Day in the Life (In-Office): Josie Dallam
School & Library Marketing Coordinator, HarperCollins Children’s Books
Day: Tuesday, August 1 2023
6:15 am: Good morning! Going into the office requires waking up 2.5 hours earlier than I used to during peak work from home. And sometimes my body doesn’t like that. Time to wake up, make some coffee, feed my sourdough starter (it has since died, if you have tips on not killing them, please email me), and get dressed.
7:25 am: Leave the house to catch the LIRR! I moved out to Long Island a few months ago and I adore the Long Island Rail Road, though I am frequently intimidated by the Long Island businessmen commuting into the city with me. It’s a very comfortable ride though. I listen to some podcasts and do some reading on the way into Penn Station, where I’ll get the E down to World Trade Center.
8:45 am: Arrive at the office! I open my computer and check my calendar and go through my email quickly, flagging everything that needs follow up later, moving requests for award submissions to a separate folder to go through later. I like to wait a bit until more people are in the office and someone else has caved to the pressure to make coffee before I go to the kitchen and get some. Children’s works on the 21st floor, and I go up to the 22nd floor to the main pretty entrance to take some of the fruit they put out up there to snack on through the morning.
9:15 am: I spend 15-20 minutes each morning on Twitter (I refuse to call it X), seeing how the HarperStacks posts that went out have done, responding to anything we were tagged in, and retweeting posts from authors. It’s a Tuesday, meaning new books are on sale. I make sure our blog post highlighting the new titles of most interest to teachers and librarians has gone up and schedule a post linking to it to go out on Twitter and Facebook. I also check back on Twitter throughout the day to reshare anything HarperKids, Epic Reads, and different editorial imprints have posted about the new books today.
9:45 am: I check my personal to-do list on Asana to see what I have coming up and if I should add anything else to my daily list. I also filter my outlook by the flagged emails to see what I have and need to respond to, and build my to do list from that. The other coordinator on my team just got back from vacation yesterday, and I forward her some things I want her opinion on.
10:30 am: I manage educator guides. I got some feedback from editorial on some of the questions in our fall book club guide. I incorporate their notes with my own and send it back to marketing design with the comments. Marketing operations uses Basecamp to coordinate projects between marketing design and the marketing teams. I go through all my projects and notifications to check in on how everything is progressing and when I need to get copy in for upcoming projects.
11 am: I continue to work through my to-do list. I follow up with an editor confirming if a manuscript is good to send to a freelancer for an educator guide. Since this is a big title and author I also want to get the freelancer for it approved. It’s one of those fun projects that is moving a bit behind schedule so I need to move quickly to get an educator guide ready by on sale. My favorite part of working in the office is being able to bother my colleagues in person. I frequently go over to my teammate Christina’s desk to talk about things in person. After a quick discussion, I email another educator about writing a guest post for the HarperStacks blog.
12 pm: Lunch! In the summer I frequently eat lunch at my desk while working to earn my time off for Summer Fridays!
1 pm: It’s the bi-weekly Promo/Marketing/Design meeting lead by marketing operations to go through all the promotional materials currently in process with all the marketing teams. School & Library usually goes near the end, but I like to listen into the other teams conversations to see what they are doing. Today was a lively conversation about cats that was highly entertaining.
2 pm: It’s my turn to talk about the S&L promo items. We have a layout issue with a printed educator guide that we discuss how to fix.
2:15 pm: Time for a quick break and walk around the building. I go on a hunt around FiDi for a corner store with cans of Arizona Green Tea (the best drink!). I find one and grab a few to have an office stock pile.
3 pm: I have an introductory meeting with the publicity intern. We talk about starting in publishing and her plans. School & Library is a separate team under publicity since we work so closely together on conferences and school visits. Which means I then get to introduce her to the mailing process for one of the awards I submit to that is particularly involved. As someone with 3-4 different to-do lists I am very impressed with her note taking.
4 pm: I am always brain dead by the end of a day in the office. I schedule a meeting for next week with Christina to get into the calendar level details of when we want to roll out our Fall 23 Shake Up Your Shelves plans across HarperStacks blog and social channels. We have a big team planning meeting for the Summer 24 list on Thursday. I go through my notes from launch and track down some manuscripts for some of the books that most interested me. I read as many of the picture books as I can find in the HarperCollins Sharepoint and send myself some of the middle grade and YA titles to review on the train ride home.
5:15 pm: Time to head out! I take the E back to Penn and grab the LIRR. I wish I was one of the businessmen bold enough to grab a tall boy and drink it on the train, instead I will zone out to some music and dive into one of the Summer 24 manuscripts.