Helping Writers: My Book Country Journey

Posted by May 22nd, 2014

Brandi Larsen is transitioning from Book Country Director into a new role at Penguin.

Brandi Larsen is transitioning from Book Country Director into a new role at Penguin.

I moved my family to New York because I wanted to help writers. I believed in Book Country and was excited about this incredible online writing and publishing community and what I could do to help it grow.

Recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to help even more writers, working directly with the publishers of The New American Library, Berkley Books, and Celebra as the new Digital Publishing Director. I start Tuesday, though I won’t move far — my office will remain on the same floor as the Book Country team.

It’s, of course, bittersweet. I’m excited about my new role, and I will miss leading this community on a daily basis.

I’m proud of what we accomplished: an expansion to over sixty different genres. A thriving community of writers who impresses me with your ability to set goals and achieve them. I love reading what you write, and I’m so proud of everyone who has chosen to publish through traditional deals, through Book Country, and through other means. I love that Book Country may have been the place you came to find out how your own work measured up, yet stay because of the depth of the connections you’ve made here. It brings me great joy to have introduced Book Country to writers completing NaNoWriMo, to writers from AuthorStand, and to writers who previously didn’t have a place they could call their own. I love that you lean in to help fund each other’s Kickstarter projects, that you hold each other accountable for your word counts, and that you gather in person and online to celebrate, launch, and buy so many books workshopped in our community.

I’m especially proud to have introduced you to Lucy Silag, who loves this community with the passion and depth that I do. And I’m happy that Janet Umenta is now a part of the Book Country team. I feel confident that Book Country is in very capable hands.

I wanted to say thank you, to everyone who I’ve gotten to know and had the joy to work beside. You have brought me so much happiness and laughter — it has made the journey worth it. I still believe in Book Country and I’m still excited, happy, and proud to be a part of this amazing community. I’m looking forward to participating in a new way — as a writer working in publishing. See you on the discussion boards and on Twitter @brandilarsen!

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