A Day In The Life Of… Mina Asaam by SJV
I’m SO excited to have another of the newest members of @TeamBATC, Mina Asaam, in the A Day in the Life of… hot seat today! Mina is our BRILLIANT Editorial Assistant here in the Fiction department, working with the rest of the team on all our big brand and debut authors. She only joined S&S at the beginning of 2021, but has already made a huge impact and impression on us all… so sit back, relax, and get set for a whirlwind tour of the work/life of an Editorial Assistant!
What does an Editorial Assistant do?
Multitask! We do anything that can make life easier for the more senior editors and to help get our books out into the world. That ranges from organisation and admin tasks like scheduling meetings, taking minutes, to more fun things like reading submissions and sharing my views, or helping an Editor with a pitch. I find you have to be able to balance lots of small tasks whilst still finding time for larger tasks which can help develop your editorial skills.
Is there such a thing as a typical day, and if so what does it look like?
Absolutely not, but I’m starting to notice that there are rhythms. For example, the first half of the week may be more meeting-heavy but by the end of the week I have the chance to be more task-driven and also work on creative and learning things!
For the record, if I was a budding debut author, faced with the dreaded blank first page, what would be your top tip to bestseller success?
I’d say develop your listening skills and use them to your advantage. There’s that classic adage about listening to conversations on the street to help you write more realistic dialogue, but I also think it applies to finding stories that need to be heard. Only YOU can bring that out into the world.
We’re obsessed with other peoples TBR piles, how high is yours? And do you have 2, one for work books and one for pleasure books?
I would say my pile of books is a mishmash of books for work, books purely for pleasure and books I should read for one reason or another, which are almost always non-fiction! If I manage to read three non-fiction titles this year I’ll be proud of myself as I know the fiction is way easier for me to get around to.
Have you got a best and worst part of the job?
The best parts are any creative tasks! Things that really get me thinking and challenge me, are exciting and luckily common in this role.
The worst part is probably missing out on all the pre-pandemic fun publishing events that I have heard so much about and of course the never-ending email inbox…
Is there an author you’d sell a limb to work with?
There are so many authors I’d love to even be in the same (socially distanced) room with, but like many others, will keep to myself for now!
What book do you most recommend to others?
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, which I’ve been told is a classic middle-aged man read but I love the science and how accessible it is, it’ll change your life. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is another life-changing read!
And lastly our quick fire trivia round…
Thing you’d never leave home without? My phone – for my notes, kindle & music!
Favourite place to read? Sat at a café, day one in a new city. Half reading, half people-watching!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Mexico City
What’s the secret to success? Not being afraid to take risks.
What’s on your current reading pile? You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy and Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Staying in or Going out? Going out if it involves food, otherwise staying in.
What’s your Signature dish? Vegan doughnuts – I used to sell them at fairs!
Beach break or city break? City break
Favourite Literary Hero? Santiago in The Alchemist
Famous last words? Well this had made me want to logoff and get into a book now, so there goes work …