Thursday, December 30, 2010

Character Happens! at #5, and climbing…


Guess when you price your book at $.99 more readers will give you a ‘chance read.’ It makes sense/cents (excuse the pun), particularly when you’re an unknown, first-time author. This 99 cent price point has been offered throughout December to entice readers to try it…and, besides, it’s always nice to be thought of as a ‘bargain’ instead of a ‘expensive lessen.’

December results so far: *drum roll* Character Happens! is at #5 (category—books-sports-inspiration) Thanks everyone.

For 2011, this book will experience some changes. A revision. Maybe it’ll be a 2nd Edition. Not sure yet how it will be introduced. But, will incorporate these changes for sure, perhaps others:

  • New Subtitle – Keeping the Character Happens! portion but will follow with, ‘How Golf Teaches You (and your children), the Virtues-Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.’ I know its a longer title but it better describes the context of the book.
  • The books cover color will be predominantly yellow.
  • The angle will change to a 1700’s golf couple on the ‘old course.’
  • The book will be edited extensively, by professionals.
  • The Foreword and Afterward will be revised.
  • Hope to have some ‘praise’ blurbs on back cover.

Don’t have eReader yet? Here’s a link (click picture) to the one I own and endorse wholeheartedly, the Kindle Reader with Wi-FI.

Thanks Again, for driving the book to #5.

Many Regards, Garry

P.S. Character Happens! can be ‘free’ to you, (PDF file), for your review on Amazon. Just go here to receive this free offer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Special—$.99 for ‘Character Happens!’


  Price reduction!

  Beginning December 1st and throughout the month, the eBook Character Happens! can be acquired for $0.99, at Amazon.

  Why you ask . . . because it’s a new book from a new author – and its the giving time of year. Giving is good.

  Not familiar with the book, no problem. Character Happens! is a ‘character themed’ tome. It presents the 5 ‘Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues’ wrapped inside a golf storyline. Yes, I said golf! It identifies the virtues: Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility and their use in decision-making. Making a more virtuous decision . . . could it be what you need in your life? I think it might.

We all have a ‘fleeting’ nature. None of us are consistent in our habits, mores or decisions. It’s natural, so don’t sweat it. Just admit it.

So . . . go now, ur, soon, to Amazon and click on the buy button. It may be the best $.99 you’ve spent this holiday. OR, buy a snicker bar—wait, that costs more than this eBook.

Also, if you a mind to, visit Amazon later and post a review. Everyone likes to know what others think about a book and if it’s recommended.

Thanks for coming and enjoy the savings. My treat.

Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues by Garry M. Graves

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holidays … warmth and comfort ??


  The warmth and comfort of the holidays soon will be upon us. Yes, warmth and comfort.

  Some find holidays sad, lonely and generally discomforting. Surely if people tried just a little harder…they might find joy in the simplest of activities. Like reading a book.

  Haven’t read a book in some time? Not to worry, it’s much like riding a bicycle, you hardly ever forget. Today, reading books can be different than what you’ve experienced in the past. The digital revolution has changed how people read books. Some still prefer the older methods using books made with paper, but the newer digital version is catching on fast.

  Sure, reading a book on a computer is tiring; eyestrain, uncomfortable chair, upright position…all can add to some unpleasantness. The now popular eReaders; the Kindle from Amazon, the Nook from Barnes & Noble, the iPad from Apple and others make reading a book much more pleasurable. Here’s my favorite and endorsement

  If you’re one of those people who can always find something sad about the holidays…you might find a world of comfort in reading a good book. BTW, here is a site with 33,000 ‘free’ eBooks, it’s called Project Gutenberg.

  Holiday discomfort? Eat. Read. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

James M Turner – Author/Composer/Musician, visits…

headshot library

The following is ‘my’ stop on author’s James M. Turner’s blog tour.

Bio - James M. Turner is an author, composer, musician and screenwriter. Born in the UK in the heart of rural Cheshire in 1961 where he completed his secondary education before re-locating to Manchester in the late 1970's to begin studying the Saxophone. During the mid 80's establishes himself as a popular choice for successful pop groups of the day and goes on to play with many acts including UK pop phenomena 'Bros' and 'Take That'

Moves to Thailand in 2002 which is largely the setting for his first auto-biographical book 'Beyond The Comfort Zone' based partly upon his experiences there. Relocates again in 2005 to Los Angeles California and begins to work in the Film business, working on films such as Crystal Sky Pictures 'Tekken' (imdb), El Dorado (imdb) as well as 'Annihilation Earth' (imdb) and 'Witchville' (imdb) for the Sci-Fi channel. His first Television series screenplay 'The Taker' is currently in development.

Besides his other talents James is a keen swimmer and linguist. As well as English he speaks both Spanish and Thai, his Mandarin Chinese is still a work in progress. When he is not on film sets he divides his time between Los Angeles, Manchester and Asia.

Should you have a question or comment for James, please utilize the below comment space provided. James will answer as many questions as possible within the next few days. Please check back.

Without further ado, I proudly introduce James M. Turner. Thanks for visiting with us today James…

JMT: Thanks for having me.

GG: James, your new book, ‘Beyond The Comfort Zone’ is damn gritty. Is this what the industry calls a ‘memoir-thriller’ genre?

JMT: That's the first time I've heard that expression. But yes, I think that would definitely sum up the nature of the journey of the book, it certainly has some of that aforementioned grit sprinkled about the pages. Memoir/thriller is a phrase I'll be using from now on, so thanks for that!

GG: Who are you? How did you reach this point in your life—writing all this chaos with subtle, international intrigue?

JMT. I'm originally from Manchester in the UK, but have lived in a few countries now. Something which I seem destined to continue for quite a while. I was, for most of my adult life, a professional musician and although I've always written in some form or another my music career was forever overshadowing any writing I did. I do believe fortune favors the brave though, so I've never been short of an adventure or two in my life. All that probably contributes to my writing.

GG: You’ve mentioned having offers for BTCZ by traditional publishers but decided to write your ‘own’ story, tell us about that.

JMT. Because I have played with some fairly big artists there was a suggestion that I should write a more music focused book. I didn't really want to write another kiss and tell, about life on the road or the people I had worked with. I thought it was an important element to include in the book, but not that it should be the core of the narrative. The end result is better for it I think and I'm pretty happy with that. Now that I have the book as I want it and it has been favorably received, I'm not against another publisher coming along and taking on certain foreign territories, such as the USA, because I do have limited resources of both time and money.

GG: In fact, one editor said: “...You seem to be a method writer, and I don't recommend it for anyone. Most never return....” You didn’t know whether to consider it a compliment or a warning—please elaborate.

JMT. I think that he was referring to the fact that this kind of approach (like method acting) can leave a very deep and lasting emotional legacy with the person engaged in it. For me, at the end of a day's writing, it did leave me emotionally exhausted. Some parts of the book are very sad, others joyful and each leaves its residue long after the keys have stopped chattering. I can't write any other way. I have to be that person, live their pain, try to understand their joy. Sometimes I take a very deep breath before starting to write.

GG: Will you continue to write, perhaps a sequel? Have you anything in development now?

JMT. I will continue to write and I feel this may be my newest and last incarnation. I have a couple of book ideas forming at the moment, as I mentioned though, that will involve me travelling to one location to absorb it for a while. I have a finished screenplay for a TV series I have written, which is heading into further development or pre-production this year, and another in the early planning stages. I don't think a sequel to BTCZ is on the agenda at the moment, but a lot of people have asked me to write one. You never know.

GG: James, in your interview (blog stop), with Zoe Winters you said: “...I did set out as if I was writing a fictional book....” And yet BTCZ is non-fiction; that my friend is hairy stuff. Honestly, the story begs for further media...tell us how the film venture is going?

JMT. I wanted the book to be as exciting to read as it was to live it. I think I managed that, but my template was always movie/thriller right from the start of writing. I'd like the story to reach as many people as possible, that's largely in the hands of others, but I'd like to see some foreign rights deals in the near future. I would dearly love to tell you what is going on with the film rights to BTCZ at the moment, but I can't. Let's just say that there are conversations taking place as we speak.

GG: Amazon, both US and UK editions, has BTCZ with nothing but 5 star reviews, that has to convince you the story resonates. Elaborate specifically/concisely why you think that is?

JMT. That's a difficult question to answer. I guess we all feel for the suffering of a helpless child. Also, this isn't just a story about me. It's actually a story of two young men, basically good people, who are stuck in the middle of a maelstrom trying to do the right thing and help others - with little concern for personal safety or financial gain. I think we all need to believe that there are still those of us out there who will risk everything for a stranger.

GG: James, you’ve written an extraordinary piece of work...tell us the secrets of your writing process...those elements you consider most important?

JMT. Thank you for that compliment, it's very humbling. I don't know that I have a secret. I know that I spend a lot of time thinking about the balance between too much and not enough. Whether that's in descriptions of environments, or people. There are some places where you just have to let the story run and keep the prose direct and the dialogue crisp. That's my main area of concentration, walking the knife edge. At the end of it all when the last full stop is in place it is all about how something makes you feel. Not how clever it is, how delicate the prose, how beautiful the descriptions. But, did this book make me feel anything deeply enough to live with me after the page is closed.

GG: Given the story premise and your heart, it seems only natural for you to have established a charity...please tell the readers about it.

JMT: At the moment I have just established a mechanism for donations on my website. The goal of this is to provide for children who have little opportunity or access to some of the things we in the west take for granted. Food, clothing, education, even the right to a life without fear. In the first instance it is likely that this will be a support mechanism for others already doing this work. So we are talking about orphanages etc; providing food, clothing, or whatever they are lacking or need help with. In the long term I'd like to build an infrastructure that helps children build value in their lives. Education, computers, work skills, sustainable business models that not only help them move forward but allow them to help others do the same.

GG: James, you have my sincere appreciation and thanks for making the Character Happens! blog a stop on your tour. Is there anything you would like to say in general?

JMT. I would like to thank you for inviting me on to Character Happens! and presenting me with some very thoughtful and insightful questions. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has taken the time to vote and review BTCZ on Amazon as well as the many people who send me emails from around the world. I'm glad that the book has touched you enough to write to me and I'm always grateful to receive your messages (I reply to all…eventually). Please continue spreading the word.

Beyond The Comfort Zone is an incredible read. I highly recommend James’ book and guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Thanks again to this new and exciting author, James M. Turner. (site)

BTCZ Cover Im D1

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Author Tour – James M Turner visits 9/23/10


  Please mark your calendar—Thursday, September 23, 2010. This date signifies a visit to this blog-space from a new and exciting author, Mr. James M Turner. James is an author/composer/ musician/screenwriter who recently published a memoir that reads like a fictional thriller. You won’t believe this true story!

James will discuss his current book Beyond The Comfort Zone (Non-Fiction/Thriller-International/Asia-A+ Character Development), now available at Amazon. Additionally there will be pointed questions relative to the writing, publishing and book industry.

Interested author/writers, publishers and readers alike are invited to this open event, 9/23/10. Don’t miss it!

James will return to answer your most thought-out questions so bring your inquisitiveness and scholar. Thanks, --gg

Sunday, September 5, 2010

K3 ‘New’ Kindle unit best in my mind…

Kindle 3 The Kindle 3 looks to be the eReader of choice present day. Given the price: $139 for the Wi-Fi version and $189 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version. Since a cheap price is not always the best choice…everything considered in this instance, it is. Here’s a few features making this unit well worth your hard-earned money. (My personal choices)

1. It’s weighs nothing; less than 9 oz., which is lighter than a paperback. Important feature cause you don’t even want to have to hold the device with both hands. It’s a biggie.

2. Page turning is faster/quieter. When a device is not this way, it stinks.

3. The E-Ink screen is brighter/darker when it needs to be. Turn on/off a light next to your bed or reading in sunlight makes a difference with most devices…this one, not. Another biggie in my mind.

4. Aside from Amazon’s eBook reservoir, their lower overall price per eBook, the K3’s battery life, storage capacity, etcetera…the unit is a winner for the money. But…you have to wait to get yours cause of a delay in shipping (it’s popular). Looks like bought today, is 9/20/10 delivery. Not bad.

Still, you’ll love reading with it (you’ll read more actually-which is good) and you’ll look cool and your grandkids will think you’re hip. When’s the last time that happened?

amazon_logo1  Picture1 Picture2

If you read in bed then the cheaper unit with the Wi-Fi is all you need. It’s only $139. Having a router hooked to your desktop computer creates the Wi-Fi in your house. Done. Enjoy. Kindle 3

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stacey Cochran – Writer/Author/Educator, visits…


The following is my ‘stop’ on author Stacey Cochran’s Blog Tour.

Bio - Stacey Cochran was born in the Carolinas, where his family traces its roots to the mid 1800s. In 1998 he was selected as a finalist in the Dell Magazines undergraduate fiction competition, and he made his first professional short story sale to CutBank in 2001. In 2004, he was selected as a finalist in the St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First Private Eye Novel Contest. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Dr. Susan K. Miller-Cochran and their son Sam, and he teaches writing at North Carolina State University.

Should you have a question or comment for Stacey, please utilize the below comment space provided. Stacey will answer as many questions as possible within the next few days. Please check back.

Without further ado, I proudly introduce Stacey Cochran. Thanks for visiting with us today Stacey…

STACEY: Thanks for having me.

GARRY: With all the components necessary to write a great thriller, like Claws 2, how come reviewers say you’re ‘the best’ regarding ‘Scene?’

STACEY: Someone said I was “the best”? I’m sure they had me confused with someone else.

I’m kidding, of course. The truth is that I pay them.

GARRY: Do you teach ‘Scene’ as the more critical element to your writing students?

STACEY: I’m a big fan of scene writing. It’s true. It’s right up there with character, plot, and setting. Novels where there’s pages of internal monologue or someone’s wandering thoughts in some undefined setting aren’t interesting to me.

A good scene has at least two characters who have different wants and needs, and their wants and needs should conflict. This should be shown through the characters’ actions and dialogue in a specific setting (a car, a bus, a living room, a meeting room for members of alcoholics anonymous, etc.).

GARRY: Stacey, your first Claws book is generating more sales now that Claws 2 has come out -- is this the benefit of having a series?

STACEY: Definitely. And this is something I didn’t wholly anticipate. Seriously. Like when I first conceived of the books as a series, I could not have imagined how they would sell, where they would sell, or how they might work in tandem. In fact, eBooks were not even on my radar when I wrote the novels back in 2004 and 2005. At that time, there was no viable market to sell them.

And so, yes, I was surprised to see how strongly the first novel was selling during the first month of launch for the second book.

In recent weeks, I’ve even lowered the sequel’s price and actually raised the price of the older novel.

GARRY: A lot of my readers who are ‘self-pub writer-types’ are beginning to understand the importance of ‘marketing,’ which even the big traditional publishers are doing less of for their author’s...what word of advice can you contribute about marketing?

STACEY: The single best marketing tool is to write a great novel. After that, though, you’re absolutely right. Marketing is everything. It’s so much a part of everything that I do, I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess the best piece of advice I can give to your audience is to be absolutely fearless. Fear no one. Fear no critic. Fear no establishment. There is a sense among relatively new authors that they don’t want to say or do something wrong for fear of being perceived as a bad author… or an author behaving badly.

The best publicity comes when you’re getting tossed out of a place for doing the right thing. That alone will sell more books in the long haul than any ass-kissing, well-behaved douche-baggery.

GARRY: JA Konrath, I’m a big believer in this eBook thingy, it’s become a phenomena with Amazon, eReading devices, lower book pricing...what does a long-time author like you think about this new ‘industry?’

STACEY: You should read my 2004 introduction to the paperback version of THE KIRIBATI TEST. It’s remarkable to me in that I was basically saying that the time was here for a proletariat group of writers to change major publishing. In 2004.

So in a lot of ways, none of this is surprising to me.

GARRY: Your so damn young with a lot of writing ahead of you...does all this publishing industry confusion encourage or worry you?

STACEY: Great question. I find it immensely encouraging. It is the single most democratic thing to happen in the history of publishing. Period. Readers are deciding which books thrive. That is a good thing.

GARRY: You had mentioned somewhere that you’d really like the Claw’s series to be picked up with movie-rights...what’s happening with that?

STACEY: Realistically, nothing. That said, I have completed one short film project on my own under the Stacey Cochran Productions banner. We are currently shooting our second film. I could (at least in my own imagination) see one day filming the CLAWS movies on my own, if I have to. I could probably shoot the first book for under 200 grand, in case there are any investors in our audience today who want to get in early.

GARRY: Many writers rush their works to publish (like me) less some needed this ‘editing component’ the critical aspect of the book writing process?

STACEY: It’s definitely critical. I can’t tell you how many dozens of drafts CLAWS went through before the final published version. I had feedback from a writers’ group, a literary agent, and nearly a dozen of the best thriller editors in major publishing. And still I spent about four years in the editing phase once the first draft was completed.

GARRY: I see by your site ‘pic-page’ you’ve met James Patterson...tell us about that?

STACEY: I met Patterson at Thrillerfest a few years ago. We were staying on the same floor in the hotel, and we struck up a conversation waiting for the elevator the night of the awards banquet. I think his wife took the photo actually. Inside the elevator.

GARRY: Stacey, please accept my sincere appreciation for you taking the time to participate in my Authors Tour there anything you’d care to say generally?

STACEY: Thank you for having me. It was my pleasure.

Thanks again to Stacey Cochran. His next tour stop is August 30th, at this blog location.

CLAWS2Cover-DONOTDELETEcopy-3-1 ClawsFront-1-1 KiribatiTestThumbnail ColoradoSequenceCoverforRSS

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Author Tour features…Stacey Cochran, 8/26/10


Please mark your calendar—Thursday, August 26, 2010. This date signifies a visit to this blog-space from a very distinguished author, Mr. Stacey Cochran. Stacey is the author/writer of several books besides teaching writing at the university level, as well as hosting an author interview show on local TV.

Stacey will discuss his current book Claws 2 (Thriller-Present Day-A+ Scene Development), now available at Amazon. Additionally there will be pointed questions relative to the writing and book industry.

Interested author/writers, publishers and readers alike are invited to this open event, 8/26/10. Don’t miss it!

Stacey will return to answer your most thought-out questions so bring your inquisitiveness and scholar. Thanks, --gg

Monday, August 16, 2010

‘Honesty – Defined for the 21st Century’, Release Mid-2011


Here is my next personal development book; Honesty – Defined for the 21st Century. I anticipate a spring-summer release in 2011. Below is a tentative outline of chapter topics:

* Review of historic literature (Aristotle)

* Review of current best seller (Radical Honesty), Amazon’s #1 seller present day under ‘Honesty.’

* Review of noted individual’s and what they have written and what others have written about them. (Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Socrates, Twain, Churchill, Reagan, Clinton, others)

* A first-hand case study of a teenager who when finding thousands of dollars on the street, returned it to the proper authorities.

* From aforementioned, a chapter discussion, perhaps even a definitive statement or prescription on how better we might enjoy more ‘honesty’ in our lives.

The plan is for the book to be 200+ pages (paperback) with a suggested selling price of $15.95. Also, and certainly first in order will be the eBook @ $2.99.

Lastly, should anyone wish to send me your thoughts on the books topic, references or possible literature inclusions or exclusions, please do so. Also, I will need a new set of proofreaders, specific to the theme as well as qualities necessary in construction of works in the personal development genre.

It is intended this ‘Honesty’ book be the second in the series of my offerings with the character focus. Please accept my humble THANKS for buying and reading Character Happens!, my first noble offering -- hoping to inform, entertain and communicate my special blend of character understanding, present day.

Thank You for your support. With your help this new ‘Honesty’ book will introduce a new fresh perspective. Any comments appreciated.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reading books about to change? You decide.

Have you wondered of changes seen recently relative to newspapers, libraries, bookstores (indie or chains), Amazon, Apple (iPad), and the publishing industry (publishers, agents, authors)? Many of my blog and Facebook friends know of my venture into writing/publishing…so I’m thinking they might enjoy this little post as a matter of ‘news’ about what this linked article proclaims as the ‘state of the publishing industry.’ Also, I’ve made several FB writer-type friendships and they particularly would be interested in this post and link…some may even be surprised.  NookBookCvr

The article used here as the post source is entitled, ‘The Future of Publishing,’ by Ransom Stephens. ‘Ransom,’ that’s his name, interesting, don’t think I’ve heard that name before, let alone an author of some distinction (modest). Just want to clarify my position of Mr. Stephens, Ph.D., (that’s how Ph.D’s are addressed formally, not Doctor), has a science (physics) background and most recently written a novel, ‘The God Patent.’ I’ve not read the book yet, only some reviews, so my interest in Mr. Stephens is of his article on publishing.

From a Google Alert (on eBooks and publishing), directing me to GallyCat (Media Blog) to Scribd, (social publishing and reading site), where Mr. Stephens received accolades for this article – where he speaks of companies who’ve miss-fired, holding to dated business models and foregoing innovation or new market shifts. Stephens predicts enormous change in reading habits (increased) and acquisition of reading material (eBooks and eReaders), and how he see’s current players (Amazon, Google, Authors, Publishers and the reading public), responding to the change.

It’s not for me to rewrite or interpret Mr. Stephens article in this post. I post the link here for you to read and make your own judgment about his thought process and proclamation. The article is eleven pages and an easy read. Below is the link to article: The Future of Publishing By Ransom Stephens.

Here is a link to Stephens book (The God Patent), should you want:

It would be interesting to see varied comments from whomever has an opinion. Thanks, –gg

Garry M. Graves, Author, Character Happens! The 5 Most Important – But Fleeting Virtues.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

...a reminder -- Character Happens! book trailer, don't miss it.

...its been some time since I've reminded readers of the Character Happens! book trailer (video).
  Click here to view the trailer on YouTube. Make sure you have ear buds or headphones as the music accompaniment is outstanding. Don't miss it without listening to the track. It's one minute long.
  All credit goes to Jeannie Ruesch of 'willdesignforchocolate'
  She's the best at what she does and no amount of credit could be given Jeannie for her outstanding work on my project.



Saturday, July 10, 2010 lettering, black lettering...what?

This is giving me a stomach ache. 

Here is a cover with red lettering (thanks Christy S). The second cover is with black lettering. I think both are fine and acceptable. 

Now for the subtitle. Firstly -- I really like the word 'Teaches' in the copy. Secondly -- I love the phrase 'and your children' in the copy. And I love this pic. This pic was pulled from public domain clip art and it expresses to 'me' ...a couple, man and woman, setting on a rock or hill, speaking to a youngster. It looks to be in a 1700's time period. It reminds me of the Old Course -- St. Andrews in the U.K.

Yes, the book indeed is about character (thanks, Diantha M). Yes, the book is written around a golf storyline. It is not a golf book. It is a character book. I really liked the initial 'red' cover with its subtitle, probably the reason it was published initially that way. hehe! Nevertheless, my feelings now are that I must try to capture 'more' of the golf reader population (don't laugh). Perhaps from increased exposure (this categorization), Character Happens! might gain from this group and be talked about to other reader's (people who like personal development books). Who knows?

It would be nice to have more readers. The 'character readers' are a huge population. The 'golfer' population is pretty big too. Here's a book...'Golf's Sacred Journey,' (much like Character Happens!), that has done very well. If only my book could capture some readers from this book's readership. That would be great.

The plan is to revise the Character Happens! book. It needs better editing and correcting. I figured it would be a good time to change the cover, etc... All who have purchased the initial paperback version will be sent the new 'revised' version, no charge (if interested). 

Naturally I'm posting another poll on my blog to determine which of the above covers you prefer. The red lettering or the black lettering. After this, I'm finished with Character Happens! Moving on to the Ranger Copeland's book -- 'Bloody Omaha - My Remembrances of That Day.'

Thanks a bunch for your continued support. --gg


Friday, July 9, 2010 Character Happens! cover and subtitle -- you choose.

Have decided to change books' cover and subtitle. Which of these two choices do you prefer. Click cover to enlarge.
Will establish a poll on blog (top right) for you to vote which subtitle you prefer. Both covers, as you can see, are the same.

I think this picture represents the book title well. Any comments on that. Click here to comment

In the poll cover #1 (top/first cover) will be identified as:
'An Avid Golfer'  The poll cover #2 (bottom/second cover) will be identified as: 'How Golf Teaches'

Thanks for taking the time to vote. I value your opinion greatly. Thanks, --gg 


Thursday, July 8, 2010 Amazon ranking for Character Happens!

Here's today's report from Amazon on Character Happens! ranking. The ebook 'Buy-In' helped a great deal and I want to thank everyone for their support. --gg

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,155 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#20 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Sports > Miscellaneous > Sports Psychology
#4 in Books > Sports > Golf > Inspiration
#17 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Morals & Responsibility


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

...'Free' eBook! Character Happens! The 5 Most Important Virtues...

   Just kidding! No, really, you can get the Character Happens! eBook for zero dollars. Yes, that's $0. 
   One condition (you figured, right?)
   You have to write a review of the book and post it on the ePublisher's website. I know, I doesn't sound like too horrendous request but you'd be surprised how many people are intimidated by the 'review procedure.'
   Either there intimidated or they don't want to hurt my feelings with a negative review. Phooey, not to worry. My skin is as thick as double-bubble chewing gum (remember), and just as pink. In fact, 'any' review will be helpful, even the negative ones. 
   My writing will get better as it increases in frequency. I'm a new writer, an unknown writer who is fully cognizant of his knowledge, limitations and abilities. 
   From now til August 6th, 2010, you can get my eBook for free...provided you write a review of the book at the same site. (Smashwords) The 'review police' will be checking up on you so please follow through.
   Below are links to make the process flow smoothly. And...THANKS for your support. --gg

Smashwords (where you can get the eBook. Use this code #CE88T at checkout to get it free).
Book Review (where you can get a 'format' or refresher on how to write a review).


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

…one last reminder of the eBook ‘Buy-In’

One last reminder -- I promise this is it.
Tomorrow, July 1st, 2010, is a scheduled ‘Buy-In’ for my eBook, Character Happens! The price for the eBook is $0.99 at Amazon (click on the red book cover to go directly to the books page), or click here.
   ‘Buy-In’s’ are a common marketing component used by authors whereby individuals are asked to buy a selected book at a certain time. The time frame for this ‘Buy-In’ is the 24 hour period of July 1st, 2010.
   Why is it so important to buy during this time frame? Amazon’s metric will measure these increased purchases for this 24 hour time period, causing the books ranking to increase. A better ranked book, like a highly reviewed book will typically sell better. In fact, the higher ranked books become more recognized not only by potential customers but also by Amazon (advertising).
   Some people may think this ‘Buy-In’ tactic is manipulating the system. Candidly, a dissertation could be written on the topic and still not convince those who believe the practice is unacceptable. To those, I’m sorry.
   Nevertheless, what I’ve written in Character Happens! (even if the golf storyline makes it’s theme undecipherable to some), I believe, is important and the more who read the book may in some way improve their lives. And who wouldn’t want that? Writing words and phrases about what you’re thinking is difficult – arranging them so readers understand is incredibly difficult. As time progresses perhaps my writing will improve.
   Finally, it is my hope that you participate in the books ‘Buy-In’ on July 1st. Additionally, it would be wonderful if you passed my blog post on to someone you know who might like a character-themed book with a golf storyline. Just for kicks, we’ll check on the stats July 2nd. Below is the present day ranking of the eBook.
Thanks my friends for your continued support.                 Garry M. Graves

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,681 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #55 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Morals & Responsibility

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Golf’s Sacred Journey – a book about life… (Free eBook @ Amazon)

“…Sacred Journey Each chapter is a lesson about life, and Dr. Cook uses the metaphor of golf to clearly illustrate how our decisions and convictions have brought us to the place we now reside. Patience, humility, forgiveness, and love will help us all to have a rich and rewarding life, and will also help us with our golf games. Plan and visualize your life's journey, practice patience and balance, and hold on to truth and tradition and you will live your greatest dreams…” Shivas Irons, Amazon Reviewer

Go to Amazon now and get this eBook. It’s FREE. If you don’t have the software get it here, free.

Please think of my book as you read this one. Had my writing been better, like contained in this one, perhaps more people would read it and review it. The author of Golf’s Sacred Journey is David L. Cook, who is a sports psychologist by trade. His stories are fictional pieces written around the game of golf, sprinkled with jewels about –patience, humility, forgiveness and love. Pretty good storyline wouldn’t you say? Character Happens! is written/formatted much like this one, certainly not as prose-worthy, nevertheless the two books are most similar in scope, genre and appeals to a similar reading customer. I’m wondering if I need to market more to golfers. Advise me what you think.

Below are some statistics relative to two books:

Golf’s Sacred Journey -- #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Sports > Golf

Character Happens! -- #18 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Business & Investing > Reference > Ethics #58 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Advice & How-to > Self-Help > Self-Esteem #9 in Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Parenting & Families > Parenting > Morals & Responsibility

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

…July 1st, 2010 – day of reckoning!

July2010Calendar July 1, 2010 – mark the date. This is the day I ask those who have waited to buy my book (Character Happens!), to buy on July 1, 2010. The plan is to get as many: friends, friends of friends, family, extended family, strangers and friends of strangers – to buy the book on July 1st.

The eBook is the cheapest at $1.99, at Amazon. The printed version, also at Amazon, is $11.47 last time I checked. Remember you pay shipping on the print version – not on the digital version (a real benefit of technology). AND for those who are on a tight budget, here’s a FREE download of Character Happens! at Smashwords, my ePublisher. Use this code at checkout: NT96Y

Naturally, it is my hope more of you choose to buy the book than download it free. The Amazon purchases on this one day, July 1st, (within this 24 hour period), will aid the book’s ranking and create additional exposure to other potential readers. Thanks in advance for participating.

It is my hope that many of you will aid my meager efforts to market, sell and make aware the book, Character Happens! Please pass along this information to friends and family and anyone you know who you might think interested (or needing), a book about character and decent virtue. Advise them of the books humorous ‘golf’ storyline and teachable moments.

Thanks for being such a good follower of my blog. –gg

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Character? Golf? What’s the big deal?

Picture1 Picture2

What if I put this ‘Warning’ sign on my book’s front cover? The sign would serve two purposes: One – to warn potential readers that the book contains ‘sports’ stories, and Two – it might just capture the attention of the many golfers who read. I know what you’re thinking so let’s move on. To some of you this change might seem like a desperate move on my part to gain more readers/buyers of the book. You would be right! I didn’t write the book to have it not read. And, I believe the book’s message is timely and focused on what may be a gigantic issue present day – the fleeting nature of decent character.

More than once someone commented ‘it was hard to follow the story, I don’t play golf.’

Our group decided long ago that we didn't give a hoot
one way or the other about anyone in our group’s politics,
religious beliefs or sexual preferences. We agreed however
that it wouldn’t prevent us from incredible slander, name-calling
and harassment to aid our golf competitiveness.
Most of the time, we spoke only of golf not much else.
Anything regarding work life, personal life, hobbies,
problems, likes or dislikes we avoided. Golf conversation
prevailed and we tried real hard to keep it that way.

See anything wrong with this passage? Is it too golfie? Sure the storyline is written around the game of golf. It was done that way purposefully. The game of golf is different than other games – in golf you are your own rules enforcer. That single fact makes golf a hotbed for character revelation. Ever wonder why so many businessmen play golf? They play to see how other businessmen react, respond and interpret the rules of golf.

Having decided to not apologize anymore for writing and titling a ‘Character Book’ with a golf storyline (a mere vehicle to distinctively convey a important message, ie, …the moral of the story is…), this post ends any further explanation I care to give.

Character Happens! is a book about the 5 most important virtues and how we must challenge ourselves each day to ‘do better’ by our decision making. You can buy both print and eBook versions from me personally (with a signature and personalization), or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. You can get a free eBook from me for your review posted on either Amazon or Smashwords. If interested in receiving a free eBook and writing a review, please email me here.

Vote in poll for changing book cover. Thanks for following my blog, tell your family and friends. --gg

Monday, May 3, 2010


I’ve often wondered why people say and do the things they do. Guess we all have moments where something or someone causes us to question the person’s judgment, perhaps their motive, maybe even their sanity. Don’t get me wrong, 90% of the time I’m questioning my own judgment – thinking my understanding is incomplete of the person’s circumstance or situation, thus biasing my thinking about what the person has said or done. Bookplate

My book Character Happens! takes a firm stance on this…ugh…ur, fleeting nature of a *best decision* coming from a persons encounter or situation. The books stories illustrate that we *all* are vulnerable in our decision-making by not considering the decision’s effect beyond our own interest. Sure, there are those individuals who throughout their entire lives made decisions benefitting only them. But that is not what you’re about, is it?

Twitter me @garrymgraves about your *fleeting encounters* and how you responded. Thanks for following my blog, my followers are a blessing. --gg

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

…’New’ eBook price – now $1.99

$1.99Amazon …for a limited time (unless it’s incredibly well received), the eBook version of Character Happens! will be $1.99. This new price should take effect Thursday, April 29, 2010. My reasoning behind this reduction in price (for those of you suspicious of a marketing guy), is two-fold.

A. I’m a new unknown writer.

B. Writer talk is that Kindle owners and eBook readers are boycotting big publishers (with eBook pricing similar to paperbacks), and in greater numbers -- are not paying over $1.99 for eBooks.

C. (I know I said ‘two-fold’), nevertheless, it is my temperament to give as many people as possible a price-break on a purchase. Some of my long-time friends and business associates may disagree.

D. (I know, I know), perhaps at this $1.99 price you might choose to ‘gift’ a book to some worthy person, group or organization.

It is my hope this new price will garner additional eBook buyers, (I’m running out of family and friends) thus resulting in positive reviews posted on the respective eBook purchasing site. Reviews are helpful to others.

Thank you in advance for your purchase of Character Happens! And, for those unfamiliar with eBooks; you can read this digital version on your computer, your iPhone, Black-Berry, Droid, other or these new-fangled eReaders, like Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, etcetera.

Here are two eBook retailers: Amazon and Smashwords (both have review accommodations). Thank You, --gg

Saturday, April 24, 2010

...Character Happens! contrasts Objectivism. Good!

...if, when, you’re a non-fiction writer, it is said, ‘you’re selling something not just telling a story.’ Well yes, I’ll admit, I am selling something. I’m selling people on the idea they can improve there lives by choosing to make a *better* decision, a more virtuous decision. A decision *considered* beyond the benefit of only themselves.

Ayn Rand, as others described her [Objectivism Philosophy] “...the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or rational self-interest...” And, in her own words... “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Academics bore me. They bore me with their own ‘self-interest.’ I encourage you to join me in a ‘joined-bore-quest’ (JBQ), of being bored by academics. They espouse their plight; lack of money, lack of recognition, lack of power, of influence, on and on. They bore me with their forthrightness about wanting the rest of us to ‘feel their pain’ and reward them with accolades of aforementioned. Shallow? How can we measure the depth?

Character Happens! is NOT a golf book! It IS a book about character and virtue and decision making. Yes, the book uses *golf* stories to convey its message. Think of it as... “the moral of the story is,” blah, blah, blah. For those of you, who have a hard time following the storyline [golf] please refer to the glossary of golf terms to aid your understanding...remembering the golf story is only a vehicle to make a point.

FYI, a local independent bookstore (city pop: 9144 in year 2000), refused to have me speak to their Saturday morning book club. They don’t enjoy sports books. Another local community library (pop: 8389 in year 2000) didn’t allow me to conduct a reading, no reason given.

Writing a book is difficult. Marketing a book is more difficult. Anyone out there who wants to join 'JBQ' and be bored by academics? Let me know.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Character Happens! Amazon has both eBook and Paperback...

...everyone, I suspect, knows where clicking on this button takes you. This time clicking will take you specifically to my book’s site-specific page, where on April 20, 2010, you will be able to (1) buy the printed book version for $15.95 (for those of you who still prefer the nuance of holding a paper book, smelling the new ink/paper, dog-earing pages, etcetera, or (2) buy the ebook version for $2.99 (for those who are early-adopters of technology, those who prefer to have the book along with 1500 other books at your immediate disposal, anytime, within reach through your phone, ereader or computer). And, saving the best for last; saving money.

eBooks are This year, 2010, you’ll see ebooks account for more than 10% of the total books being sold. That’s double from 2009. If ebooks are accepted at that rate (doubling each year), that means it will surpass ‘printed’ books within five years. I predict sooner. Why? Price! All populations, in varying degrees, budget. If you have an opportunity to spend ‘less’ on your book habit, then you might decide the nuance of stacks and stacks of printed books, shelf upon shelf of printed books are no longer carrying the mystic and majesty they once held in your life.

Not to worry. You’ll be fine. Remember when you longed-for the trip to Blockbuster to pick up that favorite VHS video of the latest release? The anticipation the trip triggered -- looking through all the germ-laden tape boxes, scurrying home with the booty, rushing through dinner...and then finally resting in bed or favorite chair to view your cherished selection. Tell me you’re going to miss that? Now, with your laptop hooked to the TV, you have in queue and at ready your streaming video from Netflix. Things have changed...and you’re better for it. Think of reading books similarly.

Character Happens! (the book), may change your life. At minimum, you’ll think a little deeper about your decision choices. There is no better time to improve your character. At $2.99 you could skip the McDonalds, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts and take a chance on improving your life. Tell me if you think its money well spent. Cheers! --gg


Monday, April 5, 2010

...Amazon site generates sales of both paperback and ebooks.

Since having the printed version of my book Character Happens! now posted on Amazon, the ebook version at Smashwords is selling too. One version seems to feed off the other. This is good as there are two different price points; $15.95 for the paperback and $2.99 for the ebook. The lower price for the ebook is to be expected and certainly deserves to be at that price. eBooks cost less to produce than paperbacks. eBooks have no printing cost, no paper cost, less formatting cost, no delivery or freight costs. As the ereader’s become more popular with the cost coming down from a high $600 (iPad), to the Kindle ($259) to the Kobo ($150), more and more ebooks will be sold and read. Yes, there will be more people who read books because of this phenomenon plus the heavy-reader population will read more books because of the ereader devices. And, I’ve not mentioned the apps for the iphones yet, add that in too.

All the classics for the most part are ‘free’ via the Gutenberg Project. This is a organization that has secured all old and out of print, out of copyright books and made them all available for zero cost to you, via an ebook. If you don’t have an ereader yet, not to worry, download to your laptop or desktop computer. Interestingly enough, given the incredible amount of ereader devices and phones...most ebooks are read on computers.

My Amazon site page is still sparse. I’ve submitted the information to ‘read inside’ the book, so it will be offered soon to readers. My author page with bio is short and sweet, not stuffy. Soon I will post some ‘tags’ as Amazon calls them. Now if I could get someone who has read the book to post a nice review...things would start to look much better on the Amazon site. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for all your kind words and compliments.


Friday, March 26, 2010

...'Critique' Character Happens! I dare you...

Yes, it's time. Critics...come one and all. To those of you who have picked up the ebook from Smashwords and those who 'PreOrdered' the printed version, it's time for 'THE CRITIQUE.' Most of you know of my sardonic humor, if not, then now you do. So, this offer today might be just what you've been looking for to reciprocate for perhaps one of my past indiscretions, in your direction. Caution! This is not the place to vent about me...leave it for another time. I ask you now, for those who have purchased the book (ebook or printed), please say what you will about the book, Character Happens! Were the stories entertaining? Did the story 'make a point' with you? Did the story discuss the virtue satisfactorily? Were the characters developed to your satisfaction? I don’t want to tell you how to review the book, say what you will...about the book. Click here to be taken to the book's site feedback page. For those who would like more space for your extensive critique, then please use my email address listed above the form. Thanks so much for your time to do this for me. --gg

Naturally, I apologize to those of you who are put-off by my constant ‘marketing’ of the book, particularly my friends on FaceBook. There may be times when you feel like it’s too much. Sorry. This writing thing has sort of taken over my leisure time, usually spent playing golf. Now it’s writing, reading, reading about writing and even to the extent of starting a publishing business for aspiring writers/authors who want to self-publish. There were plenty of people who helped me in my writing I want to ‘pay it forward’ so to speak. I’ll keep you posted on how the publishing venture is going.

All for now, keep those critiques coming. Maybe I’ll post some on the website for others to review. You should know that I’m totally transparent, even though many would say it's difficult given the amount of body mass making up...ur, me.

For those who want to sample ‘half’ of the book, click on this link:  Smashwords


What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"

Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.

.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed) with your comments.

The books title; Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues, describes my belief these five important virtues (Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility), are sporadic in use and diminishing in personal character. The books message is in recognizing this “fleeting” nature and from that reinstitute a more virtuous choice in your decision making.

The paradox of the two words; Character Happens, with another two words: “S### Happens”* (decorum prevents use of actual word) is not without merit. My belief is that observed human character is much like, well...s###! This kind of observation can be disconcerting at times. So confusing that society can hardly make the distinction between the two words and there obvious different meaning. Individuals make virtuous and un-virtuous choices/decisions for innumerable reasons, both consciously and without deep thought. If we postulate; can an individual make a 'more' virtuous choice in life’s decisions should they want to do so? Answer—perhaps. How does one 'reinstitute a more virtuous choice' into their personal makeup...making the response more automatic? Answer—practice. With a concerted effort at 'practice' I individual might just develop a more 'repetitive' decent response...much like grooving a golf swing.

I love golf. I think the game is like no other. The five stories that make up Character Happens! have a golf storyline. Some readers may not be able to relate to the game of golf or its vernacular or for that matter, why people...a large number of golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a can be a life experience. The golf course environment alone is enough to put most people at ease.

Golf is a game played by the individual as opposed to being a member of a team, like baseball. Baseball has umpires who enforce the rules of the game. In golf you are the umpire. Because of this unique method of enforcing the games rules—golf is a “hotbed” for testing the players character...their honesty, their integrity, their courage and sometimes their compassion. And, because all golfers started from knowing nothing about the game; like how to swing, how to putt or chip... they also learn of humility. Now doesn’t it make perfect sense that a book about character would juxtaposition a storyline with the game of golf? Anyway, I thought so.

There are five stories, one for each virtue. The book has six main characters that make up a group of what I call 'golf buddies.' The storyteller, Spencer Madison, in reality is me. Well, somewhat like I have a better golf game than Spencer. The five others vary in age, gender, education, religious beliefs and definitely personality. The 'binder' of the group or what brings them together; golf.

The reader will hopefully discover in their own lives a similar incident with one of the story’s in Character Happens! If not, that’s okay the stories are earnest while humorous, carefree yet compelling. And, I believe each chapter or story makes a 'point' in this wonderful, wacky, dynamic world in the 21st century.

The stories are fictional as are the characters. Names, personalities or incidents are fictional and in no way resemble or refer to a living person. I’ve used paraphrasing of many authors’ ideas and concepts and have referenced them in a special section. Because of these references and the specific genre where the book is to be found, it’s categorized as a non-fictional, personal development book.

for the language but this word best describes the thought I want to convey. In Forrest Gump the term was used to describe situations that happen to all people for no particular reason.