Writing Articles To Help Bittersweet

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

I’ve never published an article or essay in a magazine. In fact, what I’ve published is limited to five things: three novels, an essay in an anthology, and a short story in a literary journal. I have no experience pitching magazine editors, and I don’t know much of anything about that editorial/publishing process.

But I told myself I was going to do everything I could to get the word about Bittersweet out. So even though it scares me a little, I’m pushing my boundaries and working on a few pieces that my publicist and I can pitch.

It helps that my publicist, Rachel, is a generous font of wisdom, experience and information. A few weeks back, we sat in her office and talked over the many themes that exist in Bittersweet which might appeal to a magazine. These include:

-family secrets
-a preppy/aspirational life
-summer vacations
-my connection to the place where Bittersweet is set
-girlhood friendships (which link to FriendStories.com)
-mother/daughter relationships
-the underbelly of the art world

We also came at it from a different angle, looking at editors/magazines where she had a strong connection, or saw a good match for Bittersweet, or places I’d imagined might be receptive to some of my ideas, from long-lead women’s magazines to online journals.

Then we started narrowing, throwing around specific topics and article ideas that could address the thematic possibilities we saw.

In the weeks since, I’ve been narrowing, refining, brainstorming, and writing. There are many more pieces to write, and there are days I feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount I feel the need to produce, but you know what? I also feel empowered by what I am able to create that could spread the word about my book. I feel lucky to have so much support, and I’m glad I started this process early so I feel I can devote ample time and energy to it.