Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Writing Focused Tonight

Getting Rested and Working On Starting Novels…

What I do to get ready to start novels is actually clean the area around my writing computer. When writing I have yellow legal pads and sticky notes and books scattered everywhere around me. So when I go a time (like the last few weeks) without writing and then are ready to go back, I clean up. Sort of telling my mind it’s time to get back to playing.

So that felt good tonight after doing the assignments for the workshop. No idea what I will write, but my little voice kinda wants to write a Cold Poker Gang mystery. No idea why. Just sort of sounds like fun at the moment.

So got to come up with a title. Hmmm… Side Pot just popped into my head. Guess that will be it. Cool.

On another topic, I’ve gotten a bunch of letters about the promotions package with people asking some good questions, so let me see if I can answer them here since if one person has the question, it is out there more.

— Does the focus book for the promotion package have to be published this spring?  Nope, it can be something you are working on and can be published clear into next year if you want. Having more time to do preorders and promotions ahead adds in a lot of extra benefits.

— Is WMG Publishing going to do this regularly? Nope. In fact, hell no. This will not be part of our business model in any way, shape or form. This is the only time I’m afraid.

— Why did you decide to do this kind of thing? Well, it started in October in the Business Master Class. It was a firehose of information about everything from production to relaunching to a million forms of promotions.

So since that workshop, Allyson, Kris, Josh, Gwyneth, and I have tried to boil down and put in some sort of order the massive stream of possibilities. We started off using something Matt Buchman had mentioned to us. The “Four Ds” way of ordering all the information. 1… Do it.  2… Delay it.  3… Delegate it.  4.. Dump it.

We still had pages and pages of stuff left after that as we tried to also meld all the information into what we have already been doing, what has worked for us, what can be ignored, and so on.

So to try to control this massive amount of information, we had to develop a promotions plan. Actually, a number of them depending on factors with each book.

And we have started to put these into written plans with set schedules and other timing aspects of the promotions. So one day Allyson mentioned that it was too bad that writers we help in workshops couldn’t get some benefit out of all our planning and work.

Now understand, we already have the top covers and the good sales blurbs that are included in the plan we are offering. Not small items by any means. But we also know how to sell books in more places than just Amazon. In fact, Amazon in November was our third highest income stream for books for WMG Publishing.

So we decided to offer this for ten writers. This is not a workshop, even though I will record some videos. These are individual packages tuned to the writer’s work that then the writer can go on and use as patterns for other books.

I am sort of surprised the offer didn’t fill at once, but more than likely that is because of Christmas. We still have four spots open right now.  Just write me at dean.wmgworkshops@gmail if you want information. It will close no matter how many we have in one week on the 18th.

We are all looking forward to making individual marketing and promotion plans for each writer, actually. It will not only help the writers, but solidify our plans as well for WMG books going forward. And on top of the plan and instructions on how and when to do each step, you get a blurb from me for your novel and a cover from Allyson, with a template so you can do more.

Anyhow, that’s the long answer to the three main questions I have been getting. Any other questions, feel free to write me.


Full information at:


Fantastic Christmas Bundle

I am very, very proud of this new Christmas Cheer bundle with Storybundle that I curated. I have read every story and novel in the bundle and they are great. Call it my recommended reading for Christmas this year.

And you can gift this bundle as well. Tough to go wrong with this many books and stories for the season. Plus toss in a few bucks for as well.
You can get it at


Short Story and Novel Challenge

Yup, I am going to do this again in January.  I am taking five on each challenge starting on January 1st. So don’t miss on this one if you want a great challenge to start off your new year. Details are a few posts back.

But basically 30 stories in sixty days or three novels in three months. You sign up, when you are done, you get two regular workshop credits. (And with me reading your work I’ll be able to tell you which workshops will help you the most.)

Cost is $600 (same price as two workshops, so I read for free). Write me at if interested in jumping in. I will shut it off at five per challenge.

This will really get your resolution to produce more off the ground in January. And yes, here there are spots open in both challenges.


December Regular Workshops Will Close Shortly

Still time to sign up. I will put up the January workshops in a day or so.

Those of you with credits from either the Kickstarter or the certificate special we just offered, you must write me to sign up.

Those who would just like to sign up directly can do so on Teachable at any point. December workshops are there and started, just going into the second week.  So basically last call.

Nice to have some options on signing up finally.

Class #61… Dec 5th … Think Like a Publisher
Class #62… Dec 5th … Endings
Class #63… Dec 5th … Point of View
Class #64… Dec 5th … Writing Mysteries
Class #65… Dec 5th … Speed
Class #66… Dec 5th … Teams in Fiction
Class #67… Dec 6th … Depth in Writing
Class #68… Dec 6th … How to Edit Your Own Work
Class #69… Dec 6th … Character Development
Class #70… Dec 6th … Writing Secondary Plot Lines
Class #71… Dec 6th … Advanced Depth
Class #72… Dec 6th … Novel Structure

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    • dwsmith

      Thanks, Mark. But we do numbers of them every week. But I will tell the gang at WMG you complemented them. Thanks!

  • J. D. Brink

    I still have not processed most of the information covered in the October Masters class. In an attempt to use some of it right now, I spent all of November doing “publisher” stuff instead of “writer” stuff, and it was killing me. By the end of the month (and end of my to-do list) I was hating the publisher side of things. So it feels good now to be back (kind of, all other chaos of life right now permitting) to putting words to virtual paper. But much of that info will be obsolete by the time I get to sifting through it all.

    • dwsmith

      Not that much this time around J.D., since we are now more and more into a stable publishing world again. A few things will go past, but I’m not seeing that most of the stuff from the Master Class will be dated as quickly as say even last year. So you got time. That’s why this year we spent so much time also putting it all together to see what will work for us and what we want to pass on.

      So pacing on all this stuff is the key. That was a firehose week of information and some of it just work for each of us depending on factors. But dating-out this time won’t be that much of an issue. Thankfully.