Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Character Happens! (the book), finally #1


  Character Happens! finally, surprisingly…reaches number ONE.

  Sure…it’s selling price is $.99, but so what. Sure…the category is specifically defined; Books, sub-category Sports, sub-category Golf, sub-category Inspiration. So what! I’ll take it.

  Some will say; ‘it’s an ebook, not a real book.’ FYI, ebooks are selling better than hardbacks, better than paperbacks, better than audio-books. People are buying and reading more books today…and it’s because ebooks are cheaper and now the reading devices (Kindle, Nook, iPad), are plentiful.

  Regardless…at 2:53 P.M., Tuesday, January 25, 2011, my first book reached the #1 sales spot on some obscure category on Amazon, making me feel good, once again, about this writing endeavor. It encourages me…and in this day and ‘age’ it’s nice to be encouraged by something.

  So, if you’ve a mind, click on the ‘Inspiration’ link above that takes you to Amazon’s listing in this category. Oooops, too late, Character Happens! has already dropped to second place. Still…you’ll see plenty of books trailing behind the number two slot, so I’m ahead of somebody.

  For those who’ve bought the book, you have my appreciative THANKS. For those who have not yet read a ‘character’ book with a golf storyline, then click here. You might think the $.99 is not such a bad investment.

  Many Regards, Garry M Graves

Thursday, January 20, 2011

‘Book Review’s’ -- how important are they?


  Reviews? Just how important are reviews in aiding your decision to buy something today?

  If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon then you’re aware of their product rating format; one to five stars with five stars being the best, blah, blah, blah. They go to great lengths in soliciting your rating after a purchase, regardless the product; TV’s, camera’s, shoes, whatever. Amazon is recognized for being the biggest book seller in the world. About 40% of all books sold. It’s always helpful (and informing), prior to a purchase, if you can read what others have to say about the book. And, how the reviewer tagged the books rating, one to five, in their opinion.

  Some are crude reviews with slights about the books storyline, grammar,  scene/character/plot development and even the catching of misspelled or missing words. It’s not that the slight review is unwarranted, what is is. Most of the time, book review’s contain positive (or negative) comments that aid the next buyer in their buying decision. This, IMO, is a good thing.

  Here’s my point.

  My two books, up on Amazon, have few reviews and ratings, too few. Sure, the last book, Bloody Omaha, has only been out less than 30 days. I’m just saying…reviews are important to buyers…so if you can take a moment and write a review (on either book), then maybe someone else might do the same. Think of it as…paying it forward. You’d like to know what others think about that 60” 3D HDTV, before you hit the buy key, wouldn’t you? So, write a review on whatever you buy. If the site does not have a review format, you might want to give that some thought as well.

  Writing a review at Amazon is painless. If ever you’ve bought something from Amazon, anything, then you’re allowed to post a review (on whatever) regardless if you bought the item from Amazon on not. Specifically, its called ‘having an account,’ to qualify for writing a review.

  If you don’t care to buy my books just to write a review, fine. I’m not asking that. In fact, if you want my books free then let me know and they will be sent to you, in a PDF file for reading on your computer. Not good enough you say…(you like to hold the printed book in your hands), then email me and I’ll send the first 25 inquirer’s a free printed paperback book.

  Not so fast. You have to promise to write a review on Amazon. Good or bad, positive or negative. Your rated-review is needed and most important.

  Thanks to those who have bought the book(s)…now all I need is your review.

Many Regards, and have a great 2011. –gg

Amazon Book Links: Character Happens!  Bloody Omaha

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)...email 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 believe...an 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 people...love golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a game...it 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 me...as 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 too...as 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.