Need and Demand

Some books are written because there is a demand for them.  Gossip, for example, is in great demand.  If you can get the scoop on a famous person and make it juicy, then you can write a book that will sell well—even if it’s not particularly good and even if it doesn’t really add any value to the world.  Careers are made and thrive on these kinds of books.

Some books are written because there is a need for them.  Sometimes the need starts in the heart and mind of the author.  Sometimes the need is an outside force that claims the author for its fulfillment.  Sometimes it’s a mix of both.  Regardless of how it starts, books that are written because there is a need for them may or may not be in demand.

I had the pleasure of participating in the creation of book that is very much needed.  It is, however, not yet in great demand.  Why?  Because the right people don’t know it exists and the right people don’t know what the book offers.  That’s where marketing comes in.  Marketing is about creating demand.  For a gossip book, that’s easy enough to do.  Unfortunately, books that are needed can be very difficult projects to market.  While the need is there, the demand—knowing that the need can be met—isn’t.

Big PR moves can help, but the reality is that building demand for something that’s needed means reaching out—maybe one by one—to the people who need it.  In order to do that, you need marketing materials that convincingly show how the need is met by what you have to offer.  Sometimes you have to start by convincing the people who need it that their need is there.  In the end, doing something that truly matters is worth it.  But don’t let yourself think that need is the same as demand.

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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2 Responses to Need and Demand

  1. acflory says:

    I like the distinctions you raise here. In a very real sense, bestsellers are based on demand, and sometimes an author will know that demand is there. Sometimes there is even a very clear ‘formula’ for meeting that demand. But for me, at least, writing for a demand is about as fulfilling as writing the blurb on a package of toilet paper.

    Need though, need is something else. Just about a year ago, I wrote what I thought would be an eminently forgettable post about a feature of my mobile phone. For the first couple of months that post did languish. Then suddenly it took off, trebling the visitors to my blog. And they keep coming. So sometimes need and demand can go hand in hand. But it takes time.

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