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Day in the Life: Rosie Ahmed

Editorial Assistant, Dial Books for Young Readers

September 2020

6:30 am: My two senior-aged Pomeranians wake me up, demanding outside time and treats.

7:00: I get ready, eat breakfast, and walk back to my bedroom aka home office to start my day.

8:00: I’m staying with family in the Midwest, meaning my new workday is 8am-4pm mountain time/10am-6pm eastern. Time to log into my computer, Slack, and TeamViewer, the latter which I use to access my work computer way over on the east coast! 

8:30: Next week is our division’s fall sales conference, in which we present all our books publishing in fall 2021 to our marketing, publicity, sub-rights, and sales forces so they can start getting the word out. Now that this conference is entirely online, our imprint does two run-throughs to be sure all the tech works smoothly. My script is mostly finalized for this second run-through but I present my two books, take in last-minute feedback, and adjust my presentations accordingly. I also give my colleagues a few suggestions on their presentations.  

10:30: My boss is bidding on a book she wants to acquire, for which she is competing against multiple houses and editors. The book features sandwiches, so she thought it’d be a fun personal touch in her offer letter to include a team picture of us eating sandwiches. My boss, our editorial director, publisher, and I all get on a Zoom call and pose for a screenshot of us biting into our homemade sandwiches. This is not a typical workday activity, I swear…

11:00: I get on a video call with my other boss, who’s speaking with an author and her agent about an exciting board book series idea. Beforehand, I researched what other board books on this subject already exist and sent that over to my boss, and now the four of us get together to discuss what this potential series might look like, and why we think this author’s potential books for children would really fit in best at our imprint.

12:00 pm: I read a picture book submission for my boss that’s been getting interest, decide it’s not a fit for us, and write a draft rejection email. I normally try to either read a submission or write a reader’s report/rejection draft each morning if I can, since this is when I usually have the most energy and receive the least amount of emails, but this morning’s run-through took precedence!

1:00: It’s really hard to prioritize my own emails and projects in the midst of working on my bosses’ projects and submissions list, so I try really hard to focus on my own priorities over the next couple of hours. I draft a contract for a board book I just acquired, and try to finish edits on a graphic novel I just acquired.

3:00: Alas, the emails get the best of me, and though I managed to work a couple of hours on my own projects, it’s time to take care of a few other odds and ends: emailing designed manuscript interiors to an agent, sending an author’s bio photo to a sub-rights colleague, answering some questions of my bosses, etc.

4:00: Finally, the day is done! I’m trying to get better about doing an outside activity while the weather is still nice right after work. Off to walk my dogs 😊.

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