• Challenge,  Cover Fun,  Smiths Monthly

    Last Bits of Smith’s Monthly #63

    Just Finishing SMITH’S MONTHLY #63 Up Tonight… Fun thing to do on a Friday night. As many of you know, I do all the layout of the magazine, and every month I have a blast with it. There are four original stories in this issue, plus another collection of stories and the novel that is the header of this web site. MELODY RIDGE, which is a combination Jukebox Novel and Thunder Mountain Novel. It is the origin story of all my jukebox stories. So I wanted to put the collection of the short stories, with how the jukebox stories came about, and how thirty years after I started them I…

  • Challenge,  Cover Fun

    Monthly Cover Fun

    At Least Fun for Me… Every month with Smith’s Monthly I get to do all the covers for the short stories in the issue, plus the exterior cover. And sometimes I put the covers here. This month was fairly easy, actually. There are ten short stories in this issue and one novel. But the six of the short stories are in a collection I put together, so I had already done the covers and the cover for the collection. (The entire collection is in the issue.) And one of the short stories was in an another collection I just put out, so that cover is already done as well. So…

  • Challenge,  Cover Fun

    Cover Fun for #52 of Smith’s Monthly…

    Five Short Stories and the Issue Cover… I was having fun working on these covers, stopped for dinner, came back and my InDesign had blown a fuse. Not kidding. It wanted me to sign up for a seven day free trial. Well, I had been using InDesign for decades. I tried everything, and considering this is Saturday, I was going to be out of luck until I could get help from Allyson and Josh at WMG on Monday. But Kris convinced me on late Saturday night to call Allyson, that she was still up because Kris had just gotten a text from her on another matter. So I did and…

  • Challenge,  Cover Fun

    Some Covers…

    Just For Fun!! Since I might have had the hardest workout today moving since I ran that marathon in November, I have no brain for anything tonight, so since I had not displayed Smith’s Monthly #51 covers yet, thought I would do so. Cover for #51 and #52, as well as all five short story covers. #51 is the July issue and will be out shortly, meaning the next day or so. The move pushed it back in the month. All short stories each issue will be up for sale about the time the next issue comes out. And The Big Tom short novel is also now in a cat…

  • Challenge,  Cover Fun,  publishing

    Short Story Covers for #50…

    With The Help of Angel… I did these five short story covers for the short stories in #50 in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. April demanded some pets along the way and some attention and there is a new picture of her after the covers. Turns out four of the five covers were tough art choices which also took me a little longer. All stories are in my regular series, so I went back to styles I had done before and stayed in cover style. Of course, tonight all five were in Smith’s Stories branding form. Sorry these came in so large. Something messed up here in my media…

  • Challenge,  Cover Fun,  workshops

    Very Impressed…

    The Covers From the Covers 101 Workshop… The writers who managed to get through to the last assignment of the covers workshop produced some stunning book covers. The Covers 101 Workshop is a step-by-step process workshop in design and layout of covers. I just got done earlier tonight going through Assignment #5 in the Covers 101 workshop (first time it was offered) and basically all were professional covers that would sell books. I showed Kris a few and she just said, “Wow!” A couple writers, as expected, thought they could write sales copy for the back cover without training and failed, horribly, but this wasn’t a sales copy workshop, it…

  • Challenge,  publishing

    Cover Basics

    I Got a Surprise Today… With the Covers 101 workshop starting next week, I decided I needed to round out my education a little on what the writers were doing who hired people to do their covers. All of you know I think that is a waste of time and money and can hurt your writing overall, but numbers of writers I know have others do their covers, so I was curious. So I wrote one wrier and asked a favor, if that person wouldn’t mind sending me a blank copy of the contract they use with their cover designer. I got a nice letter back saying they didn’t have…

  • Challenge,  publishing

    A Quick Covers Post

    Different Aspects of Cover Art… I tell writers to do their own covers. The levels of critical voice excuses I get back are amazing. And all the excuses are geared to make sure the writer fails. After all, that is what critical voice does, it stops you. In this modern world, unless you have a ton of money you want to just toss into a garbage can, no writer can afford to hire covers done. Wait, let me change that. No moderately prolific writer can afford the time, the money, the problems that come with having someone else do your covers. Moderately prolific? Four novels and a number of short…

  • Challenge,  publishing,  workshops

    New Workshop Starting In September…

    Yes, Another One… Lifetime Subscribers to the online workshops have been in heaven lately, with a new workshop just about every month this spring and summer. And now another new one in September. (And I will be putting up on Teachable the September workshops shortly. And the October workshops as well.) We have done a Licensing 101 workshop that is offered every month. And then we added in a Publishing 101 workshop, also now offered every month. So continuing that series, we will start in September a COVERS 101 workshop. That’s right, for everyone too afraid to do their own covers, here is the workshop that will teach you how…

  • Challenge,  publishing

    Playing with Branding

    My Cold Poker Gang Branding… Combined with Smith’s Monthly. Kind of fun how the branding goes across with the art, yet is very different. Just thought I would show how we are doing this. Allyson Longueira, the publisher at WMG Publishing, does the covers for my Cold Poker Gang series. It has a very distinctive look and she won’t let me mess with it. (grin) Besides, they sell and I really like them. But I do all the covers for my Smith’s Monthly issues, and Allyson and I need to find art that fits both brands when I am publishing a Cold Poker Gang novel in Smith’s Monthly. So here…