Working At Harlequin: Behind the Scenes with Natasha Shaikh

We’re kicking off a new series here on the Harlequin Blog! If you’ve ever wondered what goes on here behind the scenes at Harlequin, we’re here to pull back the curtain a bit and introduce you to some of the book lovers that work here. To kick things off, we’re chatting with Natasha Shaikh, Online Merchandising & Fulfillment Coordinator.

What is the first thing you do in the morning?

I like to start off my day easing into the work. So I will slowly drink my cup of tea while I check my list of outstanding things to do for the day—I love my lists.

What does the average day in your role look like for you?

It’s pretty different everyday! Some days of the month I am planning what the site will look like for the next few months, others days I plan promotions, and create briefs for our pretty banners on site. But my job can also involve helping Customer Service with any problems they’re encountering or working on side projects to help our site grow, and support the other members of my team.

What got you interested in the publishing industry?

I love reading! I think most people in publishing tend to have studied English in college, but I came from archaeology. I had spent a couple years working at a bookstore part-time, while excavating at a site abroad during the summers, before I decided I really loved the idea of going into publishing.

What piece of information or advice do you wish you knew going into your role?

Be more confident in my ideas! I think many people starting a new role tend to doubt their abilities even when they clearly have the skillset and experience to do an amazing job. Now that I am more comfortable and settled in my role I know that speaking my mind is not a bad thing and can help the conversation and idea flow along.

Tell us a funny story about something that happened while you were at work.

Not too long ago when I was walking to work I saw a very tall man start to pass me. I decided to make my 20-minute walk more interesting by attempting to race this man whatever distance he was going. I guess I must’ve been obviously pumping my arms and nearly running to keep up that he kept turning to give me looks. I got really excited when I surpassed him and made it into the lobby of our building before he could pass me. I counted it as a win. When I got into the elevator, however, I turned around only to see the same man enter my elevator. It made for a really awkward ride up since he also got off on the same floor. I still got to my desk before him, so I think that still counts as a win.

What upcoming books are you most excited about?

I am excited about The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud, Toil & Trouble by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood, and The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles.

 

Are you interested in more behind the scenes stories from Harlequin? Let us know in the comments section what you’d like to see, and check back next week for more fun stories!

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Comments ( 5 )
  1. Marcie R
    May 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm
    Reply

    I would LOVE more behind-the-scenes at Harlequin. I’d like to know more about specific jobs – copy editor, proofreader, etc. Get more day-in-the-life type articles. It would also be nice to meet editors – from editorial assistants all the way up to senior editors of a specific line. And maybe how Harlequin keeps up with the ever-changing publishing industry – give insight into future (already approved) plans.
    Thank you.

    • Elissa
      May 16, 2018 at 3:56 pm
      Reply

      Hi Marcie! So glad you’re interested in hearing more. We have a few more of these behind the scenes posts in the works featuring various roles so stay tuned! 🙂

  2. CorvetteLady
    May 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm
    Reply

    The “behind the scenes at Harlequin” is a great idea. I love it. I have often wondered about behind the scene stuff. Natasha is lovely. Her bunny is darling. Thanks.

  3. CorvetteLady
    May 17, 2018 at 8:49 pm
    Reply

    Just thought of something else, how about behind the scenes, of art department, how are books gathered to ship out, everything, details, I need details, please.

    • Elissa
      May 18, 2018 at 9:13 am
      Reply

      Glad you’re so interested! We do have an art-related post coming up, so stay tuned!

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