As an author or aspiring author, you know that being successful requires you to treat your writing like a business because it IS a business. Before you decide on whether the book you want to write is viable and marketable, evaluate the project. You will dedicate a lot of time to creating and perfecting it, so it better be worth your time, right? One of the tools used to understand you and your potential book better is a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. All four are present whether you are a multi-national company or an authorpreneur and whether you want to admit it, or not.

The purpose of a SWOT analysis, sometimes called a SWOT matrix, is to determine both internal and external factors that make a business or project feasible. It helps you to proactively consider what you are good at and the opportunities in the market for your book. At the same time, you a get realistic view of what you aren’t so good at and the external factors working against you. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that are true for you and your team, if you are currently working with one. Opportunities and threats are external factors relating to the market or your competition.

I work with a lot of coaches who set out to write a book to build their business. Let’s look at a scenario of one life coach’s SWOT analysis to help you visualize what this means:

Strengths: great writer, good at communicating complex issues for average person to understand, passion for the topic, burning desire to help people, has a vision for the future

Weaknesses: not great at details (like grammar and punctuation), distracted, has trouble prioritizing, limited understanding of marketing

Opportunities: market fluctuation has many people seeking clarity in job and life, speaking engagements abound in local area, self-publishing has low barriers to entry

Threats: many life coaches in local area, same market fluctuation may cause people to hold onto money, numerous books on the market for similar topics.

Armed with that knowledge, what do you take away from it?

I would encourage this coach to build on the strengths and opportunities that are presented here. A great writer with a passion for sharing her knowledge and an opportunity to share that book with people who need it is a great start. BUT, this coach may need a team to help with business and publishing details like scheduling and editing. If there are many coaches and many books about coaching, this coach needs to find a niche that differentiates her from other coaches and her book from other books.

[bctt tweet=”A SWOT analysis helps writers discover if a book is worth writing. #bookmarketing #authorpreneur”]

This method works for writing a book or running a business. It gives you a framework to consider what you have and don’t have as well as zeroing in on the market and competition to make better decisions about how and when to proceed. You may find that it isn’t worth pursuing OR you may discover that you are the perfect person to deliver the message RIGHT NOW.

Now it’s your turn. Get your SWOT analysis template here. What did you discover?

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