Wednesday, May 25, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #1 - Dean Wesley Smith

This is the first post in a series of 100 which will look at websites that can help budding fiction writers with their craft and career. I will attempt to put up a new post, but that might become cumbersome, so I will try to put up a new post whenever possible. These posts are not meant to be an in depth study of any particular sites or blogs, but more of a suggestive listing for places online where fiction writers can go to learn, receive help, work on their skills and potentially create or build upon their writing career.

The Writings and Opinions of Dean Wesley Smith

Myth: You Can't Make a Living Writing Fiction (Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing)You might be asking, who is Dean Wesley Smith? And why should I be reading his blog?

If you are interested in a career as a fiction author, you need to read Dean's blog.

Don't believe me? Let's take a look at Dean's background.

Dean Wesley Smith has more than ninety novels published in print as an author. He also claims to have had more than 100 of his short stories in print. Many of Dean's books have been novelizations or tie-ins of movies or television shows, but he also has written much in worlds of his own creation. Sometimes he writes under his own name, but often enough he uses a pseudonym. If that's still not enough, Dean was also the founding publisher of of Tomorrow Speculative Fiction magazine and, in conjunction with his wife author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, won a World Fantasy Award in 1989. If you're still not impressed, there's also the fact Dean and his wife were the owners of Pulphouse Publishing. On top of all that, Dean and his wife regularly hold workshops in which they pass along the combined knowledge they have picked up in more than thirty years of writing, editing and publishing.

One would think that with all that experience, Dean Wesley Smith is someone who knows more than a little about making a career as a fiction author.

Over the last year or two, Dean has been making the transition to working in digital publishing, e-books, though not exclusively. On his blog, he regularly suggests writers should work in both print and digital formats.

Such ideas are what makes this blog so great. Dean Wesley Smith passes on much of what he has learned and continues to learn.

To that end, Dean has three series concerning writing. These series are available at his blog and, if they are not already, will eventually be available in e-book formats at least in part.

One of these series is titled "Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing," and it is a real eye opener to the fiction publishing business, especially for beginners. In this series you learn that many of the things you might think you know about fiction publishing just aren't true. For example, if you are a beginning fiction writer, you've probably heard that you have to have a literary agent to make it as a writer. But is this really true? Do you really need a literary agent? For an answer, check out Dean's blog.

Another series is titled "Think Like a Publisher." This particular series focuses a little less on writing and more on publishing as a possible business venture. And with more and more writers self publishing their own works, there is a lot of important information here of which they need to be aware. Why? Because if you are self publishing, remember that you are no longer just a writer, but also a publisher.

"New World of Publishing" is the newest of Dean's series. This series looks at the current changes in the book publishing industry. Technology has brought about huge changes in publishing over the last few years, from the way people are reading books to how publishers and literary agents are working, and even more. If you are interested in fiction writing but afraid of what all this change means, check out this series and learn a few things.

Lastly, I'd like to add that Dean Wesley Smith often posts free short stories on his blog, which is an added bonus to his regular readers.

If you are a beginning fiction writer, or if you're an old pro worried about the future, do yourself a favor and check out this blog.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've liked a lot of what Smith has had to say, and have enjoyed a fair number of his short stories. I actually have not read any of his novels.