20th Anniversary For Dummies - All you ever wanted to know about the series

Bill Loguidice's picture

Publisher Wiley has made available an interesting PDF ebook done in their inimitable For Dummies format detailing the 20 year history of the popular series. As you know, both Christina and I worked on Wii Fitness For Dummies, which was released in 2010, and I'm presently at work with For Dummies pioneer Dan Gookin on Motorola Atrix 4G For Dummies, which is due out in July of this year. Even though I've been a For Dummies author for some time now, there were many interesting factoids in the PDF that even I wasn't aware of. If you have any interest in how the series and industry has evolved in those 20 years, it's well worth checking out.

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Good stuff, thanks, Bill.

Good stuff, thanks, Bill. Some of this might actually be helpful in my tech writing courses.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Bill, just a wierd off the

Bill, just a wierd off the cuff question..dont answer if you dont want to. I have no idea on how these books sell, but it seems the Motorola Atrix 4G would be a very nitchy market.. heck who knows if it will be around long? I can see the Wii Fit one... I just look at the Atrix and dont see a product that the public would buy huge amounts of (and said the same thing about the Wii, the Move and Kinect, and was totally wrong). You guys must think there wil be a market for the book, or is it something a of a gamble, strike before everybody wants on the bandwagon if its a huge success?

Im not so intersted in the Atrix as why you picked it as your next book? trade secrets maybe :) its just an interesting thought for me, why you picked that product. In my mind after Wii Fit i would think Kinect for Dummies, or Entertainment Electronics collecting For dummies would be more interesting (and possilbly more money) picks. But I have no grasp whatsoever on why or waht is good and not good and so on.

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Answers
clok1966 wrote:

Bill, just a wierd off the cuff question..dont answer if you dont want to. I have no idea on how these books sell, but it seems the Motorola Atrix 4G would be a very nitchy market.. heck who knows if it will be around long? I can see the Wii Fit one... I just look at the Atrix and dont see a product that the public would buy huge amounts of (and said the same thing about the Wii, the Move and Kinect, and was totally wrong). You guys must think there wil be a market for the book, or is it something a of a gamble, strike before everybody wants on the bandwagon if its a huge success?

Apparently these gadget books do quite well. Our ideas of what sells is different from what the publisher thinks/knows sells. I decided to branch into gadget books because - besides being a serious interest of mine - there is no real game book market anymore, so if I want to continue to write books, I have to keep branching out.

The Wii Fitness (remember, it's on three different Wii fitness programs, not just "Wii Fit Plus") book actually didn't sell nearly as well as hoped (lots of reasons for that I won't get into here), so go figure.

clok1966 wrote:

Im not so intersted in the Atrix as why you picked it as your next book? trade secrets maybe :) its just an interesting thought for me, why you picked that product. In my mind after Wii Fit i would think Kinect for Dummies, or Entertainment Electronics collecting For dummies would be more interesting (and possilbly more money) picks. But I have no grasp whatsoever on why or waht is good and not good and so on.

Actually, I'm working on ANOTHER book as well and that one will be a gadget book on the Xbox 360, Kinect and Xbox LIVE. I'll be writing it with Christina. It will not be a Dummies book, though. I'll have more details on that soon.

Christina and I also have a few other irons in the fire, so we'll see how those pan out. Naturally I'll reveal all as they happen (I'm starting to run out of free time, which is why I haven't been that active on AA of late!).

Again, no real mystery as to why/how we pitch/accept the projects that we do. As long as it's something we're capable of writing to a high quality level about and the publishing terms are reasonable, I rarely turn anything down. I try to create something special regardless of what it is.

By the way, on the plus side with both the Atrix and Xbox 360 books, they'll be full color. The latter will be particularly impressive looking if things work out right.

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