Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of BITTERSWEET, the New York Times Bestseller that exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong. All New York Times Bestsellers have great marketing behind them. But Miranda shares one book promotion idea that didn’t take off and what she learned from the undertaking.
When Crown bought my third novel, BITTERSWEET, in the spring of 2013, I decided to dedicate the year before publication to promotion. There were a lot of necessary (if unexciting) fixes to my author platform, from revitalizing an outdated website, to relaunching a defunct newsletter, to overcoming my shyness on social media. But my main promotional idea was something that enticed me: a website where women could share stories of the ups and downs of their girlhood friendships.
The driving force in BITTERSWEET is a passionate, dark friendship between college roommates Mabel and Ev. I’ve always been intrigued by that particular era in any female life before adulthood when the loves (and heartbreaks, and envies) of our lives are other girls. As I mentioned the book’s premise to friends and colleagues, a funny thing happened: these women would spontaneously share stories of their own complicated friendships. I heard tales of being saved from something perilous, of being unnecessarily cruel, of never getting to say goodbye when a best friend moved away. I was inundated with these beautiful, sad, funny stories, and I wanted to make a home for them. FriendStories.com was born. Continue reading