Day in the Life: Ali Romig
Ali Romig, Editorial Assistant for Delacorte Press, Random House Children’s Books (Written before Mandated WFH, Reflects Office Life)
9:00 AM: The first thing I do when I get to the office is fill up on coffee! Once I’ve had a decent dose of caffeine, I get started on checking any emails that may have come in overnight or early in this morning. I keep something called a Current Title Tracker which helps me keep track of all the titles we are working on. I usually update this before my morning check-in with my boss.
10:00 AM: Every morning, my boss and I have a daily check-in. This helps me organize my priorities for the day. These meetings consist of talking about what we need to do for certain titles, discussing submissions, looking over routing items, and just catching up (sometimes we wander down a YouTube hole). I would recommend scheduling a daily check-in with the person you report to, if possible. It really helps me focus my days and stay on task!
10:30 AM: Once a week, our imprint has a Publishing Status meeting. These meetings consist of editorial, production, design, and managing editorial. We basically go through our entire list for the current span as well as the three spans coming up. We use this time to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding a title and any necessary items are moving forward on schedule. These meetings are a HUGE help to me. I keep notes during the meeting and most of what I do for the rest of the day is in response to certain requests that come out of it. We also pass around a giant basket of candy, so…that’s a plus.
11:30 AM: Weekly Editorial meeting comes next. This is a smaller meeting with just the editors in our imprint. We use this time to discuss submissions that we’ve received and get feedback from the group. Sometimes this meeting feels more like a socratic seminar (which I love). We can also use this time to share general business updates. Our group tries to rotate who leads the meeting in order to give everyone a chance to set the agenda.
12:30 PM: Remember to eat lunch! This is also a good time to answer or check any emails that may have come in during my meeting-heavy morning.
1:00 PM: Yesterday, one of our authors delivered their final manuscript. After reading it over last night and confirming with my boss that it is good to go, it is time to tag it for copyediting and design. This process involves going through the manuscript and making sure every paragraph is coded so that design knows what it should look like. This process takes longer for manuscripts with multiple design elements like text messages, Instagram posts, or letters. This manuscript has a few design elements, so as I am working on it I also take breaks to check on emails and requests coming in.
3:00 PM: Once I’ve finished tagging the manuscript, I send it off to copyediting along with the front matter and back matter. Now I can work on a few of the tasks that came out of today’s Pub Status meeting. One of those tasks was to write cover copy for a paperback I am working on. This includes back cover copy, as well as the inside front and back covers. I usually like to find a good excerpt to include on the inside front cover, if space allows. After looking through the book and finding an excerpt, I write up the copy and then send it to our director of paperback publishing for review.
3:45 PM: My last meeting of the day! I am meeting with the designer helping me repackage a classic title. I love repackages as they give us the chance to breathe new life into an old favorite. We’re very close to having final art for this cover and so our meeting is pretty quick. We look at the art that’s come in, talk about any tweaks it needs, and discuss the timeframe for when we’ll be able to show it to everyone. I bring a copy of the cover back to my boss so she can review it and make sure we’re heading in the right direction.
4:00 PM: When I get back from my meeting, my boss greets me with great news. An agent just got back to us on our recent offer with an acceptance! We just got a book that we felt so strongly about! After taking a minute to celebrate and share the news, I get started on creating a contract information sheet. The information from this comes from the offer letter and will eventually be turned into the final contract that the author signs. Once it’s created, it gets passed to my boss for approval and sent forward.
5:00 PM: While I was working on the CIS, the second pass of a young adult manuscript has routed to me. Second passes of a final manuscript have already been reviewed by the copy editor and author at least once. For anything after the first pass, I usually look through copyediting’s notes first. For simple ones, like grammatical corrections, I sign off on them. If anything larger needs looking over, like timeline or plot inconsistencies, I flag it and discuss it with my boss. Once the pass has been fully reviewed, I route it to design.
6:00 PM: Today was crazy busy with meetings so, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to read any submissions. On days like this, I try to choose one or two submissions to bring home with me to read before bed. For tonight, I pick a thriller that sounds particularly intriguing. Here’s to hoping it won’t keep me up all night …
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