A Little Goodbye (and the Importance of Community)

I’m sad to say that this will be my last post as a regular contributor to Pub(lishing)Crawl. As much as I truly love being a part of this blog, deadlines and touring have gotten the best of me at least for the time being. (And let’s face it, I’ve always been an erratic blogger at best. Need a thousand word rant on an episode of Game of Thrones? I’m there. Tidy round-up post on likeable characters? My mind goes blank.)

But I’m gonna miss this badass crew of ladies, so before I turn in my gun and badge, and walk slowly into the sunset with sad music playing, I want to say a bit about the importance of community for new authors.

Most writers are, to one degree or another, introverts, and I’m no exception. But after my book sold, I wasn’t sure what came next, so I joined a Los Angeles-based organization for YA authors (the LAYAs), as well as a debut group for authors with books set to release in 2012 (the Apocalypsies). Through them I met future convention roommates, generous beta readers, the occasional drinking buddy, and of course the wonderful peeps who invited me to PubCrawl. As it turns out, there are a lot of good reasons to stop playing lone wolf and join a pack:

1. Knowledge. It’s great to be able to share information and experiences with fellow authors. You can ask questions about contracts, editorial letters, planning appearances. Should I make a book trailer? What’s the best place to order bookmarks? How long did you have to wait for notes on your revisions? Publishing has a steep learning curve, so it helps to have friendly people to consult.

2. Commiseration. If the next book doesn’t sell or if you get thumped by a bad review, it’s nice to know other writers are going through the same thing. Twitter and Facebook tend to give a falsely sunny view of the writing life—Massive new book deal! Exceeded my word count! Going on tour! Having friends who aren’t afraid to admit that everything isn’t going swimmingly is a necessity.

3. Promotion. When you’re starting out on social media, it can feel like you’re shouting into the abyss. As your book launches or as you dig into events and giveaways, it’s great to have a signal boost. That said, when it comes to promotion, try not to think of it as some kind of quid pro quo. Which brings me to…

4. Celebration. Talking up books you love, sharing another writer’s blog post, turning out for a signing,  retweeting a cover reveal, hosting a giveaway for another author’s book—these are all ways to help build the YA community and honestly, they always make me feel good. I think it was PubCrawl’s own Erin Bowman who said that every time you tweet about yourself, it feels like you’re creating a hoarcrux. Truth. But promoting someone else’s work? A lot more fun.

5. Familiar Faces. These are your people. Once you start promoting, you’re going to see your fellow authors in a lot of places: festivals, conventions, workshops, panels, signings. It’s nice to have someone save you a spot at lunch or to have somebody you can drag to a panel no one else wants to see. (I’ve done it. I’ll do it again. Why are you backing away? Don’t you want to learn about the History of European Banking? There will be activities!)

I’m going to miss PubCrawl more than you know, but I hope to be back to visit. This site is an incredible resource for aspiring authors, lovers of books, and anyone interested in publishing. It’s been an honor (and a lot of fun) to be part of such a smart, cool, generous community, and as a little farewell gift, I’m giving away your choice of one book from any of the authors on this blog. (You’re welcome to choose a future release as well. You’ll just have to wait a little longer.) Click here for a list of books, and use the Rafflecopter form to enter or just leave a comment below telling me something you love about PubCrawl.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

67 Responses to A Little Goodbye (and the Importance of Community)

  1. cait Jul 29 2013 at 4:47 am #

    I love everything about Pub Crawl! I love the interviews and the helpful tips posts (of course the giveaways are always a huge bonus ;). I like learning more about the industry side of being an author or an agent, too. This blog rocks! (Just sayin’.)

  2. jeffo Jul 29 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Best of luck to you, Leigh!

  3. Joni Jul 29 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Sorry to see you leave this panel, but I will still be following you! *opens window with your tumbler feed and cackles evil stalker laugh* ^.^ I look forward to watching for what you have coming next (as well as any guess posts you may do in the future?) Best wishes as you continue your journey. You’ll be miss on this site, but I’m sure we’ll still be hearing plenty of you and your epic writing.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Joni Jul 29 2013 at 7:21 am #

      Favorite feature on this site? I love when the authors share about writing craft or their writing lives. Interviews… giveaways are always a bonus. Did you say choose one? ^.^

  4. Jen Jul 29 2013 at 7:31 am #

    I love all of the writing advice!

  5. Natalie Aguirre Jul 29 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I love all the advice from all of you here. We’ll miss you, Leigh. Hope you stop by once in awhile. And can’t wait to read your newest book.

  6. ellie M Jul 29 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Aw, Ganna miss ya! I love all the tips and tricks and info given. The advice given on this blog is just so amazingly helpful and always lifts my spirits when I’m so close to just throwing in the towel.

  7. Vanessa Valiente Jul 29 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Good luck in the future, Leigh 🙂

  8. Megan Jul 29 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Sad to see you go Leigh, but I know that you are making room in your life for bigger and better things 🙂 Good luck and I hope to see you around (like a lot!)

  9. Steph Jul 29 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Aww, pity to see you go here, but I do follow all the GoT randomness that comes through on your tumblr and goodreads. 🙂

    Love the advice, now, to turn it into practice. Yikes. :/ (I make a damn fine lone wolf… 😛 Social skills yet to be acquired.)

  10. Jasmine Stairs Jul 29 2013 at 10:26 am #

    I have really loved the publishing industry posts, as a lot of the time what goes just seems like *throws glitter into the air* MAGIC. Knowing what people do to write, edit, make and promote books just makes the process seem more approachable.

  11. Vivien Jul 29 2013 at 10:32 am #

    I love getting the behind of scenes work of a novel. It’s so interesting to see how this whole process is and what you have to go through. We’ll miss you!

  12. Peggy Eddleman Jul 29 2013 at 10:53 am #

    So sad to see you go, Leigh!

    Idk about my favorite feature– I love it all! All the posts are always so well thought out, so relevant, and so insightful. I recommend this blog to everyone.

  13. Christa Jul 29 2013 at 10:56 am #

    We’ll miss you Leigh!

    I love all the different posts on this blog but I especially love the bits of writing advice. You’re such a diverse group so we get so many different ideas/processes which is helpful in trying to narrow down our own.

  14. Robyn Campbell Jul 29 2013 at 11:05 am #

    WOWEE! Great post. You’ll be missed, but you have left us with wise words. Thank you, from a most introverted writer. I love the writing advice. This post is a keeper for me though.

  15. Erin Bowman
    Erin Bowman Jul 29 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Leighhhhhhh! I will miss you dearly. Thank you for contributing with us, geeking out over villains and antiheroes, rambling about writing and pop culture, and, of course, sharing these little gems on community before stepping down. <333

  16. An Jul 29 2013 at 11:31 am #

    I don’t have a particular favorite feature of this blog. I enjoy reading all of the articles!

    Many thanks for your contributions to this blog, Leigh. I wish you all the best in writing the last book and touring 🙂

  17. Ellie Jul 29 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I love all the writing advice. The tips are always really useful and insightful. It’s great to see all the different approaches to writing.

  18. Desiree Jul 29 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I love reading all the advice on pub crawl and I also love see all the support the members give eachother

  19. Katie Jul 29 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    The helpful tips are what’s best for me. It’s fantastic to get in-the-know information from people currently being published.

    One question I have, though: What’s the best way to go about finding a group to join? For example, how’d you join the Apocalypsies? I’m a bit lost as to where to go. (Not that I’m being published any time soon, but it’s nice to have information stored away for future use.)

    • Leigh Bardugo
      Leigh Bardugo Jul 29 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      There are national organizations with local chapters like SCBWI and RWA. Also online communities like Absolute Write. Once you get your deal (which you will!), you can look to join up with groups for published and debuting authors.

  20. JoSVolpe Jul 29 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    Leigh, you rock. Thanks so much for all of the thoughtful posts! We will miss you here on Pub Crawl

    xo

  21. Julia Jul 29 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Goodbye Leigh!! I’ll miss you (and your 1,000 word “Game of Thrones” rants)! My favourite feature on this blog would probably be all the inside views on publishing. I also love all the posts on how to become a more diverse writer! I wish you much luck in all your future projects, Leigh!!

  22. Erica Jul 29 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    I shall miss reading your posts tremendously, but at least there is still Twitter 🙂

  23. Alyssa Susanna Jul 29 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    LEIGH DON’T LEAVE! This is so sad! But I understand with deadlines and whatnot. You’re a busy, popular lady!

    I love the After The series thingy! After the book deal, editorial letter, etc.

    Thank you! We’ll miss you! <3

  24. Emmy Neal Jul 29 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    Sadness!!! We’ll miss you. (Until we see you on Twitter, in like, 2 minutes.)

    My fav feature is definitely the writing posts and insider-publishing info.

  25. Julie Jul 29 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    Awww, I’m going to miss you!

    My favorite posts must be the author interviews.

  26. Fly to the Sky Jul 29 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Awwww! I’ll miss you and your posts on here!!!
    My favorite posts are the writing tips! Even though I’m not nor will I ever be a writer I love hearing about how authors write there books! It’s such a cool process!
    Good luck Leigh!

  27. Sonali Jul 29 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Oh no! So sorry to see you go, Leigh! Thank you for all your posts over the last few years. I was a particular fan of your “Big Idea” post — super charming, but also a helpful bit of advice. Definitely going to keep up with you on tumblr 🙂

    As for my favorite part about PubCrawl? — I love that it gives both industry and writerly insights. I’m interested in pursuing a publishing career, and the kind of day-to-day, practical flavor of the industry advice is hard to come by elsewhere. The writing advice has, of course, provided me an arsenal of little tricks and tips to offer writers, but it’s also just helped sharpen my editorial eye. Basically, I love that PubCrawl and its writers have kind of become my gurus for navigating the publishing industry 🙂

    Anyways, best of luck, Leigh, and thanks again for your posts! <3

  28. Heather C. Myers Jul 29 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    We’ll definitely miss you, Leigh. I’m the same way in terms of blogging/twitter (don’t even get me started on Facebook!). My favorite part is definitely a discussion about craft and any current events topics such as ebooks vs. traditional publishing and new adult as a new category for fiction. I wish you best of luck, but will definitely continue to stalk – I mean follow you!

  29. Carl Jul 29 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I like the inspiration pieces like Susan Dennard’s “How I Find Inspirational Music to Write By”. Not because I’m an aspiring author but it’s interesting to see what helps writers write. Thanks for all your contributions Leigh, see you in the bookstore.

  30. Alyssa Jul 29 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Aw, we’ll miss you, Leigh!

    As a writer, I really enjoy the “Writing Life” feature. It’s not only full of wonderful advice, but it also gives a lot of insight into how other writers work, and I really enjoy that. I’m also loving “Last Call.” This whole site is incredible, though, and has been such a valuable resource for me.

  31. Lori Jul 29 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Sorry to see you leave, Leigh, but I’m excited for the adventures that are up next for you.

  32. Lori Jul 29 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Forgot to say which is my favorite feature. The book rec’s and interviews would be my favorites. I can never narrow things down to just one.

  33. Christopher Jul 29 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    I agree with some of the comments that the advice and support shown on this blog is incredible.

    As a guy who reads and write YA, it’s not common for me to find people who talk about support and community the way it’s talked about here.

    I know I can always find you on Twitter, Leigh, but thank you for the great stuff you’ve posted here.

  34. Angie Jul 29 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    Ohhhhhh sad face. I will miss your posts. But I understand about limited time and things like that. As for my favorite features I really enjoy all of them, but especially Cover Lust and Writer Life. This whole site is wonderful though, and I spend many an hour on it. It’s such a wonderful resource for aspiring authors and readers alike.

  35. Claire Jul 29 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Awww, sucks to see you leave, Leigh! 🙁

  36. Jocelyn Jul 29 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Thank you so much for hosting such wonderful contests!!!!

  37. Amie Jul 29 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    aww, we’ll miss you, Leigh!

    Favorite feature on this site? Since I’m interested in pursuing a publishing career, it is definitely the industry life =)

  38. Stacy L Jul 29 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    I love this website! I even wrote it as a recommended resource into my school district’s high school English curriculum so that more teachers and students will visit it to learn more about the craft of writing. I cannot find a more credible source on writer’s craft and the publishing industry, so I love recommending your site. I hope that you, Ms. Bardugo, will post every so often as a guest blogger because you expertise as a published author is so valuable to my students (and me). You and all of the bloggers here at Pub Crawl offer up more help than I could ever do myself. Plus you have way more credibility and my students think it’s so much “cooler” to see it on this blog than it hear it from me. Thanks for all that this site does. I hope you continue maintain the site for as long as I’m teaching because I don’t know where else I would send my students if not to Pub Crawl! 🙂

  39. Kayla Parker Jul 30 2013 at 12:13 am #

    The writing techniques are so helpful and encouraging!

  40. Kim Jul 30 2013 at 2:36 am #

    Aw, it’s sad to see you go! But it’s understandable 🙂 I love everything on Pub Crawl. From learning more about the inner workings of the publishing world to writing techniques.

  41. Megan Conway Jul 30 2013 at 7:09 am #

    “Writing Life” is always interesting to see, as well as “Industry Life.” Gets me somewhat prepared for the future if I ever get up the courage to query.

    You shall be missed here, Leigh, but, you know, there’s always Twitter and Tumblr 🙂

  42. Vanessa Di Gregorio
    Vanessa Di Gregorio Jul 30 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I said it once, but I’ll say it again:
    Once a PC sista, ALWAYS a PC sista!

    I’ll miss having you around on the blog, but that won’t stop me from harassing you on Twitter about Sturmhond! 😉

    LOVE YA!

  43. Jen Jul 30 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I love the well thought out insight. All the post are interesting to read.

  44. Melody Jul 30 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    It was so great to see you contribute what you did to this blog! Looking forward to seeing future posts from you no matter how sporadic! All the best!

  45. Emily K Jul 30 2013 at 6:46 pm #

    I love all of the publishing industry advice! (I’m hoping to one day become a publisher.) I’ll miss your posts, Leigh, but it’s okay since we can all still stalk you on Twitter. 🙂

  46. Cailtin Vanasse Jul 30 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    I think I love most feeling connected to all of you, even those I don’t actively twitter stalk. Which isn’t a feature, I know. Feature wise I’ve really been enjoying the Ask Alex posts Alexandra Bracken’s produced. I feel like she’s brought interesting and fresh information to the blog in a very engaging way.

  47. Chenise J. Jul 31 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Obviously the writing advice is amazing! I also love the posts about other topics in literature!

  48. Erika Jul 31 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Love all of the informational posts and the behind the scenes! Thanks!

  49. Brooke Aug 2 2013 at 6:05 am #

    Pretty much everything. I love that the authors show us their views on things. So great!

  50. Danielle Aug 2 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    I love everything from PubCrawl, but my favorite posts are definitely the writing tips about everything from world-building to character development. And I love the all the behind-the-scenes stuff about what goes into writing and publishing a book. Love this blog!

  51. Lyndsey Ammons Aug 2 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    As a newbie, I am beginning to love everything, but so far, my favorite part is the section for readers (especially the book recommendations).

  52. Marie Lu
    Marie Lu Aug 3 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Is it predictable that my ears perked up at History of European Banking? Seriously, I will miss you tremendously around PubCrawl–but am in the fortunate position of living close enough to hang out with your lovely self. In other words, DRINKS! All my hugs, lady. ALL of them. <3

  53. Sam Aug 3 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    I love PubCrawl because I love the information it has for booklovers. Whose books are coming out, what the authors are up to, it makes the whole reading experience so much more!

  54. Tiffany Aug 4 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Everything!
    The interviews, the features, the new reads–this is my go-to blog for both writing and reading. <3

  55. Shelver506 @ Bookshe Aug 4 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    I devour the Writing Life posts every time they pop up. We’ll miss you, Leigh, but I know you’re off to do amazing things!

  56. Alex Aug 4 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Aw, you’ll be missed, Leigh!

    All the book recommendations are helpful for those who want to find an interesting read.

  57. Debbie W. Aug 4 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    I really like reading through the interviews as well as the Cover Lust portion of this website. So many gorgeous covers!

  58. Natalie Aug 4 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    I love the interviews with authors because they really give you a feel for the people that my favorite books.

  59. Lila Aug 4 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    My favorite part of PubCrawl are the writing advice posts– love hearing published authors’ perspectives on their work and process!

  60. _Sandra_ Aug 5 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Awwwww, why do you have to go Leigh, whyyy? Don’t gooo! We’re gonna miss you!!!
    My favorite features on the PubCrawl blog would definitely be industry and writing life, I always find something new, fun and interesting about writing process and amazing authors behind it.
    Thanks for a giveaway! 🙂

  61. Lisa @silverlight00 Aug 5 2013 at 11:24 am #

    I love all the fantastic authors, posts, and writing advice. Will miss you Leigh!

  62. Alexa Y. Aug 12 2013 at 7:32 am #

    I adore the Pub(lishing) Crawl blog. What you ladies have created is absolutely FANTASTIC, and it’s been a joy to read all your posts. I go to Pub Crawl when I want posts that are informative and entertaining, as well as covering a variety of topics. Each one I read is a true treasure!

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