Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day Before, Day Before and the Day Before that Day

Don’t let the silence of this starting-a-new-magazine blog fool you. Because it is thundering above my head and rolling beneath my feet.

In fact, from this point forward I will categorize the updates into these areas:

Gathered samples and resent request with samples to graphic designers. This is one area in danger of falling behind or rather holding back the other areas. Will need to recast the net to everyone I know. I am tempted to try my hand at a nameplate, but darnit, I think it has to be done professionally and I can’t start the process using dyi

Personnel: Four solid leads. What looks like 3 amatuers and one professional. I’ve kept them updated and on the line with hopes of having some photography meetings where I provide samples of what we need and where they determine what $$ if any, they can work for. Will try to get pro bono first, commissioned secondly and finally a wage if necessary and able.
Content: building folder of all sample work likes and dislikes.
Location: listing all potential landcape/scenic/landmark for future photoshoots.
Inhouse: Todo: Look up and record, file, photoshoot session off of PinkChalkStudio blog.

Lists begun for features, sections, promos
Premiere issue feature targeted
Todo: contact K.Healy quilt maker/designer; focus on Christmas crafts; contact quilt magazines for pointers on designer/contributors

Lists begun
Todo: prepare contract packages


Todo: prepare PR/funding packages

Called E&M—very valuable information
Todo: call US distribution points.

Register IQ with national library for INSN ID
Registered name Irish Quilting
Todo: register IQ name

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 7

My mind is going all the time for IQ. and the email is packed for IQ

NIPG came back, more info so I sent my bio and my questionnaire.
No word on IPS.
Received an email from craft council. I sent them an inquiry for the Guild listed, but no website anywhere. They forwarded me to an outside contact. Funny enough she forwarded me to the IPS. So that is double duty, but I don't mind if it gets their attention.
I think the guild is namesake only. Soon to find out.

Spent a good part of the day talking to Ben a friend and graphic artist. He is brillant and let me me sound off him and he provided vital points and concerns. Initial thoughts are is there a larger market? My gut is we have to focus on the export distribution as the focus. This means trickery advertising.

Also good tip is to start stockpiling looks and feels, photo wise for my cover location shots. Even if I want photographer to copy, I can give them a photo say, do something like this.

Ben and I spent time talking about the enterprise board and potential flaws they could bring up. More reasons to shore up my business plan.

He gave me a couple contacts, printers as well as crafts council key people and I hope to call them this week. I owe him an email with all my info (and graphics wishlist) and he is sending me some vital info too.

I shared my timeline with him and I think that sparked some interest. Think he knows know I'm serious. Basically, roughly, the RDS show, Knit and Stitch is big in Ireland, really big, though not too great results from fans lately. Anyway, it is last weekend in Oct/first in Nov. If we could have the premier issue (December Christmas) on a stand at the show, it would be rockin'!! Even if it was a limited first edition--if that makes any business sense, depends on ads and printing costs. Thought is why should we limit the number, except to make it seem special.

Spent a good part of an hour adding to list of advertisers, well into the hundreds. I hope to have thousands by the time we need to begin calling/soliciting/sending packets.--July?
What a big job that will be and that is only the beginning. The sale is always in the followup process.

Laptop is due to arrive next week; that will be great. I can do a lot of the cataloging in bed then!

Ok, onto my biz plan...

Day Six

Finished my daughter's quilt. This is a large sample quilt. I can use it to show at teh IPS meeting, jsut help get my name in front of the crowd. What I would love to show is my Stars and Flowers Americana quilt, but I just don't know that I will be ready in time, and I'm not rushing that quilt.

The tension is acting up in my sewing machine, so I will see if I can get it looked at by one of the gals in our group on Wednesday.

While sewing took up a lot of time, I did send gobs of emails out. And I'm happy to report that my email box is jammed with email relating to IQ.

A big hand out and hearts out to all my friends who are graphic designers. Each and everyone of them responded to my email. All said they would think about and only two moms said they might not get anything to me. No prob. Now! How to get the other volunteers to get moving. I set up a document of sample mastheads and hve been sending back with my thank yous. I will resend the whole batch later this week and ask if anyone has come up with something.

The logo should be straight forward, heck I'm not opposed to me doing something up. But this needs to be first rate. So I will push and see what I can get donated for a look.

Emails! Emails! Emails!

Heard back from Bonnie Hunter; knew I would. She is the best.
Nothing from Mark Liplinsky, but I'm not giving up.
Heard back from NIPG (nothern ireland patchwork guild)--Irene--I've seen her work around. She is not in any official capacity, but I did send on my bio and questionnaire.

Spent a lot of time with neighbor plowing through her magazines. Great feedback. She is jazzed byu the idea and soon she came knocking on my door with a stack of crafts magazines. All American or Brittish.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day Five

Began Business Plan!!!!!
Sent email to IPS contact hoping to start capturing statistics and the trends of quilting in Ireland.
Researched & potential feature: Sent email to Mark Liplinski
Researched & potential feature: Sent email to Bonnie Hunter
Posted want ad for graphic designers and photographers on VS blog
Added to features list
Added to advertisers list
Added to regular items list

As today is also a sewing day for me. I will be completing a quilt so I might show-and-tell at next Saturday's IPS meeting. It's all about networking.

Tomorrow's Tasks:

Email more contacts
Email media studies schools for graphic designers and photographers. I figure I can use numerous photographers and should have them all submit work.
List cover image locations.
List cover quilt potentials.
Add to advertiser lists
Add to feature lists
Build small biz/entrep lists

Day Four

There will be highs and lows. This day was a low. I was all set to make my phone calls and get under way but doubt got hold of me.

One graphic designer contacted me thus far. And he had very good advice. The points he raised are not new ones to me, and because I have no concrete answers yet, the reminder of them is good.

Talking to others about these very same points, brings more issues to light and clearly this goal is going to be challenging. Today was a day of second thoughts, many of which were negative. I like to think the negative side was given time and space in my mind and discussion so that they can be accounted for. Sorta like keeping your enemies closer. I need to know what I have to overcome. But in the process I can't get pulled down on how negative these areas might seem.

For example the true quilting market--how many quilters? how many would buy the mag? The numbers are unknown, and I hope to get the numbers through IPS and other resources. Since I am in a foreign culture, walls go up rather quickly. So I need to slowly acquire the trust and respect of these Irish groups. It can be a slow process.

One point directly related to the quilting numbers is whether the magazine should have a broader topic. Instead of Irish Quilting, should it be Irish Crafts? I am a firm believer that broadening your topic, jeopardizes the readership market. If it becomes too large, readers will have difficultly deciding if the mag is for them. My heart is in the Irish Quilting clearly, but I must be realistic and see what comes of the statistics. I need to get those in for analysis.

So I welcome all the doubting thomases and will give plenty of consideration to each challenge. But if I spend every occasion fetching out the negative, I will get nowhere. Now, off to somewhere!

Day Three

Field Trip

Went to the Dundrum Library; they have maybe 25-35 periodicals and none of them are crafts magazines. After discussing opportunities with the librarian, she said anything coined "Irish" would certainly be liklihood that the library scheme can/will carry my mag. The local branches request what they want to carry and the head office approves it.

Also, my doctor office said they too would consider carrying the magazine for the wait room--it share offices with New Age artists. Food for thought and potential distribution contacts.

At the library I picked up this book.

I read it in one evening. It covers many points. I knew them all! Toot, Toot. That is the sound of my own horn.
But seriously, it gives me some confidence that I am covering the basics. Certainly some key items are always in need of refreshing and rereading.

Began several spreadsheets for my lists.
Studied the magazines for styles and treatments.

A lot of thought is going on about the graphics and photography. These will be key. The initial graphics, if I have too, i will do a streamline headmast, just to get some stationary.
First, the business plan. I must get cracking on that!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Sign!

Today's list includes the task: phone local Dublin mags and printers for information interview, basically soak up all the info for producing a mag in Ireland.

Like most work-at-home days, I walk in the early a.m. In the country. With no cars in sight. Usually no people in sight. Just the sticks and a few moos and baas.

And yet, I came upon two mags alongside the road! (marked below in red) One was Now mag, a popular rag for Dublin and the second, First Class a travel and style mag. Just sitting there waiting for me, Ms. Now Researcher of All Mags, to happen by.

Is that sign or what?

You can bet I'll be calling their offices today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day Two

Okay, many thoughts today. The mind is racing. How to get this done.

Firstly, three? 3? Three tasks a day? Now, how and why did I think three tasks a day would suffice for getting a biz off the ground? Sure, it is the early days, but just so for that reason, I should be laying it on thick. More like ten tasks a day. Right?

Well, naturally after that I have merely to report this as my only task:

1. Sent email looking for graphic designers

Oh, but the thinking. Hopefully that counts for something.

Today I had snippets of thoughts that went like: what if I can do this? what if the content is not good enough? what if I run out of steam? But I can. I can. I can.

Upcoming tasks include:

1. Business Plan, Business Plan, Business Plan!!
2. Phone American Q mags and ask how contributors, designers, patterns and content works.
3. Phone printers in Ireland (minimal 3)
4. Phone Irish mag and schedule appt with disribution manager for an informational interview
5. Send IPS research email.
6. Produce spreadsheets for printers, advertisers, features, regular spots, seasonal content, contributors, subscribers, distribution contacts, potential expenses, location/idea for cover shots
7. Develop and write one feature.
8. Build timeline
9. Email looking for photographers
10 Research college/vocational schools looking for up-and-coming graphic artists and photographers looking for limelight (for free)
11. Draft letter to enterprise, small biz board looking for grants/aid
12. Draft letter to potential advertisers
13. Add 20 advertisers to list a day.
14. Add 20 distribution contacts to list a day.
15. Draft letter to subscribers
16. Add 20 cover shot/ideas for cover to list a day.
17. Phone Brittish Q mag for research.
18. Draft letter to contribitor
19. Add 10 contributor/designer a day
20. List other admin needs such as incorporating, setting up biz paperwork
21. Secure web name and set up email.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day One

This blog makes the goal official. And incase I wasn't aware that it would take long hours, late hours and sleepless hours, it is nearly 11pm on the eve of a 5:30am wakeup, yet I press on, so that I might reaffirm that this venture can be done.

The first and continual exercise throughout the makings of this goal will have tremendous results: Each day, conduct three tasks to leading to this goal. Big or small, at least three tasks should be attempted for each day.

Today's tasks, being in the early stages, revolve around Research.

1. Compose research questions for the IPS.
2. Solicit feedback and more Qs (for IPS) from biz minded quilters (AM & Beck), via email
3. Solicit friend's old/spare/fav/subscription magazines in list or in copy, via email
4. Field trip
5. Create IQ Blog

Field trip
Eason's DunDrum (today: 6pm) three quilt magazines (one French in English! and two Brittish). Note five(!) cardmaking/scrapbook magazines
Bought Quilt Mania (French) it is adorable 8.12 Euros
Bought Brittish PAtchwork & Quilting; average but packed with quilt patterns 5.85 Euros
Tesco's DunDrum (today: 6:30pm) no quilt magazines
Bought Food and Wine 3.99 Euro
Bought U 1.50
Turns out both these non quilting mags are owned by same Publication house. Figures why I liked them both. Slick, clean and not overpowering but yet alluring. U has printer listed.

Tomorrow's Tasks
Call Printers for quotes
Email Graphic designers
Email Friends for Graphic designers
Take penned notes and produce tasks lists.

Where's your IQ today?