Challenge,  publishing,  Smiths Monthly

That’s Annoying

Just One of Those Things…

As last night, another annoyance caused by epic disorganization. And I do mean epic.

Fixable, but annoying.

This today comes from my inability to get organized in a meaningful and long-term fashion with my writing and publishing. And this concerns Smith’s Monthly.

Today, I really dug into the layout of Smith’s Monthly Issue #45. Now understand, Issue #44 came out in the summer of 2017. I have a ton of ads and promotions about a lot of my books in each issue. You know… filler. Since the magazine is all mine, might as well promote some of the other stories and series and such I have written.

And the covers are great, colorful art.

Also, on the last four pages of every issue I have all the covers of every Smith’s Monthly, including the ones I want to recover and republish but haven’t gotten around to yet. Impressive display.

And I have fifty or sixty novels I can use as ads and hundreds and hundreds of short stories.

And, of course, cover of every story or book or issue I have in Issues 1-44 has broken links. And the originals are lost in the files somewhere. Not even the broken links can trace them back on most of them.

The reason is that I did some of those issues, like the first thirty or more, on my own, on numbers of computers years ago. And then I had someone working at WMG layout the next ten and those covers and ads are scattered all over hell and gone as well.

WMG Publishing does a great job in organizing a lot of stuff in dropbox and other places, and if its there, I can find it. But if I published the story first, or it got published on some side thing, the art or files are not there, they are on my computers.



As I said, epic disorganization.

One of my stated goals with Smith’s Monthly was to get all my stories I wanted to keep active in one vehicle. Did that for 44 issues. Just forgot to do it with the covers as well.

So I spent a good hour today setting up folders and starting to track down and put into the folders all my novel covers (of the right size) and many of my non-fiction book covers, and a bunch of the major series covers in my short fiction, such as Marble Grant, Bryant Street, Poker Boy, and others.

So I will have one big folder with all the covers in it in sub-folders by series or type, at least what I need for #45.

So all the covers can then be linked.

And then I will not only copy that folder onto Dropbox, but I will then just make a copy of that folder on my computer and label it Covers #46 and keep adding to it with each issue, again, making sure everything is linked.

And backed up on dropbox in the WMG Publishing folders.

By Issue #50 or so I might have full master folders of all my covers of all my books and short stories.

Maybe over a hundred pieces of art in each issue that needs to be linked. It will get easier as each issue goes by, but this first one is a monster.

So this is annoying beyond words, caused by my lack of organization, by years going by with no movement on this project, by numbers of people working on the project, and by multiple new computers along the way.

I still hope to have Smith’s Monthly #45 out near the end of the month. But damn, this going to take me a ton more hours of work than I had expected.

Don’t you just love publishing?



    • dwsmith

      Yup, that’s my hardest as well. When you love writing and telling stories more than caring that other people read them, Rule #4 becomes a real tough ride to stay on.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Haha, I totally sympathize! Getting the infrastructure set up is a pain, and it also helps to have an index of some sort.
    I’m doing something similar now, moving to a new laptop. The old workhorse is ancient, and the file structure is cluttered wtih downloads, including hard to remove malware. Macs are immune to most things, but not to everything. So I’m learning what to do and not to do with a VPN, etc.
    Just like you, Dean, I’m setting up folders by category and from scratch. I’ll move everything in manually and take the time to sift through it all, knowing I’ll find a bunch of lost stories and forgotten unfinished works. If it will all live in Cloud as well as on my back-up drive, I want it to be navigable. No more “I’ll put it here just for now” stuff.
    And IMAGES. Holy Toledo, so many downloads of licensed stock photos! If I’m creative, I could make tons of cover with just what I already have.
    This will be worth it in the end.

  • Dave Hendrickson


    Another writer and I share goals and accomplishments each month to increase accountability. Month after month I would list “Get Organized” as a lesser goal, but never got to it. I finally stopped listing it as a goal. I’m thinking it’s time to put it back on the list.

    • dwsmith

      Yeah, it was always there for me as well until one day, after years, the lack of organization got so bad, it shot to the top of the list. Annoying. More fun to just ignore it. (grin)