Thursday, December 03, 2009

Marketing Your Book: A Successful Proposal

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is guest blogging in my absence today. I planned to put the article into two sections because it is long. The things is, I think it will help more of you as a complete unit and this is a subject people are tweeting about like crazy and I keep getting questions on. I especially like that she provided her own proposal as a templete. It's both helpful and great marketing. You may also want to invest 20 minutes and 49 cents and also read my Amazon short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal." Between the two, you'll be prepared.

One of the most difficult aspects of writing the Book Proposal is the Marketing Outline. Blame it on “left-brain/right-brain differences.” Writing is artistic and therefore right brain oriented. Marketing is statistical left brain work. Few of us have “ambidextrous brains” and are proficient at using both sides equally well.

I have used some of my own outline and first person narrative nonfiction proposal from Surviving Cancer: The Psychic Aspects of Healing as an example. However, fiction can be substituted and tweaked to fit. Print out my proposal and fill in the blanks with your own information. Study my examples and then replace them with your information.

The proposal outline is more important than ever in the publishing world. The statistics and details contained in it will help get your book into the hands of an agent because the agent will see its marketing potential at a glance. That will give the agent confidence to take your book to the big publishing houses. Agents don’t like to get turned down, either. It effects their reputations. So help your agent help you. Work as a team.

Big publishing houses are not in the business to publish books. They are in the business to make money. Until the day that you become an author of Dan Brown’s caliber, you will be required to show the steps of how you plan to market and sell your book beyond what the publishing houses can or will do. Stating that you will use your social networking skills to promote your book will not suffice. You must prove it with names and numbers, facts and figures. One of the first steps in that sequence is to identify your audience which will later become your market.

Answering the question, “Who will want to read my book and why?” will identify your audience. The next question, “How and where can I find them?” will help discover how and where to market your book. Identify your audience, and then decide how to “reach out, and touch them.” Those are the important components of a successful marketing platform.

The Internet has made finding and touching audiences easier than ever before in recorded history. I’ve developed a preliminary marketing plan that leverages my social, and viral networking through online channels.

Today writer’s can have conversations with hundreds of thousands of worldwide followers instantly through the internet. Writers are now active partners with publishers in conversations that market and promote their books. Viral networking is a marketing technique that uses pre-existing social networks to increase brand awareness, product sales, etc. Users accept ideas (become infected) and then share those ideas with others (thus infecting them.) Twitter lends itself to vital networking; tweets can be personalized for intended audiences.

Twitter is projected to have 40 billion users by 2010. It is a viral networking vehicle that can promote market and create a quantitative potential readership for my books that has quotable numbers to indicate a demand.
Let’s begin with the outline. This will be the foundation for your marketing platform.

An outline gives the reader quick information assessment. You want to make the editor’s job easy, and make yourself look knowledgeable, and professional. My college professors required an outline for every essay test question to make grading papers quick. The marketing outline accomplishes the same task for the agent and editor.

The Market for This Book

A. In one line write what you want to convey to the reader? (example: Awaken and
believe in your intuitive powers.)
2. AUDIENCE (Who is interested in your subject matter? Brain storm and list them
all primary and secondary markets.)
A. the primary market with statistics
B. groups related to group A (the secondary market with statistics)
C. groups related to group B
D. Research Institutes interested in those groups (with statistics)
A. Primary—Create internet web site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube video, and blog sites as central platforms to:
1. Broadcast my message
2. Display testimonials
3. Receive feedback
4. Discuss current and real time issues
5. Allow for book ordering
6. Establish cross-links to marketing outreach sources described below
7. Use my web site to establish credibility and credentials
8. Use my Tweeter site to build awareness, followers and network
9. Use my Facebook site to build awareness, followers and network
9. Use my YouTube video to connect to younger viewers
10. encourage book signing parties

B. Secondary—Creation of Awareness by utilizing existing outlets to network the
message through organization
1. (list all of the networks available on the internet using Newsletters, web sites, Tweeter sites, I Blog, Facebook, online magazines, etc.
a) (name the newspapers and their readership numbers, etc.)

A. Use my web site as the primary medium to immerse the prospective buyer in the
book, then convince them of my credibility and the book’s worth
B. Prominently reference my web site in all articles for publications
C. Establish reciprocal web links with prominent related sites
D. Direct social networking outlets to my web site

(Refer to previous information that pertains to the proposal.)
The details for the Marketing Strategy are in the Promotional Possibilities section on page 13 of the book proposal.


“Fleshing out” the MARKETING PROPOSAL.

The object of the outline in Part I of the marketing proposal is to build a good foundation for Part II. The goal of Part II of the proposal is to expand on the outline by describing, adding names, details, and statistics. They should work together and complement each other. Think of Part I as the skeleton and Part II as the skin and organs. Agents and editors can glace at what is important to them in the outline in Part I and then find the details in the information below it in Part II. I have used samples from my proposal as an example.

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 with treatment. A large secondary market for my book is the alternative medicine, metaphysical, spiritual, religious, and holistic communities. 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 women in particular will readily understand. Book sale statistics state that 78 percent 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 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 is my intention to help the publisher reach this audience and tap into the international market through the internet, cancer organizations, their libraries, 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 am 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.

I have designing a professional web site with 720Media ( I have created a page on Facebook and have connected it to other Facebook members for optimum contact. I have active accounts on Twitter, I-Blog (add all your contacts). I contribute to three e-zines—Cape Women Online (www.capewomenonline), c4women (, and Intuitive Now by Colette Baron Reid of Hay House ( The ezines, blog and twitter sites are connected to my website. I am setting up a video on YouTube. I am continually doing promotional work on SURVIVING CANCERLAND

• through the many cancer foundations and associations with which I am associated and their web sites as described and detailed below.
• through my counseling work for the R.A. BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION (hotline@ WE CAN mentoring group for women, and newspaper and television interviews (listed and described below).
• by having a cross-section of the population read and write comment endorsements on SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. This cross-section includes authors; doctors of modern, contemporary, holistic and integrated medicine; cancer survivors; professionals; caregivers; and “stay at home women.” The comments are included in this proposal, and additional comment endorsements that are still being processed are listed at the end of this section.
As a cancer mentor for WE CAN (, a women’s self-help group, I have access to their newsletter WECAN and a yearly book fair that features female writers throughout the country. 2008’s featured writer was Ann Hood, The Knitting Circle, W.W Norton & Company, NY (2007). I have been invited to discuss my book on the writer’s panel. The concerns and questions I received from readers of my Q&A column and Health and Life Stories articles in CapeWomenOnline Magazine (www.capewomenonline) made me realize that we all share similar experiences when facing a disease of this magnitude. The magazine reaches women throughout the United States. I often refer to my book in the articles, which can be read on the internet.

The Barnstable Patriot newspaper ( ) did a feature article on me titled: SPIRITUAL HEALING ( To read the article on the internet, Google Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos.

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.

WC TV 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.

I am now in the process of scheduling talk radio shows, and verbal presentations to hospital sponsored cancer groups, women’s groups, and book clubs on both the east, and west coast of the country.

Rosanne Wickman, Hotline Director for the R.A. BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION has asked me to do a phone interview for Cancer Connection, the newsletter that reaches all fifty states and fourteen foreign countries; including the United Kingdom and Australia. I am an R.A.BLOCH CANCER FOUNDATION telephone counselor (hotline@ I have mentored patients across the country. The foundation has added some of the contact information in Appendix II of SURVIVING CANCERLAND to their assistance sheets and information catalogue that is sent out to counselors and volunteers.

(Below is an example of how to “flesh out” the marketing outline with facts and statistics. These are three of the 40 cancer institutions, foundations and secondary markets mentioned in my outline. In this example I show you how to describe the society/group and how it is connected to other groups in my proposal. This backs up my claim of viral internet marketing.)

ACS The American Cancer Society ( is the leading voluntary health organization and largest non-government funder of 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 web site features 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 web site links with the Bloch Foundation, making their web sites available to me.

National Cancer Institute ( is part of NIH ( National Institute of Health. NCI has a publications locator for books available for purchase that deal with illness and healing.

Cancer News On the Net ( has an e-mail newsletter where subscribers can share their e-mail newsletter and logo. This site is linked to the R.A Bloch Cancer Foundation, and displays insightful quotes about hope from Richard Bloch, founder of the foundation.

Healthjourneys ( is a resource that offers a variety of public information including books to promote relaxation, wellness, and healing that is 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 is a short conclusion. My conclusion is meant to “wow” them yet be believable by remaining conservative in my numbers. I back everything up with facts and statistics.)

The number of members in the five largest contact groups 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.
About the Author- Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is an agented author and has penned SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. She is a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation, a mentor for WE CAN, a women’s self help group on Cape Cod, a contributor to Cape Women On Line Magazine, C4Women, Intuition Now by Colette Baron-Reid, and a volunteer for many cancer organizations and online cancer groups. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE in CANCERLAND

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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