Challenge,  publishing

Cover Fun For #49

Five Short Stories in The May Issue…

So figured I would do the covers tonight. Started around 11 pm and finished about 1 am. Two hours.

And it would have been faster than that but got held up on a couple pieces of art. Anyone who does covers knows that finding the art is the most time consuming part of all this, especially when I have a template like I do, and all the stories this issue fit in the template.

I also spent some time last night searching through the big pile of stories I wrote, let Kris read, and then tossed on the pile. A little over fifty there, and with me writing new stories all the time, well, that should last for a bunch of years for Smith’s Monthly. 

Anyhow, below are the short story covers for Smith’s Monthly #49.

And by the way, in my 70 book challenge for my 70th year, I am not counting individual short stories. I think the total for just this year so far is over thirty new stories published indie, stand-alone, selling for $2.99 a story. These five will be up for sale stand-alone right after #49 comes out.

And yes, I have started working on both the Patreon and the Smith’s Monthly web site. Expect changes there over the next few weeks.

By the way, of these five stories, two have appeared before. “Let’s Dance” appeared in January in Space: 1975 edited by Robert Jeschonek and “Cats in Love” appeared first in the Year of the Cat anthologies. The other three are original stories to #49.



  • Jessica

    Since this is a cover post I’ll go ahead and ask a covers question:

    I’m working on learning to make my own covers like you recommend (it’s hard! I have no head whatsoever for graphic design) and it looks to me like the strategy is:

    1) Spend about $10 for an image on BigStockPhoto, since their search engine allows you to filter by model release (this is a romance so I need a person on the cover, and BSP isn’t the only one with this search engine feature, it’s just the first I got pointed to)

    2) find fonts by searching on FontSquirrel / Google Fonts for free-for-commercial-use or desktop-licensed fonts (this page seems to have a fairly clear explanation of why you need a desktop license for an ebook cover, and Canva offers a list of free commercial fonts)

    3) and then make it all look like an actual book with an author name etc. etc.

    what stupidity am I inadvertently leaving in? (I know you’re going to say “not using Adobe InDesign,” but I can’t run InDesign on my current laptop [which is running a Linux-based OS] and I’m not up to full-time writing yet so I can justify $10 for an individual cover image to get started than I can a $40-a-month commitment.)

    • dwsmith

      Jessica, you seem to be find.

      My suggestion is get three or four books by major authors in your exact genre, then put them beside your computer and imitate them exactly. Of course words and author name and title will be different, but you can still imitate them. Location of author name and size (make your name big enough and at the top to be a big name writer.) Location and imitation of font (yes, get the license).

      Imitate is how you learn art. Watch spacing, tighten up, and you can (in most programs) alter the letters height and width and so on, depending on what you are imitating.

      That’s how you learn art and covers. Imitate until you know what you are doing to build your own completely.

      And once you get a design you like, use it as a template. Makes everything a ton easier.