Welcome to the very first post, in what promises to be an exciting series. Today, our featured writer is Garry Graves, author of “Character Happens – The Five Most Important-But Fleeting Virtues.” Please feel free to leave any questions for Garry in the comments section and if you bribe him with doughnuts, he’ll probably even answer them.
VRL: Garry, thanks for your time. Let’s talk a little bit about your book. How did you come up with the idea for your book, “Character Happens?”
G.G:…I mention this on my site and in my blog—I’ve spent over thirty years as a business owner, sales broker and small business consultant, consequently, I’m met all kinds and types of ‘characters,’ so to speak. As surely we all have. Pointedly, many individuals disgust me with how they make decisions and conduct their business and personal lives. Most make decisions based purely on ‘self-interest,’ and not a better decision considering what’s good for all. And, from my 30 years of observations, the makeup of people spread across; gender, age, religious sect, degree of religiosity and ethnicity. So no one group was more or less ‘virtuous’ in their decision making. One day my lovely wife, after hearing another horrific tale about an encounter I had with someone, said, ‘good character seems more sporadic today.’ I decided it would be a good book topic and the rest is history.
VRL: You are self-publishing your book. Tell me how you came to this decision and what are the pros and cons?
G.G:…I came to the decision after a couple years of writing agent-specific query letters with no positive response. Additionally, my inquiries direct with publishers came back with a variety of reasons why they were not interested. All the while I’m reading how the publishing industry is more closed to new writers than the National Football League is to the new players. That’s pretty damn closed believe me. Unless, you’re a celebrity of sorts, or another Stephen King, then chances of being ‘discovered’ by an agent or a publisher is monumental. Finding an interested agent or publisher is like playing the lotto. I don’t play either.
Further…we have all read books from big publishing houses that amount to crap, no two ways about it. This crap can be edited in an extraordinary fashion, (which is the slam about self-published books, typically coming from agented-authors and big publishers), fact remains it’s still crap. Not fit for human consumption. Yet here it is! So the old mantra of ‘if it’s self-pubbed, it’s not good,’ …is just that, ‘old.’ Self publishing is changing the industry and big publishers are worried. Writers can do much of this on their own (or hire it done) and that upsets big publishers to no end.
What are the pro’s and con’s you ask…the pros as I see it are: more control over the process like when the book comes out, no changing of passages or cover design, and finally—making more profit by avoiding the agent and publisher commission fees. The cons might be: editing—the better you’re editing (like hiring a professional), the better the book’s presentation. Marketing has to done by you…but then again publishers today leave much of that to you anyway, unless you’re the King. That’s the difference as I see it.
Vanessa, don’t forget to mention to your readers about the ‘ebook’ phenomena. It’s relatively new but writers cannot afford to not produce their books this new way. It’s another income stream and its beginning to grow with the new devices like the Kindle, the Nook and now the iPad.
VRL: Where can reader sample some of your writing?
G.G:…My books website has a page whereby a reader can sign in and choose from several snippets I’ve posted. The link is:
Also, please inform your readers of my new ‘book trailer’ just produced by Jeannie Ruesch who conducts a book-trailer workshop. She did my trailer and it looks great. Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYfx69-SJm4
The music is most inspiring…Jeannie did a beautiful job.
Thanks Vanessa for asking me to visit with you today. If any of your readers have questions, please have them comment at the end of this post—that way all readers can view.