Challenge,  Smiths Monthly,  Uncategorized

Smith’s Monthly #62

Laying It Out Now…

June issue. It will be out later in the month.

Yes, issue #62 of a monthly magazine that has about 70,000 or so words in it every month. All written by me.

No one else.

Do the math. That’s is over 800,000 words per year in just Smith’s Monthly, not counting anything else I do.

Except for a light copyedit and the actual loading to the accounts, I do everything else on this magazine.

I do all the covers for the short stories and the rest of the contents and the magazine itself.

I do the layout into trade paper in a two-column format in InDesign. (That’s what I am doing tonight.)

And each issue tends to have a theme that interests me in one way or another.

Should other writers do this? Oh, heavens, no. Unless your yearly word count is like mine, up in the Pulp 2 or 3 range EVERY YEAR. (1.2 to 1.4 million consumable words.) And this magazine does not sell many copies. Not once, even back when we started this, did we expect this to sell many copies. But there are a few subscribers and maybe around issue #75 we might do a small Kickstarter campaign. I think after 75 issues, people might believe I can do it. (grin)

On that topic, I was actually out to convince myself when I started that I could do this and this seemingly impossible thing was actually possible, since it had never been done by anyone in history. No one.


My first issue came out in October, 2013. I hit it every month for the first 42 months (yes, that is 3.5 years) until Kris got sick and we had to move to Vegas. I took time off for a year or so then. Started to come back after we were moved, but just about the time I was ready to restart, the pandemic sort of took the wind out. I actually got back in January 2021 and have not missed a month since.

This is the 18th issue since the restart that I am working on. Issue #62.

And I am having a blast right now. I already have #63 laid out and just need to write the introduction to get it to copyediting. I am really enjoying doing all the covers and the layout. And honestly, it feels great when an issue arrives in the mail.

And yes, the first ten of the restart were counted in my 70 books in my 70th year challenge.

So I have been having fun tonight doing layout and covers, and thought I would share here, since I am always telling others to have fun with the writing and publishing. Tonight, and just about every night, I practice what I preach.


  • Daniel

    That’s awesome, Dean. I’ve just purchased issue 60. I should get it Friday week. I’ve got about 8 or so already and plan to get a load more. Keep it up. As a writer, you’re a huge inspiration to me.

  • Richard Clement

    With indie publishing, pulp-style writing is changing the reading landscape. And Smith’s Monthly will become not only a classic, but likely a model. Though it might take 3-4 writers to match such output. Congratulations on an amazing feat.

    • dwsmith

      Would not be possible or even economical if indie hadn’t come around. But now it is another outlet and small cash stream that I have fun with. Worth my time just for the fun of it. Not sure it will be a model. I would never, ever suggest that a writer do a magazine with other people’s stories, even though there are ways to do it and we do it with Pulphouse in a traditional way. That is just too hard and too expensive and too much work unless you have a clear spot like Pulphouse in the market built back in the 1990s.

  • Connor Whiteley

    Definitely know the feeling Dean. I do enjoy Smith Monthly because its a great deal and studying and typing in parts of your books is just easier with paper next to me in my opinion.

    But I’m fully intending Whiteley Worlds to go monthly next year and there is certainly a “proud” and fun feeling about organising it, formatting it and putting in the ads and the rest.

    Looking forward to more Smith Monthly-s and a possible Kickstarter in the future.

  • James Palmer

    I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a quarterly magazine of my stuff based on your model, but my output still isn’t up to where it needs to be, even for something quarterly.

    • dwsmith

      And the key is being regular. You want to be doing a lot more than just working to fill every issue. That way lies madness. (grin)

  • Fabien

    I’m currently playing with the idea of doing my own magazine with only my short stories. An issue every quarter, with all the short stories I wrote during the last 3 months, no matter the genre. I feel like it’s a good way to make another product with short stories, on top of thematic collections and selling them individually, isn’t it? Plus, it’s a great deadline in its own way.

    • dwsmith

      Too much pressure for me. Maybe get a year ahead (four issues) before starting, that way you have a bad quarter, you can catch up.