Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Catching Up and New Workshop


First off, finally finishing the reading on the Messed Up stories for Pulphouse. Got just a few more. I’ve had to limit my screen time for my one eye, but getting back up to speed slowly. So those should be done in the next day or so and out to everyone.

Secondly, setting up the June workshops. A couple of those are posted already. The rest to follow.

Third, those of you who signed up for Writing Historical Fiction should get a letter from me this weekend with links to the May and June workshops. You can pick the one you would like to take. That special workshop is from the Cave Creek Kickstarter.

Finally, I will be back reporting on my progress through the last part of Cave Creek novel Card Sharp Silver tomorrow. Again, limited screen time has caused that to be slower over the last week. Nothing serious, just needed to be careful since I only have one eye.


I will give you much more information on this over the next few days and early next week. But thanks to this virus forcing a lot of writers to take a look at their careers and at indie publishing, it has become clear that there needs to be in one place a very clear path into indie publishing, with all the details and steps. Sort of an instruction manual.

So we are going to do a workshop called PUBLISHING 101.

A six week workshop that will go step-by-step-by-step into indie publishing, from how to get started, basic files through formatting, art, covers, listing, paper editions, basic promotions, keeping track, and even some licensing. And more importantly, the reasons for all of it. Not only the how, but the why.

How many times have each of us who have gone into indie publishing had someone write us and want us to explain exactly how that person should do it? Overwhelming thought, isn’t it? (grin) Well, now, every month, PUBLISHING 101 will be the place you can send that person to get six weeks worth of information.

So early next week I will have this launched and available, starting with the MAY workshops. So not up yet, but soon, and more information about it coming early next week.


Thank you, folks, for all the support with our Writing Bundles Kickstarter. And we hope that not only do you get a bunch of learning out of the books, but also out of the stretch rewards.

Please note: We won’t be able to trade the stretch rewards out for anything else I’m afraid, but even if you already have one or two of them, that’s still a lot of workshops and lectures as a gift from us to help you through this crazy time.

Stay safe, stay indoors and writing and learning.



  • Julie

    Really delighted to see Publishing 101 coming up. I’ve been looking all over lately for up-to-date, comprehensive info on this and have found nothing. Big thanks to you and Kris.

    • dwsmith

      Julie, that’s what we were discovering as well. No one place that puts it all together, so we’re going to do that, simply to help out with all the email and silly information. Plus there are a ton of scammers out there who are trying to take advantage of writers who are trying to come in. Horrid stuff.

  • Cathy Smith

    I was wondering if I could gift one of the stretch reward workshops I already have to someone else? I already have all the Futures Workshops so I’d like to pass the first one on to someone else if it’s possible?

  • Mark Kuhn

    Dean, I don’t have an Apple computer. Can formatting be done on a Windows computer?

    • dwsmith

      I think there is a way to make a Windows computer act like a Mac and run some Mac programs like Vellum. Past that, not a clue.

      • Jason M

        FYI the only way to use Vellum on Windows is to subscribe to macincloud and use a Mac OS remotely.

      • emmiD

        Looking forward to Publishing 101. While I’ve indie published several, I keep stumbling into mistakes, so this will be a boon—all aspects of it.

        As always, you and Kris are Prometheus thinkers—as opposed to Epimetheus, which is definitely the trad publishing world.

        Congratulations on the Writing Bundles Kickstarter! The way that funded is AMAZING!

    • Isabo Kelly

      Mark, I don’t know if they’re still around, but I used Jutoh to format ebooks on my PC before buying a cheap, refurbished Mac and getting Vellum. It’s a really inexpensive program and you only need the 1 license to use it on any machine you have (at least that’s how they used to operate).

      Also, if you invest in an InDesign subscription, I’m pretty sure you can format ebooks there now too, though I haven’t done that in InDesign yet.

      Alternatively, a refurbished Mac and buying Vellum proved really invaluable to me for simplifying ebook and print formatting, so it’s another thing to consider if you can.

    • E. R. Paskey

      Mark, I don’t have a Mac either. Hasn’t stopped me from formatting and publishing my own books or helping a good friend with her books. Totally doable.

      For a number of years, I used Guido Henkel’s method. ( It’s free and good if you’re tech savvy and want a lot of control over the fine details, but it’s a little more time consuming than other methods available now. That’s why I switched to using Jutoh.

      For print books, I use Indesign. (I got a good deal on a physical copy back before Adobe went to subscription model.) Took some courses on how to use it from some years back, though I’m still learning

      You can also purchase a license for Vellum and then get a subscription to use a virtual Mac. See this link:
      I personally haven’t done this yet because my production volume hasn’t been high enough to justify the cost yet (and I’m pretty efficient at book production with what I have now), but it’s something I’m planning to do in the future as I ramp up.

  • Mark Kuhn

    A huge thanks to all who replied to my question.
    I can’t thank you all enough.
    Dean, as always, my thanks.