Friday, February 22, 2013

Ruth Cardello - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Ruth Cardello. She is the author of the Legacy Collection.

Author Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Website: Ruth Cardello
Author's Blog: Bestselling Author Ruth Cardello Presents…
Blog: ebook experiment
Twitter: @RuthieCardello
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description:
Ruth Cardello lives on a small farm in Northern Rhode Island with her husband, three kids, three dogs, two horses, and some assorted chickens. If there is a happier place on Earth, she hasn't found it.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Rise of the Billionaire. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Rise of the Billionaire is expected to be released in April, 2013. It’s the story of a hacker who had a rough childhood and the fantasy of being with one woman, Alethea, gave him the strength to overcome it. Now that he has some influential friends who owe him pretty big favors, he’s determined to become the kind of man Alethea would be interested in – rich and dangerous. Jeisa is the woman who has been hired to help him morph into that man. Book 5 is one man’s journey to find himself and the difficult choices he has to make along the way. It’s also about the painful realization that sometimes when you love someone, it means letting them go.

How important have your social media relationships been? Do you see a carry over to your writing success?

I see social media as a tool and have used it to connect with my readers and to network with other authors. I strongly believe that proper use of social media can help an author’s career. It’s not about spamming your readers and your friends, it’s about building a community with readers and other authors.

Do you do book signing, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

So far, I have only done local events and usually for authors who would like to learn about self-publishing. I do Skype (Zoom or Google chat) with Book Clubs. If you’re interested, just send me an email and we’ll figure something out. For the sake of muy family time, I don’t Skype with individuals anymore. My soon to be three year old daughter keeps me quite busy most of the time I’m not writing.

Your covers carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

I made my first cover myself and received constructive criticism from at least three continents. Calista Taylor very kindly stepped forward and redid my cover for me and I loved it. I’ve used her ever since. The process I use is to tell her what I’d like, she makes it, I take it to my FB page and let my readers give me feedback on it – then I suggest changes to her based on those comments.

You have several great book trailers. (See links below.) Do you know how much impact they have had on your book’s success? Tell us about the process that you used to create your trailers? They look very professional.

I didn’t make any of the trailers myself. They were made by either readers, friends, or my promotional assistant. I work with a woman who is very good at helping me find places to promote my books each month.

What kinds of writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the self-publishing process?

I belong to several writers’ groups and they each have a different purpose. I belong to my local romance chapter to learn about craft and connect with local romance authors. I network with a couple different groups online where authors share information regarding the publishing industry and swap ideas on how to remain visible online. It’s also a good idea to be part of a group like Agent Query Connect so you can stay informed on the changes as they occur. No one can be everywhere, but when we all share what we know it keeps everyone better informed.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I put my first book FREE on all the major vendors in April of 2011. Since then approximately 1 million people have downloaded it. Now, not all read it, I’m sure. Also, not everyone loves it. However, enough people come back to purchase book 2 that I consider it the number one most successful promotion I did for my book series. It put my book in the hands of many readers who may not have taken a chance on a new author if they had to pay for the first book.

I’m always doing giveaways online. I consider it my way of saying thank you to my readers for all they do for me and the support they’ve given me. I also gather my author friends and periodically we do large cash prizes ($50 to $100).

Have you ever done a book tour before? If so, did it contribute to the success of your book sales?

I have done book tours. I still do them sometimes. I’m not sure if they ever affected my sales.

How do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

I am the queen of sticky notes.

Being a self-publisher myself, I have to ask this question. How does doing everything yourself work out? Do you outsource much of the process?

Until recently I was doing everything myself and kept myself on a strict schedule of 1 hour of promotion a day. I have a family and young children and as my career grew I saw it begin to eat into my family time. However, I’ve recently begun working with some people who can maintain the repetitive side of what I do and that has given me the time to do things like answer these interview questions…lol

I noticed in my research that your husband is a retired Marine. How much does he get involved in the book publishing process? Relate his discipline to your busy schedule? Does it help with your time management?

My husband is my first draft reader of all of my scenes. He loves to tell me when my heroes step outside of what a man would say. A lot of the fun scenes between the male characters were shaped by discussions my husband and I had after I wrote them.

He retired from the Marines after 22 years of service (some active, some reserve) and is what I would consider the perfect “hero.” He has the training to kill if he had to, the strength of character to restrain himself in situations that require a cool head, and a heart that melts when he is with me and the kids. He has been supportive of every step of my writing career -- even back when it took time away from us and there was no reason to believe it would ever bring in income. He doesn’t tell me when or how to write, but that kind of love and support has kept me on a tight schedule because my time with him and the kids is precious to me. I write everyday from 8-3 or 10-5. I try to promote my books for an hour on the side of that each day. Then I close my laptop and am just a wife and mom and I love it.

We have been incredibly fortunate on this adventure, but if the ride stopped tomorrow – my real fortune is my family.

Author's Book List
Saving the Sheikh
Book 4 - The Legacy Collection
Rachid bin Amir al Hantan is fighting for the sovereignty of his small country. He needs to find some powerful allies - and fast. Attending the wedding of Dominic Corisi is as much about reconnecting with old friends as it is about celebrating nuptials. The last thing he needs right now is the distraction of a woman.

Zhang Yajun is a self-made billionaire who can’t believe she accepted her friend’s dare to kiss Sheikh Rachid before the end of the wedding.

When impulsive words lead to even more impulsive actions, these two will discover that sometimes the last thing you were looking for is the one thing that can save you.
Book Trailer: Saving the Sheikh
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Bedding the Billionaire
(Book 3) (Legacy Collection)
New York Times Bestseller!

Lil Dartley’s life is upside down. Her previously steadfast and predictable sister is marrying an influential billionaire and needs help planning the wedding of the century in less than a month. Years of middle class rebellion have not prepared Lil for handling billionaires or paparazzi.

Jake Walton knows a train wreck when he sees one. Lil was trouble from the first day he met her, but since her sister is marrying his best friend, he has no choice but to help her or this wedding will be in the news for all the wrong reasons. Keeping Lil safe would be a whole lot easier if she didn’t drive him crazy both in and out of the bedroom.
Book Trailer: Bedding the Billionaire
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes
Maid for the Billionaire: Ruth Cardello
Legacy Collection
Dominic Corisi knew instantly that Abigail Dartley was just the distraction he was looking for, especially since having her took a bit more persuading than he was used to. So when business forces him to fly to China, he decides to take her with him, but on his terms. No promises. No complications. Just sex.

Abby has always been the responsible one. She doesn’t believe in taking risks; especially when it comes to men - until she meets Dominic. He’s both infuriating and intoxicating, a heady combination. Their trip to China revives a long forgotten side of Abby, but also reveals a threat to bring down Dominic’s company. With no time to explain her actions, Abby must either influence the outcome of his latest venture and save his company or accept her role as his mistress and leave his fate to chance. Does she love him enough to risk losing him for good?
Book Trailer: Maid for the Billionaire: Ruth Cardello
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
For Love or Legacy
(Book 2) (Legacy Collection)
Nicole Corisi will lose her inheritance if she doesn’t find a way around the terms of her father’s will, but she will have to partner up with her estranged brother’s rival to do it. As pretense becomes painfully real, Nicole will have to choose between Stephan and the family he is driven to destroy.

Stephan Andrade has been planning his revenge ever since Dominic Corisi unscrupulously took over his father’s company. With Corisi Enterprises gambling its reputation on the success of a new software network for China, Stephan finally has his chance to take back his legacy. Dominic’s younger sister, Nicole, asks Stephan for his help and provides him with an opportunity to exact his revenge on a personal level.

It all goes smoothly until he falls in love.
Book Trailer: For Love or Legacy
Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner.
Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Fabulous interview, James.

    Love Ruth's novels and thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her as a person and her process. The part where she's disciplined on social networking really struck a chord. And can I say that Ruth's generosity in sharing her journey with new authors and readers alike has been truly inspirational.


  2. I absolutely love her!!! Thank you for your wonderful spotlight!

  3. thank you a great interview James, i love Ruth Cardello, her books are awesome

  4. What a nice interview. Ruth is not only an amazing author, but an amazing woman as well. She has such a loving and caring positive attitude and there is no one that does 'paying it forward' better than Ruthie! She is so willing to share everything she knows with others on their writing journeys. Ruth has more than earned every successful honor and award she has received. We should all be so lucky to count her as a friend.

  5. Thank you so much for a great spotlight on one of my favorite authors, her books are ones that once you start you have to keep reading until your done you can't put them down

  6. Thanks all. It is easy when you have an interesting author and great fans. Keep checking back for more. Ruth has a new book coming out in April, Rise of the Billionaire.


  7. Maid for the Billionaire got this series off to the right start!!! Great book, great series, great author!!!

  8. This is the first I've seen this interview and I love it! This author has been at the top of my list since I read Maid for the Billionaire.

  9. Found this series by accident and it is probably one of the the best one's that I have read in a long time. Great Characters, great story line, fast reads

  10. If your thinking about buying Maid for the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello. DO it I promise you will love it

  11. love maid for the billionaire and Ruth Cardello her books are awesome

  12. Love this book - it brought me into the world of reading!!!

  13. Love this series! Ruth is Amazing <3 Andrea

  14. I love Ruth Cardello's Legacy Series!! Ruth Cardello is awesome!

  15. Love Maid for the Billionaire! The whole series is fabulous!