I've always sown them as soon as they're ripe. They germinate quickly then because they haven't gone dormant. The down side is you can end up with babies to see through the winter. I'm now experimenting with sowing very early in the new year, so they get the chill to break the dormancy but won't germinate til after the winter (in theory). I should think now would be fine, winter is well and truly here so you're not going to get anything germinating too quickly. It's too cold and they will be dormant.
I've found this site quite useful http://theseedsite.co.uk/index.html
My seeds are outside, covered in grit, which stops all that green growth that comes on compost and I think it helps things stay where they should be in heavy rain.
I keep an eye on them, when they germinate I bring them into the cold greenhouse so I can supervise them and stop birds etc having them for lunch. After about February I bring them in anyway. I think for some seeds the higher daytime temps and the cold nights stimulates germination. A lot of this is theory and I'm still working on it.