Literary Women winter banner
Editor's Note: The following article is the second in a two-part series on writing a book proposal. Kathleen wrote about finding an agent, Jack Scovil of Scovil Galen and Ghosh, in the Fall 2009 issue of CWO.

Marketing Your Book - A Successful Proposal

Part Two: “Fleshing Out” the Proposal

by Kathy O’Keefe Kanavos

In the Holiday issue of Cape Women Online, I wrote about creating a marketing proposal outline to help sell your book. The object of developing the outline is to build a foundation for Part Two.

The goal of Part Two is to expand on the outline by describing specific ideas and adding names, details, and statistics. Parts One and Two should work together and complement each other. Agents and editors can glance at what is important to them in the outline from Part One and then find the details in the information below it in Part Two.

I’ve used samples from my proposal as examples of how I “fleshed” things out and bolded some main ideas, but the same basic process would hold true for any author’s topic. What makes you the expert on your topic? How will you be able to promote your book better than anyone else with the same idea?


The market for SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing is every person or family touched by this epidemic health crisis. It is particularly aimed at people just beginning their foray into treatment. Large secondary markets for my book are the communities that practice alternative medicine, metaphysical, spiritual, religious, and holistic healing.

I have also found that healthcare professionals – whether doctors, nurses, or technicians – are fascinated by this story even if they are personally skeptical. The book deals with the intuitive side of healing, a topic that women in particular will readily understand.

Book sale statistics state that 78% of all books sold worldwide are bought by women for themselves and as gifts for other women, especially health and self-help books. My book directly meets the requirements for high-volume sales.

Promotional Possibilities

I am continually doing promotional work on SURVIVING CANCERLAND through the many cancer foundations and associations with which I am associated. I am willing and able to take an aggressive position in helping to promote my book once it is published. SURVIVING CANCERLAND has international appeal because cancer strikes worldwide.

There is a global need for a book such as mine. It’s my intention to help the publisher reach this audience and tap into the international market through the internet, cancer organization libraries and newsletters, and self-help groups, many of whom I have listed in the PINK PAGES Appendix of my book. Many of these sources were made available to me through my work with cancer associations, patients, and caregivers.

Libraries affiliated with the foundations with whom I’m connected are anxiously awaiting my book. In return for the gift of books to their lending libraries, they have agreed to post the publication of SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing in their newsletters.

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a two-time, ten-year breast cancer survivor. She recently signed with New York literary agent Jack Scovil to sell her memoir, Surviving Cancerland.

She lives on Cape Cod with her husband of 25 years and their cats.

Email Kathy O'Keefe-Kanavos
Follow Kathy on her Blog and Twitter

I am in the process of professionally designing my website with the company 720Media. I have created a page on Facebook and have accounts on Blogger and Twitter with over 1,000 followers combined. I am setting up a video on YouTube to attract younger viewers who are facing cancer issues in their lives. Jul3ia (sic) Astatkie, winner of the 2009 Boston YouTube Emmy, will produce this video.

I contribute to two online magazines, and c4women, as well as being interviewed by “traditional” media. The ezines, blog and twitter sites are connected to my website. The Barnstable Patriot newspaper ( ) did a feature article on me titled: SPIRITUAL HEALING, which is available on the internet. Jeanne Gardner of PROFILES and Dr. Mark Walcott of Lewis Bay Chiropractic and the TV Host of Health Matters have interviewed me on their shows. WCTV in Wareham, Massachusetts has taped me on two of their show. We discussed my book and the importance of the spiritual world during cancer treatment. The DVDs are available for viewing.

Facts and statistics

Below is an example of how to “flesh out” the marketing outline with facts and statistics. In my original marketing outline, I mention 28 cancer institutions, foundations and secondary markets. In this section, I would describe each society/group and show how it’s connected to other groups in the proposal. This backs up the original claim of viral internet marketing. For the sake of brevity, I’ve only listed three here.

ACS: The American Cancer Society ( is the leading voluntary health organization and largest non-government fundraiser for cancer research and discovery. The ACS has more than 3,400 local offices and more than 2 million volunteers. They offer books that can be ordered online. ACS’s CURE Magazine and website feature articles and news that combine topics of hope, humanity, and science for those who have to deal with cancer on a daily basis.

The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute ( are frequent sources of referrals for the R.A BLOCH CANCER Foundation and share website links with the Bloch Foundation, making their websites available to me.

Healthjourneys ( offers a variety of public information including books to promote relaxation, wellness, and healing related specifically to cancer and the effects of chemotherapy and radiation. I often refer to my book when I blog on their site.


The final part of the proposal should be a short conclusion. My conclusion is meant to “wow” the reader yet be believable by remaining conservative in my numbers. I back everything up with facts and statistics. My conclusion reads:

The numbers of members in the five largest contact groups I’ve identified add up to 59 million people. If I am able to reach only ten percent (a very conservative number) of those contacts, (5.9 million) and can sell my book to half of them, I have the potential of selling SURVIVING CANCERLAND to almost 3 million people in these groups alone.

Good luck with your own writing, and with creating your marketing proposal!

Return to the Literary Women page
Click to download Adobe reader Click to print article