October GDR Review

BBC Bush House
Image: Redver

Today is my last full post until Sunday night. Tomorrow when I leave the office I’ll be heading through to Glasgow on my way to a small village on the south coast of Spain. Naturally, I shall miss you all very much, and so by some small way of compensation, I’d like to announce the launch of my new website.

My main site is what I use to promote my work professionally, and I gave it an overhaul because it needed it. I also had in mind the fact I needed a site that was easier to maintain, and that can utilise some of the marketing possibilities coming before me.

To see the new site, please direct your browsers to the following link: www.colingalbraith.co.uk. Send me your comments and if you aren’t already signed up for the monthly newsletter you should be. Through the newsletter is where I let out all my little secrets as well as running the odd competition and so forth. You’d be mad not to sign up for the sake of one email per month.

A new series of Spooks began on BBC1 last night. Finally there’s a programme on that’s actually worth watching. It’s one of the few shows on the telly that I will make time to sit down and enjoy. In the past that honour went to the likes of Frasier, The Sopranos, and the occasional film, but these days, aside from my writing commitments, there’s nothing worth watching any longer.

It seems our licence fees are used to pay the likes of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand extortionate salaries so they can insult people while on air, instead of making TV programmes that require a bit of intelligence on behalf of the viewer. Talk about dumbing down? It’s just plain dumb.

I came across a great sounding music writing gig but the pay was so ridiculously low so I passed. I also pitched for a gig writing for a local website and got a response this morning. We’re talking money, so hopefully this one will pan out. I could do with bagging another longer term client.

My current client seems to have lost the second batch of articles I sent in plus my invoice. They go through that many editors I can hardly keep up with the changes. I’m sure it will be sorted; they’ve been very fair to me in the past, which has spurred plenty of understanding and a willingness to push things from me.

I’m almost done with Stella. I’m rather annoyed I never finished it tonight, but I made a lot of good work. It’s almost complete with only one chapter to go and that is half polished anyway. I simply ran out of time given I had to pack for tomorrow. I’ll definitely finish it tomorrow over lunch, so I’m ticking it off my October GDR Review as done just now.

Speaking of which …

 Monthly GDR Review

Fiction
* Start re-drafting Gatecrash (G1,G2,G3,D1,D2) – too much freelance work, Muse conference, and other fiction to contemplate this. Put off until after NaNo.
* Submit Slick to selected agents (G1,G2,D1,D2) – complete; 5 initial subs to Edinburgh agents/publishers
* Complete Stella reworking and editing (G2,G5,G9) – complete
* Submit Stella to selected markets (G1,G2,D1,D2) – markets chosen; submissions will be sent out Nov 2nd
* Final planning/research for Lennox novel in November (G2,G5,G9) – IP; title decided; pre-research complete; plot being ironed out – ready as I’ll ever be!

Freelance/Non-Fiction
Writing:
* Query freelance gigs 25/mth (8/25 pitched – Total=85) (G7,G9) – while freelance work has picked up, decent gigs to query have dropped.
* Write bi-weekly SDR articles (7,21) (G5,G7,G9) – scrapped; getting nothing out of it; only a couple of us were still doing it anyway. Will do the odd one if something news worthy happens, but this time could be better spent.
* Pencil ideas for Scotland’s Treasure column for SDR Winter edition (Jan) (G5,G7,G9) – Queen SECC-done; Prodigy Academy (8/12)?; Rosita McKenzie Traverse?
* Wrote and invoiced 8 drug-related articles for TLB.

Business:
* Keep company accounts up to date – not done at time of update; pending
* Invoice TLB (marketing on 15th/articles as and when) – TLB now pay weekly. Invoices being met with 7-day maximum turnaround. Had a good month.

Web:
* Updates made to photography client’s site; more pending
* Updates to B&B site pending – had a meeting with client; waiting for new files
* Dropped by other photography client (non-paying) for preferred “family” support

Poetry
* Think about possible chapbook ideas (G4,G5,G8,G9) – too much work on elsewhere. When an idea comes, it will come. Happy to keep writing poems as they happen, but not going to force anything out for the sake of producing a chapbook. There are plenty of ideas to work on in the background.

Editing
* Stay on top of RR submissions (G6) – complete
* Complete layout of RR issue 5 (Dec) (G6) – not started
* Prepare website and launch for issue 5 (Dec) (G6) – not started
* Start laying out RR issue 6 (Dec) (G6) – not started; almost got full compliment of contributors though

Marketing and Promotion
* Publish October newsletter (G5) – complete
* Prepare November newsletter (G5) – complete
* Publish October GDR Plan – complete
* Publish October GDR Review – complete
* Prepare November GDR Plan – complete
* Launch revamped main site (G5,G8,G9)- complete
* Keep website(s) up to date (G5,G8,G9) – no updates made or required do peripheral sites. Amalgamation, in some respect, through redesigns.
* Rebranded compassfreelance.co.uk – site bought; amalgamation of web and writing sites to follow
* Ordered Compass Freelance promo material: business cards, stamp, pens etc.
* Ordered author promo material: postcards, mini-posters etc.
* Joined Amazon Associates program; still to integrate with new design.
* Sent PSH Poetry Competition prizes to winners (signed chapbooks/e-books)

Reading & Learning
* Black & Blue by Ian Rankin – restarted
* Closed Doors by Ian Rankin – IP
* One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson – next month (wanted to read Doors Open first after getting it for my birthday)
* MUSE Online Writers’ Conference – complete
* Online material and three books in research for new Lennox novel (NaNo)

Non-Writing
* Continue diet (15/28lbs lost as at 15/9/08) (R1) – back to pretty good progress. Next measurement due?

Things That Turned Up
* Had to rebuild home wireless network and home PC
* Assigned feature with the winner of the PSH Poetry Contest 2008 for RR
* Received two prizes from the PSH Poetry Contest 2008; chapbook and online gift token
* Transferred out an existing web client to new hosting company
* Spent an afternoon researching a posh Edinburgh social club with Royal connections

Submissions Made
Slick (novel)
Edinburgh agents 2
Edinburgh publishers 2
London publisher 1

Successes
* Muse Conference
* Slick submitted (two novels on submission at once)
* Handling high load of freelance gigs with conference on
* Hunting Jack through to “serious consideration” stage
* Redesign and launch of main website and blog

Failures
None!!

Statistics
Fiction – 11,600
Non-Fiction – 22,500
Poetry – 0

Outstanding Submissions
The Quill 1
Hunting Jack 1
Trespass 1
Wheelhouse Mag 1
Saint Ann’s Review 1
1097 1
East of the Web 1

GDR Monthly Health Summary

How did I move outside my comfort zone this month?
* I took on all freelance work that came through; web and writing.
* Uncomfortable but necessary to cut loose a couple of spongers taking advantage of my goodwill.
* I worked my butt off at the Muse Conference and kept to all my commitments. Gained a tremendous amount from it, too.

How did I think big/challenge myself?
* I used what I learnt at the EBF and used that advice when creating my submission packages for Slick.
* The Muse Conference was a real challenge given all that was happening at the time but I stuck to it and the rewards were seen in what I produced at the end of the week.
* I created and ordered new promo material for both my freelance company and my authoring work.

Do I feel this was a good month towards meeting my 2008 GDR Plan?
Oh YES baby!!! This has been a huge month, and coming on the cusp of NaNoWriMo, a fantastic way to begin the autumn writing season.


Stella (final draft by chapter)
Stella: Final Draft Work

The Scruffy Dog Review – Autumn Issue OUT NOW!!

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About Colin Galbraith

Thriller author, music fan, St Mirren fan, fluff chucker, rabbit tamer, outstanding fake faller. Loves cannoli.
This entry was posted in Editorial Comment, Fiction, Film & TV, Food, Drink and Bevvy, Freelance and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to October GDR Review

  1. Stevie says:

    Enjoy your break Colin, you might just need yer semmit.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7695975.stm

  2. Brenda says:

    Your new website looks awesome! Good work. And, good luck with NANO. I’m too chicken to even attempt it. I’ll cheer you guys on instead.

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