I meant to announce this at the beginning of the year. These sort of things tend to get away from me, like my to-read pile or visiting local parks. I mean to do it in a timely manner. Really, I do.
But how do you say goodbye to five years of work?
YA Interrobang first began in my senior year of college, an idea thrown together after I decided to quit “traditional” book blogging. I wanted to keep up with YA news. But while sites talked about news relating to big authors or big deals, there wasn’t a place to learn about what was happening with the everyday midlist author, or a place where all of the information was in one place. I was supposed to be focusing on graduating and sending out job applications—but the world has a way of working itself out.
It was supposed to be a newsletter. (That didn’t last.)
We’d update twice a month. (Well, we threw that idea in the bin.)
What stayed was that it would be a community effort—something I didn’t do alone.
Most of the current Interrobang team has been here since the beginning. (I lured Lucy in from the U.K. by befriending her with a signed Richelle Mead book; I lovingly harassed Julie via text messages until she agreed to do a #quietYA column.) The team has stuck around the ups-and-downs, the weird three-month hiatus and our many fun series.
They’re good people.
And they’ve grown a lot. When I emailed them late last year to talk about possibly ending the site, we all had the same feelings: sad, but it was right. More than half of us have moved on to find jobs relating to books and publishing. There are other things we want to be doing, things we want to push ourselves to learn, places we know we can still grow.
And we don’t want Interrobang to fall apart slowly in the process. Better to end on a high note than to let it slowly fall apart.
One of the reasons I put off talking about this for so long is that Interrobang’s community isn’t limited to its team. It’s not even limited to the authors who have contributed, or the publicists I work with. There are readers — regular readers, wonderful readers, amazing readers — who go to this site to find recommendations. Who find the next thing to read. To keep up with news on an industry that gives them things they love.
And I hate the idea of letting them down.
It doesn’t matter that I know this is best for me, and best for the team, and best for the site; that lingering guilt makes me want to scream and keep running forward and try to do this forever. I genuinely love it. What it does, what it is, what it can do. I even love making the spreadsheet with the schedule.
But I want to do more. Be more. Learn more. Invest my time in other things.
And I refuse to let Interrobang suffer in the process.
I suppose we could wait to announce that we were closing until, say, September. Coast through most of the year and wait, and let ourselves slowly fade into the distance.
But that’s no fun.
What I want to do is make 2018 — for lack of a better word — the end of the series. The season finale. The thing that you squeal and think about fondly in the years to come. It’s gonna be bigger, better, more inclusive, more thoughtful. We’re gonna run pieces from debut authors you haven’t heard of, highlight books that deserve more attention, and even do a whole series overlapping books and politics. (It’s coming to you in the week before the U.S. election. Sign up to vote now.)
I want to give writers and authors who haven’t had the chance to be on the site the chance to leap on board and talk about something that matters to them. I want to give readers a chance to ask us for recommendations, to help build their to-read list before we go.
And I want somebody to step up and fill the gap we will leave behind. This community deserves a place to talk about the things they’re passionate about, and to keep updated on news. There are some sites that touch on aspects of what we do, but there’s nothing quite like us. To risk sounding narcissistic, I’m not sure there will ever be something quite like us. But oh, I’d like to see somebody fill that well.
The YA community is one of the best. It deserves the best.
Here is the announcement: YA Interrobang will be closing at the end of 2018.
If you like what we’ve done, yeah, share our pieces on Twitter. Read what we do throughout the rest of the year. Support me on Patreon. Support our writers on their other ventures.
But get out into the world. Donate books to places that don’t have them. Recommend a book you love to a friend. Look for the midlist authors. Push yourself to be more thoughtful, more inclusive, more. Read, read, read.
We will be closing, but what makes the Interrobang community great won’t stop.
Thank you, and happy reading.