Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  workshops

Great Dinner With Friends

These Old Friends Know Nothing About Writing…

And it was a pleasure to sit for an entire dinner and never once mention writing or publishing.  I have sometimes wondered if I was capable of doing that. Seems I am. (grin)

Tonight I also finished up the two cross-over days of online workshop assignments with September workshops ending and October first assignments starting. And last night I had some e-mail issues (left over from last week) that caused me to not get done until 5 this morning. Long night there.

I have also done some picking for the stores over the last two days. And one of my friends had three boxes of old Pulphouse books for me which was the reason for the short trip and dinner. Going to take me a while to unload my car tomorrow afternoon. (grin)

Best find so far, I walked into charity thrift store and they had massive amounts of costume and other types of jewelry for like a buck each or less. Vintage silver ornate hat pins for 50 cents each. Pearl necklaces, all kinds of silver and stone, all vintage. I took out a hamburger bag full. Fun.

They also had a room of modern romance and sf paperbacks for 10 cents each. I just stood and stared, then went and asked if that price was actually right. It was. If I had had my van, I would have loaded it. Both stores need that kind of book at the moment. But alas I am driving the Cadillac and it already has a full trunk of books.

So a fun trip to see two old friends and a great dinner and some great picking finds along the way.


This branding sf covers workshop is starting next Wednesday, the 18th. One week. Still room to jump in. Don’t miss this one.


We did a form of this workshop back in May for four weeks that filled almost instantly and another one on Fantasy Covers in July that also filled.

So Allyson had fun on both workshops and I didn’t get killed by the writers, so I talked Allyson into doing the workshop for branding a science fiction covers and series. Any type of science fiction.

So here are the details…

Allyson Longueira, the publisher of WMG Publishing has offered to design a cover and help brand a science fiction series for a limited number of writers. For those of you who don’t know her, Allyson is an award-winning designer who also happens to have a masters degree in design.

Over the years, Allyson helped writers with cover design in coast workshops here and for a short time we did a basic cover design workshop to help writers learn how to do covers.

But this one-time short workshop on branding science fiction covers is different. Working with you, Allyson will design a brand for your books and give you a cover template for your series when you are done.

That’s right you get the template. And she will help on the other books in the series as well.

And it will be a workshop as well to help you learn the theory and details of cover branding so you understand the concepts of how branding works with covers.


Here are the details:

4 Week Online Workshop (that will last for about six weeks)
Starts Wednesday, OCTOBER 18th.
Cost: $300. Limited to ten to twelve writers. First in, first served.

The structure of the workshop:

Week #1… Four videos about science fiction branding. (I will present them, but Allyson and I will work them out together.) Your assignment will be to send Allyson (through me) a number of your covers you would like to work on. Allyson will do an evaluation and look for problem areas and things that could be improved to create a brand.

Week #2… Four or five more videos about science fiction branding. Your assignment will be to find art for your covers, numbers of options. (We will give you help with this on how to do so cheaply.) You will also fill out a question sheet with all the details. Allyson will let you know if the art and will work or not for what you want. If not, you will find new art.

Week #3… Four more videos about aspects of cover branding and design. You and Allyson will agree on art and type.  At this point she will design a cover for you for your series. She will send you the InDesign template when she gets it done. This often takes a few weeks of time on Allyson’s side.

Week #4… Four more videos about aspects of science fiction cover branding and design. Your assignment will be to do other book or story covers using the template you have been given and send them to us. We will double-check you are using the template correctly and that your fantasy series is branding completely. We usually give you a couple weeks to get these done.

When this is finished, you will have a science fiction series branded by one of the better book cover designers working. And you will have learned a ton about branding covers as well.

Allyson works in InDesign. The template you will get will be an InDesign template. But you can use the idea and the design for any design program simply by copying what Allyson did.

(Note: This is not a workshop to help you learn tricks in InDesign. This is to give you a cover brand for one of your series.)

A one-time offer.  The workshop starts Wednesday October 18th. If you are attending the master class here at the coast the following week, we will work with you on timing and assignments, no worry.

This is very, very limited. Allyson thinks she can help ten to twelve writers at most. That’s it. First in gets it. I will shout when this is full.

Write me if you have questions. To sign up, simply pay for the workshop by sending $300 through my email address at Paypal to get to the WMG Publishing account and write me to let me know you have done so.

That address is

(Sorry, we can’t use the Kickstarter regular workshop credits or any other credits for this. Those are for the monthly workshops.)


  • JM6

    How many hours of picking in shops do you do to make finds like those? Every time I walk into a charity shop (which, admittedly, is rare), I see the same 7 former best sellers, nothing silver, and nothing vintage at all.

    • dwsmith

      There are dud shops. It is sort of a trained thing because most of the stuff in that charity shop wasn’t worth my time to even look at. It takes a love of that kind of silly information and a desire to hit numbers of places before you find treasure. And then have a place and desire to resell, otherwise you become a hoarder. (grin)

  • Mark Kuhn

    Hey Dean, we’re downsizing here and I have a lot of sci-fi paperbacks. Anything in particular you’re looking for?