Once you publish your first book, you become the CEO of a new company.
The purpose of the new company is to manage and market you book. This situation, unexpected in many cases, can be a bit traumatic. This SWOT analysis will help a new author gain an understanding of what the business entails.
If you aren’t familiar with SWOT charts read the SWOT Analysis page first.
One of the uses of the chart is to allow you to pinpoint a weakness or a threat then work to convert it to a strength or an opportunity. Another approach is to neutralize the weakness or threat, if possible. Neutralizing an item can be used when it isn’t possible to convert it.
Enthusiasm: As a writer with a published book, you are probably brimming with enthusiasm and ready to sell your book and to improve your marketing clout. This a great strength in your business and you have to work to keep it at a high pitch.
Subject matter expert: You wrote the book. If it’s non-fiction, you are now a subject matter expert on whatever topic your book covers. You can use this expertise to point potential readers towards where they can buy your book. If you’re book is fiction, you are still a subject matter expert. You’re the expert on the world you built for your book. Use this expertise to get people interested in your world, your book and your business.
Expand your book catalog: You’re a writer and an author. So, author more books. That’s what authors do. An Amazon page with a single book on it looks a bit bare. An Amazon page with two books looks much more impressive. Adding to your book catalog greatly increases the presence of your company.
Reach new readers: With each addition to your book catalog, you can reach more readers. This is a big opportunity for you and your company. Find these people. Everyone who reads and likes your books can help to spread the word to others.
Lecturing: As a subject matter expert, you can develop a lecture and give it in libraries and schools. Often, these venues will pay a stipend for lecture and these public appearances present additional opportunities to sell your book to the people who attend the lecture.
Learn new ways of thinking: As a CEO, you’ll be forced to think differently. You’ll have to learn new techniques. These are good things; embrace them
Not a business oriented person: If you’re like most writers, you enjoy writing and would rather not be bothered with business nonsense. Unfortunately, the business nonsense has to be attended to and you’re the only one who can handle it. Dealing with the business issues may not come naturally to you and you may elect to ignore these issues until forced to deal with them. In other words, your business will languish and that’s not good for your marketing reach or your business.
Not familiar with business planning: Similar to the last item, as a writer your main concerns are planning and writing your next book. Business planning is not your priority, but without a business plan, your company will simply drift and will have no focus.
Limited funds: This weakness assumes you are not independently wealthy. If you are wealthy, why are you bothering with this stuff? Hire someone to do it for you and go back to writing. If you aren’t wealthy, this fact has implications for your business and your marketing since many elements in both areas will require funds.
Would rather be writing: This is similar to other weaknesses. You get up in the morning thinking about what you can write today, not what business issue you can deal with. This is just a fact of life for writers. The business issues are obviously a punishment for something evil you did in a previous life
Can get overwhelmed with business issues: Dealing with these pesky business issues can inundate you at times and this can cause you to ignore the issues, leaving them to fester and become even more of a problem.
Lack of marketing reach: Let’s face it. When you’re a newbie author, your marketing reach is limited. Extremely limited, and this does not bode well for you, your marketing efforts or your company. Even if you accept the need to think like a business owner, you still have a limited marketing reach and this threat has to be addressed.
Unfamiliarity with business thinking: Running a business requires different ways of thinking. In this case, a minor business problem that can be easily solved may not be recognized until it becomes a major issue and demands attention.
Unfamiliarity with business problem solving: With the plot in a novel, your characters get in big trouble and you fix the problem by coming up with a creative solution, but your solution is fiction. It isn’t real. Business issues don’t get solved with creative fiction solutions. They are real world issues that have to be fixed or solved with real world solutions. Developing real world solutions requires a different mind set than fictional world solutions.
Getting involved with scammers while searching for assistance and/or knowledge: The internet swarms with con artists and scammers searching for newbie authors. This is a real threat. The offers from the scam artists, whether in marketing, publishing or solving business issues, aren’t about helping you. The offers are an attempt to steal money. Your money. Backed up with slick web sites, they look professional, but that is part of their cover.
Possibility of making poor business decisions due to lack of experience: You may make mistakes because you aren’t trained in business and you aren’t about to take business courses in a local college, are you? You could, you know.
This SWOT chart may seem daunting at first glance, but that is only natural. Part of the solution to improving the situation is research. There are a number of excellent sites on the web that offer tutorials, articles and other forms of information. Use these sites to increase your understanding of business issues. Other more experienced authors are also a source that can be utilized.