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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pabby's Score - On Amazon Kindle #Bestseller Lists - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “P” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016. (This is a re-post.)

Pabby’s Score had its moment to remember in October ’15. During a free promotional period thousands of downloads pushed it into the number 2 Overall position on Kindle. Consequently the book reached the number 1 ranking in Crime Fiction, Legal Thriller, and Teen.


This story is very complex in that there are several subplots that keep the reader guessing what will happen next. The creation of several memorable characters made this a fun book to write. That cast was led by Pabby and Shae, two orphaned teenagers with special needs.

Essentially an Internet dating site fuels the desire of an unfaithful lawyer. His young, adventurous online friend skillfully manipulates his libido. In the meantime Pabby and Shae along with their handlers happen upon Prairie Winds Golf Course. The purpose of their involvement is to orientate them into life after they leave the children's home and transition into society.

As the story unfolds the lawyer calls the shots for the trust that owns the children’s home. It is operated by the wife of a prominent judge who has made countless class actions decisions that have benefited the attorney. The close connections border on civil fraud. In the meantime the same lawyer has filed an injury settlement against the golf course proprietors.

Pabby’s infectious personality makes him a favorite among the regulars in the clubhouse. He and Shae are the show stoppers. But a sudden event changes the direction of the story. A secret law society holds the trump card in a cover-up that affects all of the characters. Readers have to stay on their toes to piece together the clues. I challenge anyone to figure out the end of the story.


Give Pabby’s Score a try. There’s virtually no golf in this tale. Instead readers have a great opportunity to meet all of the characters that I’ve placed in the clubhouse. You’ll have to stay alert to figure out the main plot and the ending.

The book is available in hard cover and paperback on Amazon and eBook downloads from Kindle are available. Members of Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited can read the book for free.


James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Z For Zoysia Fairways In #Golf and #Fiction - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “Z” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016.

Zoysia fairways - if you have ever golfed and hit off of that turf you know how nice they are. The setting for my books is fictitious Prairie Winds Golf Course which sits high atop the Mississippi river bluffs just east of St. Louis. That locale comes equipped with zoysia fairways.

Zoysia turf is “a dream come true” for greens keepers and golf course superintendents – especially those in the Midwest and South. It thrives in weather that allows for the temperature to stay in the 70s at night. From a weed control standpoint the root system is such that everything in its path in pushed out. This is really important to the maintenance staff because it cuts down on the use of chemicals and weed control applications.

The drawbacks to this sort of turf are that it requires a lot of water in the summer months and it will go dormant in colder weather. However if you want a type of grass that loves hot, humid weather then zoysia is the way to go. It needs a lot of sunlight, but will weaken in shady areas.

The playing surface is second to none. Golfers, especially amateur players, love the way the ball sits up. That makes it easier for them to hit the ball. Virtually every lie is pristine. A shot that finds a resting spot on this kind of grass will reward the golfer on the next shot.

Courses that use this sort of grass typically have a lower maintenance budget which makes it easier to produce a more attractive bottom line. There are several ways that zoysia can be installed. It can be sodded which is the most expensive. It can be stripped or plugged. This method allows for total coverage after a couple of growing seasons. Finally, it can be sprigged. Essentially the roots are sprinkled across existing turf. As long as the root makes contact with dirt and is watered the root will spread rapidly and produce an attractive final product in a short period of time. This is the most cost-effective means to install it.


Stop by and meet the guys in the clubhouse at Prairie Winds. They are no different than the guys in any local pro shop. A good place to start would be my 3-book bundles which are available on Kindle. James Ross – A YoungAdult Trilogy and James Ross – A Character-Based Collection can be read free by members of Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited.


James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Your Money’s Worth on the Word Count - #Amwriting Novels - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “Y” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016. I’m using “Your.”

You’re a reader and you want your money’s worth out of a book. What is the right length? The opinions vary. A lot depends on what types of books you like to read and what publishers advise.

Maybe the first place to start is with word count. There are all types of books. Here is a general guide to book length:

·         Short-short stories are under 2,500 words
·         Short stories are between 2,500 – 7,500 words
·         Novellettes range from 7,500 to 20,000 words
·         Novellas range from 20,000 to 50,000 words
·         Novels are typically over 70,000 words

I write fiction novels. If you’re a reader who likes to read you will get your money’s worth from my books.

Publishers, readers and writers all have opinions as to what is too long and what is too short. Typically publishers like to keep the length of novels somewhere between 90,000 to 120,000 words. The economics of printing and number of pages all play a part in that preferred length. Ideally publishers like to keep the page count between 280 – 320 pages. Before the eBook entered the picture a nice rule of thumb was approximately 250 words per page. This can vary depending on the font size.

To date I’ve written a half dozen novels. As a reader I’ve always preferred short chapters. Why? To me the answer is simple. If I start to nod I will cheat ahead to see how much reading is necessary for the next chapter break. If the chapters are short I tend to keep going.

My formula has been 100 chapters per book. I shoot for an average chapter length of 1,000 words. With simple math that amounts to 100,000 words. Depending on the story most of my books run between 90,000 to 120,000 words. Readers get their money’s worth.

From a writing standpoint it is relatively easy to write 1,000 words a day. When things are clicking that means a novel can be written in 100 days. Of course writer’s block and life gets in the way but it gives you an idea of how long it takes to write a novel.

If you like to read character-based fiction you may want to meet the gang that resides at Prairie Winds Golf Course. My characters are recurring. They come from all corners of the earth and are eclectic and opinionated. You can rest assured that they have something that is taking place away from the golf course, but the clubhouse is a familiar gathering spot for them to share viewpoints.

Members of Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited can read my stories for free as I am participating in the Kindle Select program. Single titles are available as well as two eBook bundles. You may want to try James Ross – A Character-Based Collection or James Ross – AYoung Adult Trilogy. You will get your money’s worth.


James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Xlibris is My Indie Author Publisher - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “X” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016.

Let’s assume that you have something that you want to say. Your preferred method of conveying that message is through the written word. The next thing you know you have a book that you have written and you want to get it published.

Do you want an agent? Do you need a publisher? How do you go about getting it in print? Today there are a lot of options. Many simply go to Amazon’s Kindle Select program and create an eBook. Of course there are a host of other companies today that can convert and sell eBooks as well. What is the right decision to make?

I did a lot of research online. My first book was published before the eBook storm took over the market. The company that I chose to publish the hard cover and paperback editions was Xlibris. Now they are a division of Random House. The product was beautiful. Even though the book was self-published I could claim that I was a published author and the final product that I could put in the hands of readers was very impressive.

Since then I have created a website, formed a presence on Amazon Author Central, and have added several more books. Each one has been published in conjunction with Xlibris. The market doesn’t dictate hard cover and paperback too much anymore. Xlibris also converts my manuscripts to an eBook format. With that I go to Amazon and offer my titles in the Kindle Select program. With me it all starts with Xlibris. They offer very nice quality.

So, if you are an indie author who is looking for a self-publisher you may feel the need to contact Xlibris. They have been good to me and you can rest assured that the end product will be first class.


James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

W is for Writing Amazon Bestsellers - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “W” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016.

No surprises here. Many authors are probably going to choose writing as their “W” word. Sorry for not being more original. But, it is a good lead-in to having an Amazon Bestseller.

When my writing career started I had a story that I had developed into a screenplay. After a year and a half of work and over twenty drafts I asked my consultant what would help it sell. He told me matter-of-factly that the book would help it to sell.

I said I that I didn’t have a book. He advised me to write one. That was heartbreaking news because I wanted to get a movie produced. He shrugged his shoulders.

After I processed that idea I used the screenplay as my outline to write the book. Eighteen months later my first novel was published. That prompted another question which was posed to my editor and proofreader. I wanted to know what would help the book sell. They advised me that readers would help it, but a second and third book might help to get readers. Ouch!

So, I kept writing. By this time the characters were itching to tell another story. Now there are six novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. It wasn’t going to do me any good to have them published and converted to eBook format just to collect dust.

Book marketers were contacted. I balked at their fees. However, in the long run I decided to spend the money to advertise. The next thing I knew four of the titles reached various Amazon Bestseller lists. As an added bonus the movie scripts for Lifetime Loser and Opur’s Blade won numerous awards in Indie Film Festivals.

My stories are character-based, realistic fiction in multiple genres. Those categories include cozy mystery, sports, crime, thriller, drama, etc. Members of Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited can read my eBooks for free. Try one or two of them. I think that you’ll find that the characters are folks that you see in everyday life.

James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Monday, April 25, 2016

V For Victorious in the Amazon Kindle Bestseller Battle - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “V” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016.


It is tough out there for a writer. Not only is writing a book difficult, but developing a presence that includes readers and sales is next to impossible. So if you’re an indie author that has had a bestseller you should be elated. You’ve been victorious in an uphill struggle to get noticed.

It took me a while. My gut told me to get paid for my efforts. For years I wanted compensation for the months and months of hard work. However, those dollars are hard to come by when readers and the general public has never heard of you. Who would know if you even existed?


The book marketing people urged me to participate in the Kindle Select program. One facet of that was an opportunity to give my eBook away for free on five days. Okay, I bowed to the suggestion. I needed readers and a free offering might serve as an introductory gesture.

It looks like I chose the right marketers to help me. Four titles were offered for free in 2015. The massive amount of Kindle downloads pushed all four of them to lofty heights on the Amazon Bestseller list. Not only did impressive Overall rankings occur, but numerous Number 1 rankings occurred in many sub-genres.



When all is said and done I can say that Opur’s Blade, Pabby’s Score, Lifetime Loser, and Shari’s Shot reached impressive levels on Amazon on various Bestseller lists. Because of that they are included in promotional emails that are generated by Amazon and Kindle to customers. Now the worldwide online bookseller helps me promote!

In my book that can be regarded as a major Victory with a capital V.



James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Unlimited as in Kindle - #Readers are FREE to Pick @KU - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “U” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016. Let’s choose Unlimited.

Kindle Unlimited is the brainchild of Amazon. It’s been out about 2 years now and the opinions about it are as widespread as the colors in a rainbow. For $9.99 per month members can choose from a variety of eBooks that are available on Kindle. Essentially readers download the eBook onto their Kindle tablet or through the Kindle reading app for a reasonable reading time. The main selling feature is the freedom to choose from any number of genres, indie authors, and adventures.

Currently the number of eBooks that can be selected tops the 1,000,000 mark. That’s over a million eBooks that are available with a click! New topics. Different genres. Unique authors. An Indie paradise. What a great opportunity for an unknown author like myself.

Serious readers don’t need a book store. They simply need to peruse the selections that are available on Kindle, stay at home, and get delivery in seconds. Half the eBook can be read in the time it takes to travel to the mall and back.

For an author the program is advantageous. We don’t need to use paper or lose time and expense in shipping. We get paid by how many pages are read. Those royalties come out of the monthly fund that is accumulated from all of the members. The downfall is that many of the Kindle Unlimited authors are unknown and need to turn to social media to be “discovered.” Nobody said that building a reader base would be easy.

Personally, I love the program. All of my novels which are in a variety of genres are available with a few author restrictions – the main being that the titles can only be offered on Kindle. But, where else would I want to be? Amazon helps to promote me. As an unknown I’m appreciative of that.

I’ve developed fictitious Prairie Winds Golf Course and have a wide assortment of recurring characters. The cozy mysteries are in the realistic fiction genre. If you’re into trying new authors you can select from Lifetime Loser which is about fraud in a small golf business; Finish Line where two teens interact daily with a cancer victim; Tuey’s Course which is a satire about a minority businessman in a battle with City Hall; Opur’s Blade where a gifted prodigy progresses to the top of his profession; Pabby’s Score where two special needs teens get oriented into society but innocently get tangled into an internet dating ring and secret law society; or Shari’s Shot where a privileged bitch gets wrapped into a murder-for-hire scheme.

Aggressive readers may want to try the 3-book bundles which are only available through Kindle. They can be identified as: James Ross – A Young Adult Trilogy and James Ross – A Character-Based Collection. I personally love the Kindle Unlimited opportunities.

James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his  website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.