Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing,  Smiths Monthly

Putting Together Issue #50…

… Of Smith’s Monthly

Just did part of the introduction tonight and will have all the story introductions done tomorrow and the entire project turned into WMG for copyediting. I will get it back toward the end of the month for me to lay-out in InDesign. Then it will come out in electronic and paper in the middle of June.

I did 44 issues without missing a month, then when Kris got sick and we had to do the sudden move down here to Vegas, I put the magazine on hiatus. Then, after a couple “I want to start…” and the world saying “Nope,” I finally started it again in January of this year and #50 is the sixth in a row without missing since then.

So far each issue has a novel, five or six original short stories, and a nonfiction book or something else serialized. Each issue ranges from 55,000 words to 70,000 words every month.

Back when I was first starting, my hope was to get to #20 and that seemed way off in the distance.

#20 went by without noticing. Why 20 issues? Because very, very few magazines ever make it more than twenty or so issues. Let along a full magazine filled completely by only one person’s fiction and other writing.

But now I have made it to 50 issues.

Of course, without indie publishing, this would never be possible.

So just wanted to mark this moment and when it comes out I am sure I will mark that moment in June.

50 issues.

My own magazine. Head-shaking.

As Kris said tonight, no one has ever done this. Or even come close.

And I have to admit, I don’t often promote my own work here or even tell folks when a new book of mine comes out, but 50 issues… I am damn proud of that.


  • Joseph Cleary

    Congratulations, Dean! This really is an awesome and fun accomplishment.

    This is the kind of thing I thought it would be so cool to do when I was a kid and first started writing creatively, before anyone had told me what wasn’t possible.

    Watching you do this is inspiring and helps me see so many possibilities for my own writing. It says so much about just having fun and getting your writing out to readers.

    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Joseph. But more than anything it is just getting out of your own way and getting all those naysayers out of your head. Indie is a new world. If you can imagine it in publishing, more than likely you can do it.

  • Glen Sprigg

    Very awesome. That sounds like quite the challenge, and quite the fun opportunity for unbridled creativity. Is it easier or harder to work with a monthly deadline to produce X words of fiction like that? I’m still struggling to make my daily quota, and I’m trying to eliminate some of the distractions that keep taking time away from writing. At least I’m writing consistently again, which hasn’t been the case since we moved last year. Before we moved, I had ten books self-published in 2020; since the move, I haven’t published a single one.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, moves can do that to you. People who have followed this blog for a few years understand that. Why there was two years plus between issue #44 and #45. Called a move. (grin)

  • Britt Malka

    Congratulations with the nice fine number, 50.

    I love the idea of a magazine. Especially since you mentioned it was a great way to set important non-breakable deadlines.

    But you have to have some kind of fame to your name before starting one, right?

    • dwsmith

      Britt, nope. There are lots of reasons to have one, deadlines being an important aspect. Fame is not needed and I certainly don’t have any if it was. I am just a working writer. That’s why I have written under so many other names and ghosted books for other “famous” people. Any level of writer could do it, if don’t correctly.

  • Philip

    Dean — Your magazine is one of your feats I’m most impressed by. Makes me think of your legendary Pulp Speed posts, and I’d love to see another one of those soon.

    I actually started writing at 11 when me and my buddy created our own pulp “magazine” of horror and sci fi stories. We had a deadline of every Friday for a new issue. We’d draw all the art and write stories after school. Never did I imagine that when I grew up there’d be indie publishing, and my childhood hobby would be viable.

    Thanks for your daily inspiration.

  • Connor whiteley

    You should be proud of yourself. It’s great you’ve pushed the boundary of what’s possible with publishing and hopefully you’ll start a trend.

    • dwsmith

      Don’t know about a trend, but I will do a Pop-Up on when and why to do your own magazine. And the value and problems. Thanks!

  • Frank Theodat

    Congrats on getting 50 issues done, Dean! Huge accomplishment. I saw in your last post about the idea for a “DIY Magazine” Pop-up. I would definitely pay $$ to learn the basics and hope you decide to do one soon.

    This blog has opened my eyes to the possibilities of indie publishing. Lots to still learn but great fun!

    • dwsmith

      Kris and I are constantly coming up with ideas that were not possible in traditional but great fun in indie. Check out the Cave Creek books as an example of possible in indie. And thanks!!

  • Mark Kuhn

    Dean, congrats on ISSUE 50! This is a milestone for you and an inspiration for all of us.

  • Daniel Fellows

    Hi Dean, congrats on the milestone. I have just recently purchased two issues of Month’s Monthly, and when I opened the package, I thought to myself, “These are some beautiful books.” The layout and covers are exceptional. You should be proud. I’m definitely going to buy some more. Please keep these going for years to come.

    • dwsmith

      Thank you, Daniel. On the paper I do it all myself, so mistakes are all mine as well, but I am very proud of them. Thank you!!