with a faith element, and features the heroine on the cover. The hero is on the cover of the historical romance version, which opens the bedroom door and doesn’t have a faith element.

“I believe I’m the first author to target inspirational and non-inspirational romance readers at the same time. One group prefers romances to be sweet or mild with faith journeys for the hero and heroine. The other prefers hotter books and isn’t interested in books where faith plays a significant role,” Kaufman says. “This story, about a young widow who wants to defy the king’s command to marry the man he chooses and the battle-weary knight sent to protect her from undesirable suitors, works well in both sub-genres.”   

E-books are available for pre-order on The historical romance version is at, and the inspirational version is at
About the Author:

Chicago author, on-camera and voiceover talent, freelance editor and speaker Ruth Kaufman is available for appearances, interviews and/or book-signings. Contact Learn more at    

Thursday, December 18, 2014

At His Command e-books are on Amazon Pre-order!

Success! I figured out how create my Kindle Direct Publishing account and upload both e-book versions for pre-order.

The historical romance version, with the hero on the cover, is here.  The inspirational version, which features the heroine on the cover, is here. Pre-ordered e-books will automatically be delivered to Kindles on January 14, 2015.  Print versions will be available then, also, I hope.

I've been fortunate to get these great cover quotes for the historical romance version:

A wonderful debut sure to please lovers of romance!
  —NYT & USA Today bestselling author Madeline Hunter

With a bold knight and a strong-willed lady, Kaufman's story is positively medieval.

    — NYT & USA Today bestselling author Tracy Anne Warren

And this one for the inspirational version: 

A richly textured tale of love, danger, and history. 
NYT & USA Today bestselling author Mary Jo Putney

Which will sell better?

I'm also doing a series of guest blog posts. My first was yesterday, at, here, on Writing the Inspirational Historical: How Much is Too Much.  I'll be posting next month on another topic on Seekerville, a popular inspirational romance site, and have other posts in the works.

I enjoy blogging and looking for other opportunities to guest or write articles much more than all of the publisher-y self-publishing steps, yet it's time consuming and I need to get manuscripts two through four ready to release....

I'm also experimenting with getting the word out via a press release...and will post about that soon.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Self-Publishing is Like Cockroaches

I consider myself a smart person. I have two graduate degrees, passed the Illinois bar exam, managed a several million dollar territory for years and earned national top performer awards at two companies. Yet myriad steps to self-publish are making my brain explode.

It's like having cockroaches. You think you've zapped them all, breathe a sigh of relief...and then another appears. No matter what I'm doing, whether it's deciding what images to put on my cover or choosing a font for drop caps, everything seems to require two steps back before I can take one forward.

Today's example: my formatter (who I hired to avoid having to figure out all of the spacing and layout issues) suggested I upload the proof she'd sent to CreateSpace (CS), because the two-page PDF layout wasn't an accurate reflection of how the book will look.

But CS doesn't let you review just the interior of your book. No. You have to make many decisions and finish the whole setup, including having a PDF of the cover "measured exactly to your book's trim size, spine width (calculated by multiplying the page count by 0.0025 and allowing for 0.0625" variance on either side of the fold lines ), and .125" bleed. My eyes glazed over. I emailed my cover designer, and now have to await their response. Will this require an additional fee?

So many authors self-publish so many books, it often seems, with ease. Yet every step of this has been like pulling teeth. Like pulling teeth while cockroaches run around.

Will all of the time and effort I've put into this process be worth it?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Pick, Promote. Projects

My self-published novel(s) will release January 14, 2015. I might have been able to get them out sooner, but wanted to be sure I gave myself time to prepare, pick and promote.

Pick: This week I'm choosing fonts for the book text and chapter headings. And deciding what should be in the header and footer. Do I want anything between scene breaks? If so, what? Should every chapter start on the right hand side? What spacing looks good between lines? This part of the process is kind of fun.

Promote: There are so many options, it's hard to know which will work and are worth the time and/or money. Will guesting on blogs garner any readers? How hard will it be to come up with something new to say for each? Some things do need to be planned in advance, because spots fill up. much time should I spend on trying to get them, and in what publications and sites?

Projects: I'm also completing an article for Romance Writers of America's trade magazine and auditioning for VO and on-camera work. I recorded 2 radio commercials, prepared for a short freelance job this weekend, had a call with a newspaper reporter for an upcoming column (more on that later) and might have a photo shoot tomorrow for it.

Somehow I need to make time to work on the next book....  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I'm back...and about to self-publish

I'm getting ready to self-publish in January.

While part of me is excited, I confess another part had hoped to begin with traditional, aka New York, publishing. I wanted an actual publisher's name on the spine, like Avon. I came close many times, in the form of revision letters different editors at different publishers sent for different manuscripts. But given the rapidly changing market, I decided to move ahead with self-publishing for some projects, and may continue to pursue New York with others. I'd read several books and taken several workshops on self-publishing, yet each step in the process was a challenge for me, reminding me of killing cockroaches. Each time I thought I had it all figured out, I'd find something else I needed to learn about and incorporate.

From working with a designer on my covers to finding a copy editor to writing the front and back matter, I researched options and best practices. If a step seemed particularly frustrating, I admit to putting it off. To make sure I moved forward, I chose a release date: January 2015. I posted on Facebook to put the goal in writing.

Now I'm preparing the manuscripts to send to a formatter. I'm working on some pre-release publicity ideas and revising the next manuscript. When they're formatted, I have to figure out how to upload them to the various sites.

I know some authors who are doing very well with self-publishing, while others aren't. Will my time, effort, and expenses for services I farmed out pay off? I sure hope so.

Time will tell.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Self-produced Projects

I first wrote on the topic of self-production here, because I'd heard (and keep hearing) industry professionals and fellow actors say that's one way to do the kind of work you want to do, get it out there and get noticed. The number of self-produced projects, from web series to comedy shorts to films, has exploded since then. We keep hearing that this or that video has gone viral, leading to this or that deal or appearances on talk shows, but how many languish in obscurity?

More and more colleagues post on social media about projects they've created. Some they'd like shared. Others issue requests for crowd funding. I've had roles in a couple of web series, with another coming up later this month and a small role in a music video next month.

Many questions come to mind.  Are these projects generating results worthy of the time and effort put in by the production team, cast and crew?  Is the result even good?  Are producers seeking material for their reels, or to grow an audience?  Do they hope someone will see their work and offer more?  Are views going up or down as each episode is added?  Are friends, family and colleagues still willing to share each new video, or are they getting burned out by the frequency of requests?  Many articles have been written about what makes something go viral. Will any of these projects?

The first episode of one web series I worked on has over 7,000 views in around a year. The second, which I had a small role in, has just over 3,000. This series has won assorted awards...yet that success hasn't seemed to increase viewership. For another, the first episode scored over 18,000 views in four months. The episode I'm in has almost 6,000 views to date.

Another friend has had several videos that have done well on Funny or Die, a well-regarded site. There's also a web series channel. I have enough of a challenge keeping up with TV series I'd like to watch.  How can viewers keep up?

With a musician colleague, a music producer and a fellow actor friend who's also done some videography, I'm working on my first self-produced piece. I collected info on hiring people to do an actual music video shoot with a budget and a small crew, but we decided to give it a shot (pun intended) on a shoestring first. And had a wonderful, fun recording and video session yesterday. After adding more musicians, a lot of editing and post-production, will it all sync up and come together the way we hope, or will this turn into a dry run for a larger production? Once we put it online, will our friends share, will people watch?  If they do, will they like it?  Can lottery dreams of going viral come true?  Stay tuned.