Anatomy of a Book Blurb: Maggie Shipstead

This is part of the Bittersweet Book Launch case study, where Dan Blank and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore share the yearlong process of launching her novel. You can view all posts here.

by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

“Bittersweet is the kind of book you hope to stumble across on a rainy vacation weekend: a wild New England gothic full of family secrets, mysteriously locked doors, sailboats, suntans, forbidden lust, and a few priceless works of art. An engrossing summer blast.” –Maggie Shipstead, nationally bestselling author of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS and ASTONISH ME

Maggie is a friend of one of my husband’s lifelong friends (so lifelong that he considers her a sister)– one of those lucky connections life brings. Still, asking for an introduction via a good friend can be scary, since you want to be sure that no one feels like you’re using them, or that they have to introduce you, or they have to say yes just because a mutual friend has asked. I used to feel very very shy and very very wary of using my personal connections in this way, but with BITTERSWEET I’m trying to be braver and– while being polite and respecting boundaries– not shying from asking if an introduction can be made.

Maggie’s response to our mutual friend’s introduction was enthusiastic and warm– she would read Bittersweet, and hoped she’d have time to blurb it, and wasn’t asking for blurbs the worst? She was just so NICE. I was giddy since I admire SEATING ARRANGEMENTS so much!

In October, she wrote to let me know that she was most of the way through, and had enjoyed the book while under the weather. I loved this news (well, not the part about her having been banished to her couch for a while), because that’s the kind of book I want Bittersweet to be for readers– a pleasure, a salve, a book you want to escape into. When I got her blurb soon thereafter, I just loved how she put it: “an engrossing summer blast.” I couldn’t ask for a better compliment for BITTERSWEET.

Maggie’s second novel, ASTONISH ME, is due out in April. I’m super excited to read it, and so thankful to her to taking time out of her busy schedule to write something so nice about my book.