Schmidt Kaye & Company
Professional Literary Services
ghostwriting | editing | book design | & more
Ron Kaye & Connie L Schmidt

New look. New domain.
Same impeccable service!
Helping authors
& small publishers
bring books to life
since 1995


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who we are

Sorry we don't have any stuffy business portraits.

Schmidt Kaye & Company

Ron Kaye & Connie Schmidt

"Just who are these people,
and why should I trust my book to them?"

Schmidt Kaye & Company is a unique collaboration of talent dedicated to the creation and promotion of that most venerable art form: the book.

Though we welcome the trend in electronic publishing and feel it holds many exciting possibilities — which we ourselves are eagerly exploring — we also firmly believe that the book as we know it will always be with us.

SK & C represents the new wave in print publishing, bridging the gap between traditional trade publishers and vanity presses. Accordingly, we work with authors in every step of making a book — from concept to finished product — offering a menu of services that includes manuscript preparation (ghostwriting, co-writing, or editing), page layout, cover design, printing supervision, and even creation and design of promotional materials.

But who, really, are Schmidt Kaye and Company? We are...

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Ron Kaye: a writer, editor, graphic designer and technical wizard with more than thirty years of experience in a corporate environment and as an independent service provider.


My years in a past life climbing various corporate ladders — mostly in the communications, heavy equipment, and oil exploration industries — are balanced by my experience as an independent contractor in several industries (most notably, advertising, construction, investment, and publishing). This combination, along with my military background (U.S. Navy) has given me a unique perspective on communicating with people in all walks of life. I have a deep commitment to client advocacy and am never hesitant to go "toe to toe" with anybody on behalf of our clients – even on occasion, the client him or her self. One of our favorite clients — who became a friend as well — once referred to me as "the anti-diplomat." Though meant as a compliment, it's not entirely true. I have nothing against diplomacy. It's just that I believe that our clients deserve to be advised as to the most straightforward and effective approach to problem solving, without applying politically correct filters or wasting time and energy on mere ego-flattering.

Above all, I am an author advocate as well as a provider of services for authors. Towards this end, I think it is important not only to keep up with technology but also to participate in the public conversation about the state of the publishing industry today, including and especially the questions around self-publishing versus "traditional publishing," and the real-world effects of emerging technologies on the future of the industry. Though these conversations can get surprisingly heated, I think it is important for all of us to remember that publishing is a business that offers different business models, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Self- or independent publishing gives an author more control than more traditional methods, though, and admittedly I am somewhat biased in favor of the independent route. Nevertheless I will do everything I can to provide excellent service — and, yes, to be your advocate — no matter which path you choose.

I was the founding president of the Authors & Publishers Association (APA; formerly the Association of Authors and Publishers, and before that, the Houston Publishers and Authors Association); I served four official terms in this capacity, and am currently serving again as interim president while the organization is in the process of regrouping and restructuring. APA has long been devoted to perpetuating and elevating the craft of book production and marketing, and to simplifying and demystifying the publication process for all authors. Since mid-2009, I have also managed a LinkedIn group of the same name, making the information’s collective expertise available to authors on a global level.

In my "night job," I have been a meditation teacher, Bible study facilitator, minister’s assistant, and youth education coordinator, primarily at Unity Churches in Houston and College Station, Texas. I have a long-standing interest in spiritual studies and martial arts. I'm also working on revising and expanding my book, You Can't Get There From Here...But That's Okay; You Never Really Left (Moonshadow Press), which is a spiritual guide "for the rest of us." And I occasionally hold forth on my hobby blog, Rev Ron's Rants.

For most of my life, I have been an avid motorcycle rider (always wearing a helmet and appropriate protective gear, thank you!), and have chalked up nearly a half-million miles touring all three coasts, as well as forays into Canada, the Northwest Territories, and Mexico. What began as a “teenage phase” — or so my late mother hoped — was for many years a compelling lifestyle. The wanderlust isn’t completely gone, but I’ve learned to cherish the here and now every bit as much as the time spent chasing white lines and forest trails.

I’ve also been a devoted — and I’m told, quite skilled — woodworker, though where I once created pieces of custom furniture, clocks, and the like, most of my skills in that area are now devoted to making life a bit better for the various hounds and horses here on The Ranch at the Edge of Nowhere (as Connie likes to call it). Less challenging, perhaps, but the “customers” are far less demanding, and as appreciative of my attention on the jobsite as they are of the projects I create. At least in this arena, all that is required to elicit agreement is a cookie or a pat on the head!

I can't promise I'll give you a pat on the head (unless it's deserved, of course), but I can promise that I will devote my full attention to your book project.

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Connie Schmidt: a writer, editor and designer with a passion, bordering on an obsession, for the written word.


Having spent several years as a copywriter, newsletter editor and publicist at the in-house ad agency of a consumer electronics corporation, I've been an independent service provider since the late eighties. After slipping the surly bonds of Corporate America, I spent years producing booklets, ads, articles, brochures, newsletters, and other promotional material for an intriguing variety of clients, from computer geniuses to artists to clinical psychologists to self-help gurus to private detectives.

In the mid-nineties, however, I became increasingly involved in the writing, editing and design of books. It was a natural progression, as I've been a dedicated bibliophile since...well, before I could even read. As a child, even in my pre-reading days, I was just as likely to go to sleep cradling a book as a stuffed animal or a doll. After I taught myself to read at about the age of four, with a lot of help from my mom and sister, I devoured everything I could get my hands on. I made it a point to read every word in a book, including the title page, copyright information, acknowledgments, and so on. In retrospect, the latter might have been somewhat obsessive behavior, but it has come in handy when preparing clients' books for publication because I pay attention to even the most minute details. I was also fascinated with typography from a very early age, and even as a child, when choosing a book I would often base my choice on the appearance of the letters on the page — long before I knew what a font was. (Don't get me started on what a font geek I am today, but my typophilia does come in handy when we reach the page-layout stage of a project.)

Reading books was never enough for me. One of my favorite things to do when I was small was to create "books" by stapling together sheets of scrap paper my dad brought home from the office, and then filling my creations with drawings and scribbles that became words once I'd cracked the writing code. There was just something about putting a book together that thrilled me.

Of course I realize that my lifelong book obsession is not, in and of itself, sufficient to qualify me to help you bring your own book to life. What's important is that I turned that obsession into an occupation, and I still experience the thrill of creation as I help clients create real books. Take a look at the pages on our "Editing," "Book design," and "And More" links above for examples.

Like my partner Ron, I have been a member of Authors & Publishers Association (APA) from its beginnings in 1996, serving as a board member for many years as well as Webmaster. In cooperation with some other long time APA members and associates, we are working to rebuild the organization and give it a more global reach. Meanwhile, I am, like Ron, very engaged in the process of helping authors find new and creative ways to bring their book ideas to life.

When I'm not busy helping people create books, I am utterly enjoying rural living, after years of resisting it. At one time I secretly thought that the key to a fulfilled life lay in residing in Houston's epicenter of coolness, the Inner Loop area. Now free of that delusion, I wonder why I waited so long to discover the joys of life in the sticks. Here on The Ranch, I am surrounded by cats, dogs, and horses, and occasionally get to interact with pigs, goats, and miniature donkeys...and I love it. I love animals and nature; one of my very early career aspirations was to be an entomologist, and I'm still fascinated by bugs, particularly click beetles, stick insects and praying mantises. Animal rescue is a cause dear to my heart; all of our current lineup of pets are rescues, and many of the dogs and horses who live on the property around us are also rescues. I'm rather fond of the human species too, and some of my other interests are the promotion of literacy; "future studies" (especially in relation to questions about how we as a society and as individuals are adapting to runaway technology); and human-rights issues.

In my "night job," I am a humorist and blogger. Several years ago I published what I like to describe as a BLP (book-like product) titled, Cosmic Relief: Honoring and Celebrating the Global Paradigm Shaft (Houston: Misguided Angel Press), a well-received parody of the New Age and other related aspects of contemporary culture. It later became a scintillating web site too...which, come to think of it, is badly in need of an update. For now, you'll have to forgive the dead/outdated links and 1990's design. At least the Bad Poetry is still good, in an awful sort of way; it has a long shelf life. My irreverent and sometimes controversial hobby blog, Whirled Musings, covers much the same subject matter as Cosmic Relief, but with a snarkier edge, though I've been known to be thoughtful and occasionally even serious on the blog.

The one thing I am totally serious about is doing a good job for you — whether you need a book cover, an edit or rewrite, or just about anything else to help you bring your book to life. And yes, self-help and even some new-age works are welcome. I know the territory well and, paradoxically, can actually help make your book stronger than it might be if you hired a "true believer" as a collaborator. I retain a fondness for the genres and, having a critical eye myself, I can anticipate potential criticism from readers. This allows me to help you strengthen your work and make it palatable to as wide an audience as possible. And, of course, I have my more spiritually-oriented sidekick Ron to help keep it all in balance.

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Below: Connie & Ron with client Joseph "Doc Joe" Agris, M.D., a charming altruist who is one of Houston's most renowned cosmetic surgeons and one of the world's busiest "medical missionaries." He's also an acclaimed photographer and author. A few years back we helped Doc Joe create White Knight In Blue Shades, the authorized biography of the late great TV personality and consumer advocate Marvin Zindler.
(Here is
Connie's tribute to Mr. Zindler on her hobby blog, Whirled Musings.)

But who is/are "& Company?"


Shown above as a mere pup is the late and deeply missed Rex, our 100% purebred Doberweilerdor (Doberman/Rottweiler/Black Labrador mix). He grew to be a 135-pound overgrown baby. Rex was a rescue dog, adopted through the Homeless Pet Placement League of Houston.
As Connie noted above, we have a home full of rescue animals (dogs and cats), and we now live around many other rescued animals (dogs and horses). We are big believers in animal rescue: it's one of our pet causes, so to speak.


Thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, editor or other type of literary collaborator?
Don't be spooked, but do be realistic in your expectations
Do yourself and your book a favor,
and take a look at our
Reality Checks For Authors portal.

Well, there are those assorted quadrupeds who share our home office, but frankly, we can't get 'em to do much with books except eat them. We believe in hiring from within, but in this case it just wasn't feasible, so we have chosen to outsource instead (but not to India ~ not yet, anyway).

We maintain a network of associates - other writers, editors, artists, designers, marketing specialists, publicists and, of course, service bureaus, printers/book manufacturers, and print brokers, whose talent and expertise we draw upon as necessary. In other words, if we don't do it, or if we're simply too swamped to handle your project, we'll find someone for you who can.

Coming soon... our new updated Links page.



"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster."
  ~Isaac Asimov
"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."
~Vladimir Nabakov

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Welcome | What We Do (& What We Don't) | Who We Are | Clients / News | Ghostwriting | Editing/Rewriting Samples
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Ron Kaye & Connie L. Schmidt
e-mail: (both of us) (Ron Kaye) • (Connie L. Schmidt)

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