Challenge,  publishing,  Smiths Monthly

Working On Smith’s Monthly

Taking Longer But Almost Done…

Maybe two more days before it is finished and heads for print, the first issue since 2017. Then I am going to start at once on the February issue and get out ahead. March right behind that.

Why talking longer is the learning curve on InDesign complex magazine layout. Two columns with ads and everything. And second instead of being able to use some of the ads from the first 44 issues, I am rebuilding every ad. That is taking time, but that will get quicker as each issue goes by.

So my work schedule is holding on both the last few chapters of the Cave Creek short novel (should wrap it up tomorrow… Sunday) and Smith’s Monthly (should wrap that up on Monday.) Then back to writing short fiction.

Here are three covers I did (two yesterday) for three of the short stories in Issue #45. One is branded for my Marble Grant series and another is branded for my Poker Boy series. The third is a stand-alone Smith’s Stories brand that I showed here last week.



  • Mihnea Manduteanu

    What’s a short novel for you, I mean how many words? Since your regular novels clock in at 40k usually.

    • dwsmith

      Around 30,000-35,000 words or so. Under that I call it a novella. Under 15,000 is a short story. 40,000 words and above is a standard novel length.

      Science fiction puts another category in there between novella and short story that is stupid. Mystery and romance do not. In fact, romance goes lower for short novels.

      Pulps back in the pulp days called anything over 20,000 a short novel. Anything near 30,000 a full novel.

      So the idea of the labels is to be clear to readers as much as possible. Short novel around 30,000 words or so describes it pretty well and keeps expectations in line.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Dean, those are lovely covers! I do have a question about the fonts. Back in the original cover design class, there was a lot of emphasis on picking one serif and one sans serif for the cover. You use the same font for everything and it looks great. Have the “rules and expectations ” changed ?
    Just wondering. Thank you!

    • dwsmith

      Yup, that was a long time ago. Covers and genre looks and such are always changing. Plus I am not a font expert and have no desire to be, so I just use one and make it look different by changing width, height, leading, and so on.