Charlotte Kingsley loves to write and dreams of having her reimagined fairy tales published, but she keeps getting rejected over and over. And to top it all off, her best friend, Anders, gets engaged, making her realize she's going to lose the Prince Charming who lives next door. After yet another rejection letter, Charlotte decides to switch gears. What if she wrote a book about celebrating women for who they really are instead of trying to create a fantasy world for them to visit? She could call it The Cinderella Fiction, fill it with practical advice for living authentically, become ridiculously successful, and then find the confidence to tell Anders how she feels before it's too late.
Encouraged with her plan, Charlotte's new book practically writes itself, and a small publisher offers to publish it. As it's a small company with limited resources, Charlotte decides to sink money into hiring a premier publicity firm to make her book a bestseller. She also discovers that Anders has called off his engagement and wants to try a relationship with Charlotte. Suddenly her fairy tale dreams seem to be coming true.
However, Charlotte's publicist has very specific ideas about how to market the book--and the author. Charlotte, with her average looks, cluttered apartment, and penchant for ice cream, must undergo a total transformation in a social media makeover. People who see Charlotte through a carefully curated Instagram account will relate and naturally want to buy her book.
At first, Charlotte is excited to enter this fantasy world and play "dress up," and Anders reluctantly agrees to go along with it, even though it means he's largely out of the picture. But the toll of her new life soon proves exhausting. Telling women to "be authentic" even while she herself is undergoing elaborating staging to get just the right image makes her feel like a fraud. Meanwhile, her relationship with Anders is falling apart, since he suspects their relationship is just another one of her carefully curated images.
Charlotte must decide what she believes in: the fairy tale persona or the woman Anders has always loved--before he's gone forever.