Another one of my stitched-together photographs, this time of Rowhedge
as seen from West Quay last Sunday morning.
I thought I'd give you a taste of the kind of thing I have to do day-to-day to earn a crust. I've just had an overlapping week where we have an expanded issue for our October number and then a tight deadline for November: I'm racing to get the former finished and at the same time trying to get the latter issue up and running.
Because the ad team are still selling in, we've extended the October deadline and pushed back the publication date by a week. Normally at this stage of the production cycle I would have the vast bulk of the issue completed and all the text and images would be sitting with our design studio. Some pages would probably already be finished and proofed out.
Not this month. The bulk of the contents are written, but I'm still waiting on a pile of advertorial material to come in – there could be anything up to thirty pieces in our Show preview, of which I have so far seen three. And while I "finished" writing the news on Tuesday, there are still a few pieces creeping in. Cue one unhappy design studio. Unfortunately, there's bugger all we can do about it as it's advertising that pays our wages.
Pushing the magazine back means that I will probably only have three weeks to do the next one as it is due out before the Independent Hotel Show – so no moving the dates around for that one! Hence my attempts to get off to a flying start.
There is a good site we are signed up to where I can contact a good many PR firms to see if their clients can contribute material. Unfortunately, we're getting swamped by little start-up firms trying to flog apps. I submitted four request forms on Monday: one about refurbishing bars, one about drinks, one about toiletries and one about software (and that's software specifically used in hotels).
Of the 26 respondents I've had in the past couple of days, 17 – two thirds – have been about software. And half of them are, frankly, trying it on, as they seem to be offering nothing relating to the subject matter I outlined. That's typical of what happens every issue; I fully expect that two-thirds of the responses I get over the next week will be for that one section. Most of it will get used one way or another as we also have a website to fill; we're hungry for text, but what we get in often lacks any worthwhile content – there's lots of repetition and, worse, there's just so much jargon. However much I ask for jargon-free features, there's jargon. So much fucking jargon.
Although I'm not planning to take a break, the next couple of weeks might be patchy here at Bear Alley. I may do something similar to the James Hadley Chase cover gallery, which is to set up a skeleton and slowly fill the gaps. I'm still working on the Chase and have increased the number of cleaned-up cover scans from 23 to 40 and typed up quite a few more blurbs in the past week. I'll keep going whenever I get a chance and eventually I'll repost it once it's more complete.
Some scans this week that are more random than usual.