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Day in the Life Remote: Cassandra Martinez

Commercial Operations Assistant, Candlewick Press

Tuesday July 14, 2020

7:30-8:30: While I would typically need to hop on a bus and then the T (Boston’s subway) to commute to Candlewick’s office in Somerville, I’ve been working remotely since mid-March. Some days I miss reading during my morning commute, but I love being able to just close my laptop at the end of a workday and enjoy more of my afternoon. Aside from the extra hour of sleep I now have, I’ve tried to keep my morning routine the same while working remotely, which includes doing a bit of yoga and writing.

8:30-9:30: During the summer, my workday begins at 8:30, an adjusted schedule so that I can finish my day at 1pm on summer Fridays. The first thing I do is check my email, go through my planner, and create my to-do list for the day as I have my breakfast. Once I’ve made myself a cup of coffee, I answer any pressing emails and knock out my easiest Tuesday tasks: updating Candlewick’s NetGalley catalog and sending out Happy Publication Day emails to authors and illustrators whose titles are being released today.  

9:30-11:00: Once that’s finished, I make my second cup of coffee and try to settle down. Concentrating while working from home has been difficult at times, so I set 35-45 minute timers for myself to stay focused, with a five minute break in between to ensure that I move, stretch, get some water, etc. This helps me stay motivated and focused while keeping me from being too stagnant. At this time of the morning, I carry out various tasks, including clearing users for our NetGalley titles, organizing and gathering materials for Fall 21 copy, and submitting our titles for various NetGalley promotions that I couldn’t complete earlier in the season.

11:00-12:00: After a short break, I get to work editing our reminder newsletter for the virtual San Diego Comic-Con. Copyediting has taken a look at the newsletter and my co-worker who wrote the copy has a few changes, so I make sure those are executed before sending the newsletter back to copyediting for a final scan.

12:00-12:30: In anticipation of an editorial meeting at 1:30, I take a look at what materials the editors have forwarded our head copywriter and me. Each copy season, I’m responsible for tracking what materials we have received, sending those materials to freelancers, setting up meetings, and creating the copy for our reuse titles. I try to familiarize myself a bit with the titles that the editors will be discussing during the meeting so that I have a better sense of what questions I might want to ask and what is important to write down.

12:30-1:15: Lunch! While I usually take lunch later in the day, I moved it up due to my editorial meeting. While at the office I’d typically walk through a little greenway to sit in a patch of shade and read as I eat, but as I’ve been spending the summer at my parent’s house in Virginia, I make myself some food and sit in my backyard.

1:15-1:30: Just enough time to check my emails before logging into Zoom for my meeting.

1:30-3:00: Today we are meeting with two different editors back-to-back over Zoom. As the editors present their titles for the Fall 21 season, I take notes by hand, which I’ll later transcribe and edit so that they can be sent to our freelance copywriters.

3:00-3:30: A lot of emails came in during my lunch and subsequent meetings so I try to go through them and answer what needs to be answered. I also schedule another editorial meeting for next Monday and save and catalog the materials that I’ve received for the titles we will be discussing.  

3:30-4:00: The final edits/notes for the newsletter are sent to me, so once I make the appropriate changes, I schedule the newsletter in Mailchimp.

4:00-5:00: I spend the last hour of my day chipping away at a research project that my boss assigned me. Designating the end of my day to this project has made it easier to devote time to it while simultaneously avoiding 4pm burn-out—I listen to some engrossing music or a podcast and the hour goes by quickly!

5:00: And that’s it! If nothing comes in that needs my immediate attention, I log off at five and if I don’t help my mom walk our dogs (a beagle mix and a jack russell, if you want to know) , I change into some exercise clothes so that I can bike and get myself moving after a day of sitting at the dining room table. 

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