Page 1

Making Everything

The history, statistics, and fun facts! Although yellow-and-black For Dummies books are pervasive today — found all over the world and wherever books are sold, covering subjects from Access to Zune — at one time they didn’t exist at all. How did this brand come about? What juicy tidbits exist in the Hall of Memories to explain the brand’s titling strategy (Dummies? I’m not a dummy!) and its unique elements like cartoons and icons? This special anniversary edition answers these questions and provides insight into how the launch of a single book in 1991 evolved into a global brand phenomenon.

Open the book and find: • The first book and how it came to market • Decisions that helped establish the brand • The role authors have played in making Dummies successful

Easier !

• The brand around the globe • Fun Dummies moments in history

Learn about: • The first Dummies book and how it came to be

Go to®

Special Edition

20th y r a s r e v i n An

• The evolution of Dummies packaging

for videos, step-by-step examples, how-to articles, or to shop!

• The brand’s history and milestones • Each book series, licensed products, memorable quotes, and more!

For Dummies has experienced two decades of exponential growth! Here are a few history highlights. 1991: The Dummies series is born when 7,500 copies of DOS For Dummies roll off the press 1992: Dummies goes international with licenses to foreign publishers for translation

2002: Dummies goes on TV when the Pregnancy For Dummies television miniseries premieres 2003: For Dummies consumer titles are launched in the United Kingdom 2004: French History For Dummies is published in France, and sales soar

1993: For Dummies boasts 17 different titles

2005: The successful Workbook For Dummies line extension is introduced, and Dummies releases its first-ever full-color Dummies books

1994: The first “non-tech” title is published, Personal Finance For Dummies

2006: Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, launches Cricket For Dummies in a large media event

1995: The first Canadian Dummies title is published, Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies 1996: launches

2007: Windows Vista For Dummies quickly becomes the #1-selling tech book — total global units sold: over 15 million

1997: Dummies Daily e-mail-based eTips are launched

2008: Dummies publishes its first book targeted at seniors: Computers For Seniors For Dummies

1998: The For Dummies phenomenon is featured in People Magazine

2009: Dummies releases its first Kindle-only book — Kindle 2 For Dummies

1999: The first Australian title, The Internet For Dummies, Australian Edition, is published

2010: Dummies Mobile Apps are available in the iTunes store; by year's end, 40 are available globally

2000: For Dummies travel guides are launched

2011: Dummies celebrates 20 years of Making Everything Easier!

2001: 100 million English-language For Dummies books are in print

20th Anniversary FOR



20th Anniversary For Dummies®, Special Edition Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 111 River St. Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 Copyright © 2011 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, (201) 748-6011, fax (201) 748-6008, or online at permissions. Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way,, Making Everything Easier, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMATION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ. SOME OF THE EXERCISES AND DIETARY SUGGESTIONS CONTAINED IN THIS WORK MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS, AND READERS SHOULD CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN BEFORE COMMENCING ANY EXERCISE OR DIETARY PROGRAM.

For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 877-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-5723993, or fax 317-572-4002. For technical support, please visit Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. ISBN: 978-1-118-02733-2 Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Publisher’s Acknowledgments Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Publishing and Editorial

Composition Services

Contributing Authors: Mary Bednarek, Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Robert Hickey, Lindsay Lefevere, Esther Neuendorf, David Palmer

Project Coordinator: Kristie Rees

Project Editor: Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe

Proofreader: Dwight Ramsey

Copy Editor: Todd Lothery

Special Help: Marc Mikulich, Rev Mengle, John Hislop, Joyce Pepple, Steve Hayes

Art Coordinator: Alicia B. South

Layout and Graphics: Claudia Bell, Samantha K. Cherolis, Joyce Haughey, Brent Savage, Christin Swinford

Associate Director of Marketing: Melisa Duffy Editorial Supervisor and Reprint Editor: Carmen Krikorian Editorial Assistants: Rachelle S. Amick, Alexa Koschier, Jennette ElNaggar Cartoons: Rich Tennant (

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies Kristin Ferguson-Wagstaffe, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies Ensley Eikenburg, Associate Publisher, Travel Kelly Regan, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User

Composition Services Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Table of Contents Introduction ............................................1 Icons Used in This Book................................................2 Where to Go from Here .................................................2

Chapter 1: Dummies through the Ages.......3 A Brand Is Born ..............................................................4 Decisions That Helped Establish the Brand ...............9 What Happened Next: Tough Sell and Early Guerilla Marketing ...........................................12 From Protest Signs to Clean Lines: The Evolution of Dummies Packaging ....................13

Chapter 2: A Global Phenomenon ............19 The Brand around the Globe ......................................19 A Global Brand with a Local Touch ...........................23 What They Said ............................................................31

Chapter 3: What Makes Dummies Books So Special? ..................................35 Hallmarks of a Dummies Book ...................................36 Extending and Protecting the Brand .........................38

Chapter 4: What Dummies Can Do for You.....45 Extensions: They’re Not Just for Celebrity Hair ......46 Getting the Dummies You Need in the Format You Want ...........................................51

Chapter 5: The Tens! ..............................59 Five Fun Dummies Moments in History ....................59 Ten Bold New Electronic Ventures............................61 Ten (or So) Eye-Popping Statistics ............................64



hese days, you can browse any bookstore (bricks and mortar or online) and find yellow and black For Dummies books in nearly every category. The brand can be found around the globe, covering topics that have worldwide appeal as well as topics that are specific to a region and the needs of its consumers. Getting help when faced with new or intimidating subjects wasn’t always so easy. Once upon a time, readers struggled to make sense of dense, jargon-laden, hardto-understand references that made empty promises about helping readers tackle tough subjects like computers. And then along came the For Dummies brand! Readers began to have much-needed help in navigating new (and sometimes scary) topics, and their fears were replaced with confidence and newfound knowledge. Initially focusing on books, the For Dummies brand has evolved as the needs of its consumers have, and products are now available in a wide variety of information delivery systems. From Smartphone apps to e-books, from online videos to musical instruments and consumer electronics, For Dummies gives consumers the help they need in the format they want. This book tells you what you need to know about the brand — how it started, where the content comes from, how Dummies is able to deliver a consistent experience time after time, and what formats and products exist to help consumers in need.


Icons Used in This Book Icons are the little pictures that dot the margins of this book, and they highlight information that you may find particularly helpful; they also may provide some entertaining fodder for your next cocktail party conversation! This icon points out information that’s particularly good to remember about the For Dummies brand. (We’re not promising you’ll know any Jeopardy! answers or earn extra points when facing off against your most trivia-loving friends, but remembering this stuff may help you next time you’re face to face with Alex Trebek and other like-minded information junkies.) This minibook is chock-full of Dummies goodness, but when you’re pressed for time and can’t read everything found between the covers, you’re safe to skip content that’s next to this icon.

Where to Go from Here If you’re interested in finding out where around the globe the For Dummies content comes from and the many languages in which books are published, start with Chapter 2. If you want to get familiar with the diverse products that the brand offers, then check out Chapter 4. Or dive into all things history in Chapter 1 and read from front to back — as with any of our titles, you can start reading wherever you want!

Chapter 1

Dummies through the Ages In This Chapter ▶ Chronicling the genesis of Dummies ▶ Listing the traits that established the brand ▶ Marketing the first For Dummies book and seeing

how the packaging has evolved


lthough yellow-and-black For Dummies books are pervasive today — found all over the world and in every part of a bricks-and-mortar or online store, covering subjects from Access to Zune — at one time they didn’t exist at all. How did this brand come about? What juicy tidbits exist in the Hall of Memories to explain the brand’s titling strategy (Dummies? I’m not a dummy!) and its unique elements like cartoons and icons? How has the brand evolved over time, and what successes has it had? This chapter answers these questions and more. So read on to become an instant expert on Dummies history!


A Brand Is Born What kind of book becomes a brand? Before Dummies, other book brands did exist — for instance, travelers and diners worldwide have long counted on starred reviews from Frommer’s, Michelin, and Zagat. And who doesn’t trust a physics textbook from MIT Press or a Shakespeare compendium from Oxford University Press? Before Dummies, however, no book series had demonstrated such a strong commitment to a consistent reader experience and a uniform approach from book to book. Twenty years after the first For Dummies book rolled off the press, consumers can still count on Dummies content to provide the same type of information in the same easily accessible way, no matter what the topic. This commitment at every stage of the process — from authoring to editing to marketing to sales to interior and exterior design — gave birth to one of the most recognizable and beloved of book brands, the For Dummies series.

What’s this on my desk? Identifying a market opportunity The rise of the personal computer in business offices in the late 1980s created an entirely new subspecies of office workers. Office needs were pretty much the same as ever — writing memos and reports, calculating numbers, and creating presentations. Arriving at work one Monday morning and finding out that you had to get these jobs done on a computer — or else — was not

5 the same at all. Not only was the desktop computer an imposing piece of heavy metal, with cords snaking everywhere, but it was also hiding stuff inside (software programs and operating systems) that you had to figure out how to use. The computer book publishing industry arose to serve this new type of information consumer. Most early computer book publishers did a decent job of helping these new, nontechnical computer users do their work. Often, however, the computer books were nearly as fat, jargon-filled, and heavy-handed as the user manuals they were designed to replace. One publisher decided to take a different approach.

Thinking like a pioneer IDG Books Worldwide was founded in April 1990 as a subsidiary of International Data Group, or IDG (a leading information technology media company that still publishes hundreds of online and print technology magazines). Early books included titles that were often co-branded with a related IDG publication, such as the Macworld Guide to System 7 or PC World Paradox 3.5 Power Programming Techniques. But the gang at IDG Books considered themselves more of a technology start-up than a book publisher. And like other start-ups, they decided after a short while that they didn’t need to be bound by traditional approaches to explaining computer stuff to the millions of people who had little computer familiarity but were expected to use them with competence. This group of rebels wondered a few things:

6 ✓ What if a computer book actually helped the user manage daily work? And, gasp, was fun to read? ✓ What if the book didn’t try to “teach” you anything in a traditional, tutorial way but instead just showed you how to do stuff by taking a reference approach? ✓ What if the author acted as a trusted friend who was sitting down with you over a cup of coffee, telling you how to work a computer? ✓ What if this lighthearted approach eased readers’ fears about difficult subject matter and made these concepts interesting and manageable? What if, indeed?

The daring of DOS For Dummies A customer at a software store was once overheard complaining that no books were available to help him learn the basics of the DOS operating system. “Something,” he suggested, “like DOS for dummies.” After becoming president of IDG Books, John Kilcullen hearkened back to this comment that he’d overheard and acknowledged that he’d sometimes felt like a computer “dummy” himself and wanted to do something about the user frustration that was increasing with the proliferation of computers. The book concept was developed, a search for a like-minded author ensued, and in November 1991, DOS For Dummies rolled off the presses (see Figure 1-1). We can now say that a brand was born! Dummies is a brand, not a class of people. A consumer may feel like a dummy when faced with a new or intimidating topic, but the brand never considers this consumer to be one.


Figure 1-1: The first For Dummies book ever created.

8 DOS For Dummies was truly a first in many ways. It was the first computer book to ✓ Assume that the reader had no prior knowledge of the topic at hand. ✓ Acknowledge that lack of experience in the subject matter was nothing to be ashamed of. ✓ Use icons featuring tips, warnings, and other clues to help readers navigate through the material (see Figure 1-2). ✓ Address the person actually using the applications and call that person “you” in the text.

Figure 1-2: Icons highlight don’t-miss information. Most of all, DOS For Dummies was the first computer book (and maybe the first book in general) to define an audience. And after 20 years, For Dummies books continue to be faithful to their original mission and audience — even as the audience evolves and develops new challenges to overcome.


Decisions That Helped Establish the Brand When DOS For Dummies was in development, the idea of creating a brand wasn’t top of mind for the IDG Books leadership. In fact, the title didn’t get much support from booksellers, and a key account refused to stock it altogether. But IDG Books kept true to its entrepreneurial spirit and published the title anyway, with a hopeful, wait-and-see attitude. The hunch was right, and the book proved to be a huge success. In creating it, some decisions were made that later became important in identifying and shaping the brand; the next sections describe some of these now-important choices. (And check out Chapter 3 for more info on the hallmarks of the Dummies brand.)

Why yellow and black? Yellow and black were screaming loud colors that, at the last minute, were picked to distinguish the first For Dummies title and make that book (and all others since) really stand out from the crowd. And stand out these books did. Early Dummies veterans demonstrated some of their own irreverence when describing how to locate this fast-growing brand, telling people to go to the bookstore and “follow the yellow-book glow.”

What about those cartoons? The cartoons beloved by many actually originated from an IDG tradition — many of the IDG magazine publications featured cartoons about technology. Using cartoons to break up the book’s parts seemed like a natural fit, and the cartoons’ content often illustrated the frustrations that new computer users felt (see

10 Figure 1-3 for an example of an early cartoon). Readers identified with many of the cartoon characters, and people really enjoyed reading them.

Why the short chapters? Having shorter chapters (averaging 12–18 pages) was also a take-away from the early magazine tradition. The For Dummies books have often been described as having a “magazine attitude,” with short chapters, quick reads, easy-to-follow lists and steps, and foundational knowledge about the subject at hand. Magazine articles get to the point quickly and don’t include details that readers don’t need, and shorter chapters encouraged the same information delivery in book form.

Who needs a cheat sheet? Everyone needs a cheat sheet! Even with short, tasty chunks of information in DOS For Dummies itself, having those keyboard shortcuts listed close by never hurt. All the quicker to get through your computer business with confidence.

A word about the authors Authors have played a huge part in making Dummies successful, and their voices are an essential part of the Dummies formula. But not everyone can — or should — write a For Dummies book. Here are some author musthaves, and if a potential author can’t deliver on these essentials, then he probably won’t get the writing gig:


Figure 1-3: Cartoons helped make DOS For Dummies approachable. ✓ The author is an expert who understands the ins and outs of the topic and/or industry. He or she has inside information that makes doing something easier. ✓ When it comes to new or intimidating subjects, a user or reader often feels caught in an “us versus them” situation. To the reader, the author always feels like “one of us,” helping the reader figure out how to handle “them” — the know-it-all geeks or

12 highbrow experts who increase the intimidation factor. ✓ The author is the reader’s guide and trusted friend, not a parent or a teacher. ✓ The author is a staunch companion on the journey to understanding crazy, difficult stuff. Dummies authors always say, “Here’s how” and, most important, “You can.”

What Happened Next: Tough Sell and Early Guerilla Marketing Most of the bookstore chains didn’t want to stock DOS For Dummies. Buyers worried that the title would insult their customers. The Dummies sales staff countered these arguments with the confidence that the Dummies branding method would instead strike a chord with readers and that readers would feel an instant identification with the series’ mission. The rest is history. DOS For Dummies sold out its initial print run of 7,500 copies in less than two weeks, and in the first 14 months, the book sold more than 1.5 million copies. Long before Facebook “likes,” e-mail blasts, tweets, and texts, For Dummies books seemed to sell themselves, and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing helped propel the early successes. Soon, people were writing letters (not e-mails, but real typed, word-processed, or hand-written letters) asking whether For Dummies had a book on “their problem.”

13 Tantalizing titling trivia Although the IDG Books folks had early editorial discussions about following an alliterative model for future titles (Macs For Morons, WordPerfect For Wusses, and so on), thenpresident John Kilcullen decided that “Dummies” was a gentle term that everyone could relate to. And besides, everybody on the team liked it. The group was still in start-up mode and could do whatever it wanted!

Among the problems were other software programs like WordPerfect, operating systems like Microsoft Windows, hardware newcomers like the Power Macintosh from Apple Computer, and, eventually, personal finance, investing, sports, health, and much more. By following the same consistent approach, the Dummies brand could present any topic in an easily accessible way to meet the needs of all consumers — and it did. As of this minibook’s printing, more than 1,800 titles are available and have been published in more than 30 languages and 100 countries around the globe.

From Protest Signs to Clean Lines: The Evolution of Dummies Packaging Besides the screaming yellow and black, the first For Dummies covers also included a drawing of a cartoon

14 The imitative copycats As soon as word about the success of For Dummies books spread, the “imitation is the greatest form of flattery” crew started to gear up. Before long, all sorts of publishers were trying to get into the act — there were books for Idiots, for Morons, A+ Guides, and more. One key advantage of For Dummies was that it was the first of its kind and consistently delivered the information that readers needed; the brand set and achieved very high expectations of its content. On the other hand, in most of these competing titles, the humor was forced, condescending, and sometimes insulting; the instructions were often incomplete or unclear. The copycats missed a key part of the Dummies success — For Dummies books defined an audience full of smart people who were confronted with stuff that made them feel dumb, and they were certainly smart enough to know when they were being talked down to.

hand holding up a protest sign, as shown in Figure 1-4. At first, the implication was that the book represented a revolution: eliminating jargon and turgid prose from computer books. The copy on the front cover shouted out benefits to the customer in short snippets — very similar to callouts found on magazine covers at the time. This bold, visual approach combined with short, easy-to-understand cover bullets grabbed customers’ attention and invited them to open the book and see what was inside.


Figure 1-4: Protesting with early For Dummies packaging.

16 The protest continued to evolve as the “us versus them” audience and authoring stance evolved. All the technology in the world hasn’t really made life’s big issues any easier to deal with, but For Dummies books are still around, adapting to audience needs and helping people figure out the answers to “How do I . . . ?” ✓ Understand my new diabetes diagnosis? ✓ Operate a digital SLR camera? ✓ Plan for my retirement? ✓ Set up my home network? ✓ Gain knowledge of British history? ✓ Download apps on my phone? ✓ Learn to play violin?

A mini makeover or two All great brands get a refresh from time to time, and Dummies is no exception. As the brand moved into more “consumer” topics (cooking, gardening, hobbies, and so on), cover photos became a great way to instantly communicate a book’s topic to customers. The protest sign gave way to the streamlined black, white, and yellow title bar that allows customers to easily recognize a book’s subject. Check out Figure 1-5 for some examples of how Dummies packaging has changed over the last 20 years.


Figure 1-5: Dummies packaging has evolved over the years.

Responding to market changes Wiley continues to refresh the Dummies packaging as the market demands. With current technologies, we’re able to engage customers in our conversations via focus groups, social media, and online consumer feedback, and this input has helped evolve the packaging to the current use of the yellow-and-black glow. Customers love the striking contrast and immediately identify the colors with the brand, whether applied to mobile apps, online videos, or other content delivery systems (see Figure 1-6). As new Dummies products hit the shelves (or virtual shelves), consumers can

18 always count on plenty of yellow-and-black branding and the distinctive Dummies font to identify the easiest way to get a task done.

Figure 1-6: Dummies branding sizzles no matter the content delivery method.

Chapter 2

A Global Phenomenon In This Chapter ▶ Finding For Dummies around the world ▶ Meeting the needs of the locals, Dummies-style ▶ Checking out some of the top Dummies titles


he For Dummies brand has traveled a long way since DOS For Dummies in 1991 — literally. Today, the brand has real global presence in many diverse markets and across an ever-expanding range of platforms and products. In this chapter, we show you how Dummies conquered the world. We cover in-house publishing in English, the development of publishing partnerships to deliver books in other languages, and the growth of licensed products worldwide.

The Brand around the Globe As Chapter 1 explains, Dummies started life in the United States. Nowadays, the For Dummies brand has no borders and can be found all around the globe.


Key English and German-language markets Most Dummies content — the 1,800-plus titles we’ve published so far — is generated by Wiley in-house staff working in five main locations: ✓ The United States: The first For Dummies title — and you’d better know that was DOS For Dummies — rolled off the presses in 1991 while the brand was still headquartered in the San Francisco area. Nowadays, Indianapolis is the engine room for the For Dummies brand. ✓ Canada: The first Canadian For Dummies title saw daylight in 1995, following a perceived need for an authentically Canadian product. Based in Toronto, the Canadian operation publishes both new titles and adaptations of existing For Dummies books (titled For Canadians For Dummies); as of late 2010, Canada has published more than 30 titles specifically for the Canadian market and about a dozen more for an international audience. ✓ The UK: The Union Jack flag has fluttered on the cover of For Dummies books since 2003, when Wiley, having acquired IDG Books, decided to embark on a program of distinctive products for the UK market. In the intervening eight years, the UK team has published more than 140 titles, mixing adaptations of successful U.S. originals with written-from-scratch UK content. ✓ Australia: More than 50 For Dummies titles have flowed from the Melbourne offices of Wiley Publishing Australia since the brand started publishing there in 2001.

21 For Dummies heads east — way east IDG Books began licensing English reprint rights in India in 1992. Vikas Gupta at Pustak Mahal was a brash young publisher eager to make a mark with Dummies, and he did so with aggressive marketing campaigns that included painting the trams of Calcutta with Dummies branding. Today, Vikas is Managing Director of Wiley India.

✓ Germany (Wiley-VCH): The first German For Dummies titles were published in 1992 by IWT, originally as für Anfänger/Dumme and as hardcover books. When MITP took over, they changed the titling to für Dummies and adopted the characteristic black and yellow, which immediately increased sales numbers. In 2005, Wiley-VCH acquired the For Dummies brand and now publishes a mix of translations and adaptations of For Dummies titles from all over the world as well as German originals.

Partnerships with publishers in other languages For Dummies books can be found all over the world and have been translated into dozens of languages (for examples, see Figure 2-1). With translations found on nearly every continent, For Dummies is the global brand that consumers worldwide can turn to when they need information know-how. For a list of current translation publishers, visit


Figure 2-1: Guitar For Dummies takes a trip around the world.

23 The first steps on the path to global It didn’t take long for the world to catch on to the idea of the For Dummies brand. Marc Mikulich, VP Brand Management and International Rights, recalls: “DOS For Dummies was first presented to translations publishers in October 1991 at Frankfurt Book Fair, one month before publication of the U.S. edition. Dutch translation was the first contract signed. Once we published, overnight success attracted other licenses. By 1996 we were in 30 languages. The Dummies Roundtable, which I initiated at Frankfurt Book Fair in 1993, was instrumental in encouraging a collaborative team mentality across markets, as best marketing practices could be shared with no competitive concern.”

A Global Brand with a Local Touch Wiley in-house staff produces locally flavored Englishlanguage Dummies products in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. In the U.S., expert authors produce high-quality Dummies content for both the U.S. and global markets. In the other locations, publishing takes the form of adaptations of existing products or, increasingly, books written from scratch by locally based expert authors for local and global sale. The decision of what sort of publication route to take depends on a couple key criteria:

24 ✓ Adaptations of existing products are often produced if there are local variations of regulation, procedure, or culture that don’t fundamentally affect the book’s main content. ✓ Books written from scratch by locally based expert authors are ideal when significant local demand exists for a completely new title that needs to be specific to local conditions — for example, books on taxes or law. Add to this the innovative local-language publishing around the world and you get a picture of constantly evolving product development with a real feel for the needs of the local market.

Knowing what we’re good at Each market has its own particular areas of strength in which we deliver products with a local twist. Dummies may have developed from the success of the original DOS For Dummies, but it’s not just about computer books anymore. ✓ The U.S.: The home of For Dummies books remains the brand stronghold. The U.S. market knows that For Dummies content delivers, and the trust that’s been built between customer and brand across a huge range of subject areas has driven the growth of the brand worldwide. ✓ The UK: Self-help and personal development are key areas for the UK books, with impressive sales around the world for Neuro-Linguistic Programming For Dummies and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies leading the way.

25 ✓ Australia: For the past 11 years, small business and investing have been the Australian For Dummies list’s bread and butter, with the likes of Getting Started in Property For Dummies essential to every bookseller’s business section. As the For Dummies brand has grown in popularity with Australian readers, Australia’s scope has expanded to include parenting, Australian culture, and, naturally, sport (see Figure 2-2 for some examples). Being a Great Dad For Dummies, Australian Politics For Dummies, and Golf For Dummies are but a few of their standout titles. ✓ Canada: Canada began publishing For Dummies books in 1995 with an adaptation of Personal Finance For Dummies. Soon, the Canadian adaptations were titled For Canadians For Dummies, and a host of books were in publication, covering everything from gardening to the Internet (see Figure 2-3). Eventually, Canada began publishing original titles with a Canadian bent: Curling For Dummies, Lacrosse For Dummies, and Canadian History For Dummies, to name but three. Many of these books were warmly received beyond Canada, and now the Canadian publishing program has an international focus as well as a local one. ✓ Germany: Bestselling German titles include several with a business slant, including Stock Market For Dummies and Business Administration For Dummies. For Dummies in Germany has also been innovative in publishing study and revision guides for higher education students, such as Math For Engineers For Dummies and Epidemiology For Dummies.


Figure 2-2: Popular sport titles in Australia.

Figure 2-3: Some popular Canadian For Dummies titles.

27 The importance of knowing what the local audience wants is of paramount concern. Cricket For Dummies, for instance, was a product in two flavors — for the UK and Australian markets — and it probably would never have been commissioned in the United States. American readers just don’t get cricket. In the same way, Wiley-VCH publishes For Dummiesbranded study guides for the German college market as well as small-trim, shorter-page-count pocket books for students of natural sciences or engineering; both of these innovations stem from detailed knowledge of what the local book-buying public wants.

Pour Les Nuls, s’il vous plaît For Dummies has been a part of the French culture since nearly the beginning of Dummies history, albeit under a different moniker, Pour Les Nuls. In 1993, Editions Sybex introduced the brand to France, and Pour Les Nuls really took off when Editions First gained the rights to the brand in 2001 and focused on publishing local originals in addition to adaptations of existing titles. With nearly 600,000 copies in print, L’Histoire de La France Pour Les Nuls (French History For Dummies if your français needs a little work) has been a runaway hit by any standards. Pour Les Nuls has proudly led the brand into new areas to meet the needs of France’s consumers, offering a large range of different trim sizes and page counts; bundling Pour Les Nuls books with related products, including art books bundled with pencils and paints and massage books bundled with massage oils; and trumpeting the brand in the skies above the beaches of the French Riviera.


Tallying the top titles Across the globe, For Dummies has produced some spectacular sales successes, particularly with indigenous products. Some of the key titles published by location include the following: ✓ In the U.S.: Technology and business titles top the charts in the U.S. Windows For Dummies, originally published in 1992, remains the bestselling computer book of all time with over 15 million copies sold. Dummies Tech still knows what’s hot; Facebook For Dummies has sold over 125,000 copies, and iPad For Dummies, the new kid on the block in 2010, has sold over 50,000 copies in a very short time. On the business side, both Personal Finance For Dummies and Investing For Dummies have sold more than a million copies each across all editions. Spanish For Dummies, Wine For Dummies, Golf For Dummies, and Guitar For Dummies have each sold more than 800,000 copies, confirming that the breadth and depth of Dummies spans a wide range of topics. ✓ In the UK: Sudoku For Dummies exploited the craze for the Japanese puzzle form, racking up global sales of more than a million copies. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies (CBT to its friends) has so far passed 125,000 copies sold worldwide, helping to establish For Dummies as the go-to brand on the self-help shelves. See Figure 2-4 for examples.


Figure 2-4: Having fun and helping yourself with For Dummies. ✓ In Australia: The first Australian For Dummies title, The Internet For Dummies, Australian Edition, was published in 1999. Their most successful titles are MYOB For Dummies (business accounting software) and Share Investing For Dummies. Recently they pushed an Australiana angle: Australia’s Military History For Dummies and Australian Politics For Dummies published in 2010, and 2011 will bring Australian History For Dummies and Indigenous Australia For Dummies. Publicity highlights were Prime Minister John Howard launching Cricket For Dummies in 2006 and the Shadow Finance Minister giving the Treasurer Economics For Dummies as a Christmas gift in 2010.

30 ✓ In Canada: Perhaps Canada’s single most successful title is Canadian History For Dummies, which has sold more than 58,000 copies over two editions. As well, Canadians rely on the Dummies brand for dependable financial advice, be it for personal finance, investing, or small business. Internationally, Canada has had success publishing in the field of sports (Curling For Dummies and Lacrosse For Dummies) but has also branched out into various topics such as music, health, and food and drink. ✓ In Germany: Wiley-VCH’s publishing in the business and financial categories has long been a strength (see Figure 2-5). Business Administration For Dummies, Accounting & Balancing For Dummies, Financial Controlling For Dummies, and SPSS For Dummies have all sold more than 10,000 units each.

Figure 2-5: Investing and business don’t have to be intimidating.


What They Said Sales figures tell only a part of the story of a brand’s success. For a more rounded view of the global development of the For Dummies brand over the last 20 years, a few of the leading lights in the global growth of Dummies give us their take on things. I’d been a computer book editor in Indianapolis when I sent my résumé to a tiny start-up publisher in California. Soon, I was in San Mateo for an interview with Editorin-Chief Mike McCarthy and President John Kilcullen of IDG Books Worldwide, publisher of several semisuccessful books on Windows, Macs, and computer games. They were excited about their latest project, DOS For Dummies, by author Dan Gookin. “What an odd computer book,” I thought. Tip and Warning icons? Cartoons? A pointy-headed mascot? “It’s about time!” I said. On September 30, 1991, I became IDG Books’ Managing Editor, and I’ve been in a committed relationship with Dummies Man ever since. —Mary Bednarek (Executive Acquisitions Director, Dummies Technology, Wiley U.S.) I remember the first time I saw DOS For Dummies — it was during a “water cooler” conversation in another publisher’s hallway. The “critics” offering their professional judgment were guffawing and scoffing (like you do when you think the competition may just have gotten one up on you), so I scoffed along with them. Then I made a casual but swift beeline to my office to offer my services to that fine new publishing company, IDG Books!

32 It took me over a year to convince them that black and yellow are my favorite colors, but they finally acquiesced. Twenty years and a couple thousand Dummies titles later, and my favorite colors haven’t changed! —Diane Graves Steele (VP and Publisher, Consumer Dummies, Wiley U.S.) When Wiley acquired the For Dummies brand, it was pretty well-known in the UK and Europe for its publishing in technology areas but had experienced more limited success in other nontechnology consumer areas. Wiley colleagues quickly recognized the potential to increase the brand’s relevance in consumer categories by publishing UK authors and UK content under the brand. We recruited a team of editors who produced the first UK title, Renting Out Your Property For Dummies, by Melanie Bien, in 2003. The success of UK titles has increased awareness and popularity of the Dummies brand generally and has contributed significantly to increased sales in the UK and beyond. —Steve Smith (EVP & Chief Operating Officer) When For Dummies began publishing books on topics like investing, sex, and wine, they went from being a computer book juggernaut to a reference juggernaut. In Canada, we realized there was an opportunity to create local content for our local market and in 1995 released our first local Dummies edition — Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies. Fifteen years later and now in its fifth edition, it remains our bestselling Canadian For Dummies title. —Jennifer Smith (VP & Publisher, Wiley Canada)

33 In 1996, I started as a trainee in publishing and saw For Dummies books for the first time. Four months later my boss resigned, and all of a sudden I was responsible for the For Dummies series. At that time, 15 For Dummies titles per year were published in Germany; now it’s close to 100 per year! Publishing For Dummies books never becomes boring; there are so many different topics and authors and plenty of line extensions. No wonder that in 2005, when the For Dummies series in Germany was bought, I followed the charm of Dummies Man and went to Wiley-VCH. —Esther Neuendorf (Publisher, For Dummies in Germany) I’ve been part of the UK For Dummies team since our launch in 2003. I’m really proud of the way the UK brand has grown over the years, from watching our first UK-developed book emerging from the printing press (my baby!), through our first branded campaign on London Underground, to our more recent television advertising. Producing both UK-specific and globally focused titles from the UK means we cover an enormous breadth of subject matter with a uniquely British approach. We even squeeze in a touch of humor along the way. —Dan Mersey (Production Manager, Professional Book Production, Wiley UK) As these insights and Figure 2-6 reflect, For Dummies transcends geographic borders around the world!


Figure 2-6: The For Dummies brand truly is a global phenomenon.

Chapter 3

What Makes Dummies Books So Special? In This Chapter ▶ Defining the characteristics of the Dummies brand ▶ Getting the scoop on Dummies training around

the globe ▶ Delivering a consistent experience time after time


ummies was one of the first series in the publishing industry truly to be considered a brand. But what does that mean? What is a brand? And why should you care? This chapter gives you the nuts and bolts of the Dummies brand and helps you understand why consumers come back to For Dummies books again and again when they have a problem to solve. This chapter also gives you a bird’s-eye view into the tools and techniques that Wiley colleagues around the world employ to ensure that every Dummies product delivers the same consumer experience time after time.


Hallmarks of a Dummies Book So what’s a brand, anyway? Looking to Branding For Dummies for guidance (of course!), a brand is a promise about what your product is and what benefits your product delivers, and this promise gets reinforced every single time people come in contact with your good or service. Essentially, For Dummies is instructive or descriptive content that helps consumers tackle new or intimidating subjects with confidence. And most important, it’s content that presents readers with the same high-quality experience every single time. (Check out the following sections for more specifics.) No matter where in the world Dummies is published, no matter whether the subject is digital photography or diabetes or DJing, the goal of every Dummies product is to deliver on the brand promise that consumers have come to believe in.

Easy access to information Dummies books are references that readers can get into and get out of quickly. To help readers easily find what they need, the books are organized logically and contain the right type and amount of content for each book’s audience — presented in bite-sized chunks for easier understanding. And when a reader finds the answer to his question, he can put a Dummies book back on the shelf and move on with his life, secure in the knowledge that this convenient reference is right at his fingertips the next time he needs it.


The author is one of “us” A Dummies author is a subject expert who’s on the reader’s side — she knows what information readers need, and she presents it in a non-intimidating way. Even though a Dummies author could mingle at a cocktail party and hold her own with the geekiest of experts, she still strikes consumers as one of “us.” Here are some ways readers know that a Dummies author is on their side: ✓ The author focuses on two magical words: You can. She empowers consumers to tackle tasks that may otherwise be too intimidating (“You can make sure your Web site is ranked high in search results by following these guidelines,” or, “You can save enough money for retirement if you follow these steps”). She helps consumers feel confident with a subject that previously had seemed too over-their-heads (“Calculating the value of x is as simple as following this rule”). ✓ The text is conversational — it’s written how people talk, which instantly establishes the author as a non-threatening helper. ✓ The author includes minimal jargon, avoiding technobabble that only intimidates and confuses readers who are unfamiliar with a subject. When the author introduces new terms, she defines them right there so that readers know what’s being discussed and don’t feel left out or left behind. ✓ The author doesn’t talk down to readers; she treats readers as equals and friends, not as students or children.

38 ✓ The author knows what information readers need and what information they don’t, and she doesn’t hassle them with a bunch of content that doesn’t apply to their situation.

A consistent experience Dummies books enable readers to have the same experience from book to book and from subject to subject. Dummies content is truly global in that no matter where in the world it originates, consumers can count on getting their questions answered in the same straightforward way. A Dummies devotee from Germany can buy a book in Canada that originated from the Dummies publisher in England, and he’ll be able to get in and get out as easily as if he were referencing one of the books in his Dummies library at home. No matter the topic, Dummies delivers the same effortless experience time after time.

Extending and Protecting the Brand As any new author or editor will tell you, it seems so easy to write and edit a Dummies book! Licensed partners may at first think that creating a Dummiesbranded product is as simple as inserting some yellow and black alongside the image of a funny-looking, pointy-chinned mascot. And some may think that designing new packaging involves nothing more than making sure the black bar on the cover is angled at 4 degrees and that the photo is bright and colorful. Au contraire! Creating Dummies products of any kind is a far more difficult task than it appears. So Dummies

39 around the world provides targeted training and feedback to employees and global partners to make sure the brand always delivers on its promise.

Globetrotting: Editorial training around the world All acquisitions/commissioning, project, and copy editors around the globe are given introductory Dummies training, which covers the brand’s look and feel, the essentials of the content (both scope and depth per the vision and audience), and coaching on how to execute the brand. All outside editorial resources receive similar training. Members of the U.S. Dummies team train editors from the global Dummies community when those editors first begin working on the Dummies brand. ✓ This instruction is offered in the U.S. (usually spanning several days to several weeks) and is led by members of the Brand Management Editorial team as well as colleagues in Publishing, Editorial, Composition Services, and Creative Services. ✓ A shorter course of instruction (usually spanning one to three days) is offered if travel to the U.S. isn’t feasible. This training is provided by Brand Management Editorial on a Wiley site convenient to the global publisher. In one seven-month period, Rev Mengle, Brand Editorial Manager from the Brand Management team, provided Dummies training five times, visiting three countries and setting foot on two continents to do so!

40 Additional Dummies training is also provided by a variety of sources: ✓ In the U.S., acquisitions editors participate in development training as desired, based on challenges that various topics present. Ongoing throughout the year, editorial training sessions are held to further develop project and copy editor skill sets. ✓ Global Dummies editors receive ongoing Dummies training and feedback from experienced colleagues within their own offices and from the Brand Management Editorial team, as is appropriate for each project or book topic. ✓ In conjunction with Brand Management Editorial, our Wiley teams around the world host Dummies training. Their experiences with local publishing makes them uniquely qualified to coach and train other members of the global Dummies community on the challenges and opportunities that come with publishing products for each country’s specific markets.

A global look at licensed and custom products Partnering with Dummies brings brand recognition to a product. The promise of “easy” and the characteristic yellow and black let consumers know that they can cease worrying about the intimidation factor that often accompanies a new topic or task. Here are some interesting or unusual licensed or custom Dummies products: ✓ The licensing program really took off when the brand sought to bundle audio CDs with two music-related titles

41 and negotiated with EMI to exchange low-cost companion CDs for the opportunity to sell the CDs as standalone products — and “Beethoven For Dummies” went to No. 2 on the Billboard classical music chart! ✓ A For Dummies series of fitness videos included a number of bestselling titles in the U.S., covering everything from basic yoga techniques to Pilates to shaping up with weights. ✓ “Wall & Ceiling Repair Kit For Dummies” took a very For Dummies-like approach. In addition to spackle and tape and the usual hardware items, the product came with a color-coded poster of instructions that users could hang on the wall next to the area they were repairing and reference while they worked. Find the color for your problem and just follow the instructions! ✓ Got computer issues? Now available, Tech Support For Dummies! Check out www.techsupport for more information. ✓ The For Dummies licensing magic also works overseas. The French version of the “Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack For Dummies” has been a top seller in both France and Holland. From musical instruments and consumer electronics to instructional DVDs and software, from culinary products to games to sewing patterns, the For Dummies licensing program is nearly as diverse as the publishing program itself. This diversity is another example of how the For Dummies brand provides consumers with the tools they need to feel confident in the face of any new task or activity.


Having it your way: Managing the brand in licensed and custom products When consumers want to understand a topic that stymies them — whether sports psychology, search engine optimization, Australian politics, or technical analysis — they know that Dummies provides easy-tounderstand answers. Businesses recognize this too, and they often want the fun, accessible Dummies flavor to be a part of their product promise. So these businesses work with Wiley to create licensed or custom Dummies products. Brand management is just as important — perhaps even more so — when creating Dummies goods in partnership with others, and some key tools help ensure that consumers get the Dummies experience that they expect even though the product-development ship is being co-captained: ✓ Each product idea, whether licensed or custom, is vetted to confirm that it matches with the Dummies philosophy. Any opportunities that aren’t deemed appropriate for the brand are declined. ✓ Licensees are provided with the Licensed Product Style Guide, which gives tips for successfully marrying the mission of the licensed product with the mission of the Dummies brand. Wiley teams around the globe also produce custom For Dummies books for clients. The list of companies for which we’ve created these books reads like a Who’s Who of the corporate world, including Avaya, Dell, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Texas Instruments.

43 When creating custom books, the global Wiley teams use a one-two approach to ensure that custom products around the world deliver the same Dummies experience as do our traditional titles: ✓ All global teams have guidelines for creating custom titles to ensure that all custom content meets the goals of the Dummies brand. ✓ A project editor from the applicable global publishing unit works closely with the customer to implement appropriate brand training and quality control. For global custom deals, the project editor also consults with U.S. Brand Management Editorial as is appropriate. Custom For Dummies books are a global success for our partners. A U.S. client had one book result in a $2 million sale just three weeks after the book was distributed. The client has gone on to do several more books with us and translated them into as many as seven different languages!

Making packaging and marketing materials sing! Dummies packaging for books, licensed products, or custom titles, as well as any marketing materials, should offer consumers the same consistent experience that they enjoy when reading our content. No matter what the packaging or marketing material is — books, DVDs, flyers, postcards, or even a full-size guitar — and no matter who’s creating it — a colleague in the U.S. or Australia, a partner in France or India, or

44 a customer selling grills or skillets — consumers should always get what they expect from the Dummies brand: clear descriptions of the product, promotion, or opportunity and a consistent look and feel that instantly identifies the product or opportunity as part of the trusted For Dummies family. In order to achieve these goals, two tools are essential: ✓ Branding For Dummies, the online style guide that gives the scoop on how to use Dummies elements correctly (the logo, Dummies Man, icons, and so on), how to pick the right accent colors and images, and how to package goods or content in a format that makes For Dummies rock ✓ The Licensed Product Style Guide, a helpful tool that guides our licensees in most successfully marrying their product and its features/benefits with the easy-to-use For Dummies promise Quality control is an important corollary to brand style guidelines, so members of Creative Services, Marketing, Publishing, Editorial, and/or Brand Management — and their global counterparts — carefully review and provide feedback on any packaging with the For Dummies logo on it. Everyone in the global Dummies community works to ensure that consumers consistently enjoy the helpful, easy, fun experience that they’ve come to expect from For Dummies!

Chapter 4

What Dummies Can Do for You In This Chapter ▶ Checking out various Dummies line extensions ▶ Exploring digital formats ▶ Connecting with customers through licensed and

custom products


he original and most common type of For Dummies book packs everything readers need to know (and nothing they don’t) into 384 pages. The famously accessible, step-by-step information doesn’t always don the usual garb, though. The easy-to-use content sometimes dresses up or dresses down to meet readers’ needs. This chapter details some of the most notable line extensions in the Dummies family. Of course, For Dummies content can also be found in more places than just nestled between two covers. The familiar how-to, justwhat-you-need-to-know information is increasingly available in the most in-demand formats that consumers desire, including licensed products, custom and proprietary products

46 that meet a specific audience need, and digital formats such as Web sites and mobile applications. This collection of delivery alternatives enhances the accessibility, portability, and usefulness of the Dummies brand’s rich content. Read on for specifics about where you can find black and yellow today (and check out Chapter 5 for info on where the brand is headed in the future).

Extensions: They’re Not Just for Celebrity Hair The always-and-forever goal of For Dummies products is to give readers what they want in the format they prefer. So when readers demonstrate a need or desire for a product in a different format, Dummies answers the call.

All-in-One Sometimes, 384 pages just aren’t enough. Whether readers want a lot of info on one topic or the basic info on several related topics, For Dummies All-in-Ones answer the need for a robust, information-packed anthology (see Figure 4-1). With more than 600 pages divided into separate minibooks for easy navigation, For Dummies All-in-Ones are for readers who want to have it all, and all in one place. From wine and Windows to blogging and budgeting, readers can trust For Dummies All-in-Ones to go indepth and give them the breadth of information they want.


Figure 4-1: When 384 pages aren’t enough, readers find expanded coverage in All-in-Ones.


Workbook Readers asked for “more practice problems,� and For Dummies responded by creating the Workbook line extension (see Figure 4-2). With short refresher explanations, hundreds of practice opportunities, and plenty of room to write directly in the book, the large-trim For Dummies Workbooks are the perfect tool to help reinforce new concepts through in-book practice. Workbooks can stand alone if concise explanations are all a reader desires, or for maximum effect, readers can pair a For Dummies Workbook with the related For Dummies book or an outside course or textbook for a multilayered experience.

Figure 4-2: Workbooks provide opportunities to practice new concepts.


Test prep and certification Whether to get into college or grad school, obtain college credit, take skill sets to the next level with professional/technical certifications, or enter the U.S. military, For Dummies test prep and certification titles fit the bill with detailed explanations of key test concepts and tips to pass each test successfully. Hundreds of sample problems allow readers to practice testtaking strategy, and multiple sample exams and answer explanations help prepare readers for test day. Some titles also come with CDs that contain full-length, interactive practice tests. See Figure 4-3 for a couple of examples.

Figure 4-3: Test prep and certification titles help readers achieve test-taking success!


Other extensions The For Dummies brand also includes a number of other line extensions — read on for the scoop. ✓ Full color: Topics like photography, fine art, Photoshop, and fashion simply can’t stand to be only black and white. For Dummies to the rescue with full color throughout on topics like Digital Portrait Photography For Dummies, Acrylic Painting For Dummies, Photoshop For Dummies, and Fashion For Dummies. ✓ Book/DVD bundles: At least two hours of video training accompanies each full-size For Dummies book. Technology topics are easy to tackle when readers can see common tasks in action. ✓ For Seniors: Readers age 55 and older can get information that’s tailored to their unique needs with For Seniors titles. The content is written to address the specific challenges they face, from enjoying the Internet without putting themselves at risk to making their retirement savings last. And each title is presented in large print for strain-free reading. ✓ Just the Steps: Pick a technology task, find it fast, and get it done with Just the Steps! Each page includes step-by-step instruction in one column and illustrations and screen shots in the other, so readers have all the information they need in one place.

51 ✓ Do-It-Yourself: When readers want every how-to step accompanied by a photo or illustration (whether four color or black and white), Dummies Do-It-Yourself provides the ultimate in clear instruction. Topics include organizing, home networking, plumbing, and building your own PC. ✓ Language Audio Set: Time-pressed readers who want to speak a new language can do so quickly and easily at home or on the road with For Dummies Audio Sets. From greetings and expressions to grammar and conversations, readers hear language essentials and proper pronunciation so they can start communicating right away! ✓ Essentials: For readers who want or need to know only the vital concepts of a subject, For Dummies Essentials contain minimal ramp-up material and focus exclusively on key topics.

Getting the Dummies You Need in the Format You Want Through traditional For Dummies books and targeted line extensions, Dummies strives to meet reader needs, whatever those needs are. But it doesn’t stop there. As new technologies emerge and we develop deeper customer relationships, Dummies continues to evolve, maintaining the brand’s commitment to give consumers the information they want, wherever and however they want it.


E-books With very few exceptions, if a new print book exists, For Dummies also offers a new e-book. And in a few cases, Dummies content has been offered as “e-book first” or “e-book only” publications, where print books come later or aren’t published at all. All new e-books are compatible with most popular e-readers, and the complete Dummies backlist will be available in e-book format soon.

Mobile apps No one can deny that the iPhone and other mobile devices have changed the way readers interact with content. Customers demanded how-to content in a mobile application format, and they found For Dummies. Dummies offers apps for some of the most popular subjects, including Spanish, SAT vocabulary, wine, and digital photography (see Figure 4-4 for an example of a Dummies app). Beyond just having good content, each app is customized with a unique tool set to help consumers solve the challenges they encounter. Depending on the topic, app features include flashcards, audio pronunciations, an exposure calculator, a tripod level tool, and more.

Licensed and custom products For Dummies books cover nearly every subject, it may seem. So naturally, another product sometimes pairs perfectly with a For Dummies book. Other times, companies want to bring the trusted Dummies brand to their customers with additional emphasis on their specific users’ needs. Enter licensed and custom products.


Figure 4-4: From basic French to Series 7 exam practice, there’s a For Dummies app for that.

Licensed products If a company has a cool product or idea for a product and needs expert, how-to content to back it up, For

54 Dummies can help. Some customers bring the nonintimidating, you-can-do-it Dummies promise to products they already have, such as the Hal Leonard book of sheet music found in Figure 4-5.

Figure 4-5: Sheet music, Dummies-style. Other times, customers license existing Dummies content to add extra value to their non-book product. GPS Navigation For Dummies in Figure 4-6 is one example; it comes with a GPS personal navigation device and a minibook to help users use this handy get-around tool. Through licensing, customers can leverage the strength of the world’s most popular reference brand to reach new audiences and distribution channels. And sometimes these licensed products can be international successes — GPS Navigation For Dummies is also being released in South Africa, India, Brazil, and China.


Figure 4-6: Dummies content adds extra value to this GPS device.

Custom products When corporate customers want to connect even more clearly and effectively with their audience, they can create a For Dummies-branded product to meet their users’ specific needs. This can happen in two ways: ✓ Corporate customers can provide original content that contains the messaging they desire, and that content is edited to For Dummies standards to ensure the easy-access, non-intimidating approach that consumers expect from Dummiesbranded products.

56 ✓ Corporate customers can primarily utilize existing Dummies content that’s handpicked to meet their specific need and then tailored to meet their audience. Figure 4-7 shows an example.

Figure 4-7: For Dummies can help corporate customers reach their customers better.


Proprietary products In the spirit of providing customers with the content they want in the format they need, For Dummies has an active proprietary publishing alter ego. Based primarily on existing Dummies content, the proprietary publications let corporate customers decide what and how much content on a particular topic to offer to their end consumer. Whether the proprietary offering is a minibook that sells for $1 in big-box retailers, a slightly larger, $4.99 or $7.99 product that’s merchandised insection at drug and other retail stores, or a digital download with customized information, proprietary products allow corporate customers to offer trusted Dummies content at the size and price most appropriate to their unique user base.

Going worldwide on the Web With expert how-to material on more than a thousand topics, For Dummies jumped deeper into the World Wide Web in 2008 with an arsenal of rich modular content. On, users can find: ✓ Videos: houses hundreds of how-to videos on everything from multiplying fractions to fixing a leaky shower. ✓ Articles: Forget how to use the Pythagorean theorem? Need to upgrade your computer? Ready to adopt a pet? has consumers covered with thousands of articles on the topics they want most. ✓ Books and more: No need to shop elsewhere. Consumers can purchase For Dummies content straight from the online store, including books, CDs, DVDs, and licensed products of all kinds.

58 Business partners can find everything they need to create a custom or licensed product on our partner Web site, (see Figure 4-8), including information on custom publishing, brand and content licensing, advertising and sponsorships, and Dummies in the media.

Figure 4-8: Creating custom or licensed products is easy with

Chapter 5

The Tens! In This Chapter ▶ Looking back with For Dummies ▶ Getting wired up with electronic Dummies ventures ▶ Adding up impressive Dummies statistics


o For Dummies book would be complete without a Part of Tens — fun and interesting lists of quick, bite-sized information. Because this is a minibook, we don’t have an entire Part of Tens, but we do have several lists in this chapter! And like some other Parts of Tens, we sneak in a couple of not-quite-tenitems lists. Hey, who’s counting? Read on for a look at the Dummies brand’s storied past, a glimpse into its high-tech future, and a celebration of some of its most impressive statistics.

Five Fun Dummies Moments in History Appropriately for such a lighthearted and irreverent series, For Dummies books have a colorful past. The following spotlights some of the brand’s more notable moments.


Providing tech support to a First Lady In 1997, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, left for college. To help the First Lady stay in touch with her only child, White House staffers gave Hillary Clinton a copy of E-Mail For Dummies.

Helping Harry Potter (in German) In the 1999 German translation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the boy wizard reads Zaubern für Dummies (Magic For Dummies), a book that had not yet been translated into German. Rabid Harry Potter fans demanded the book and, after it was published, made it an instant bestseller.

Lending help to some “Friends” On May 6, 2004, more than 52.5 million people in the U.S. tuned in to the last episode of the sitcom Friends. In the finale, on-again-off-again couple Ross and Rachel finally resolve their differences. One of the reasons for their reconciliation? Ross reveals he’s been reading Sex For Dummies. Dr. Ruth would be proud.

Poking fun at a sports superstar David Beckham may be one of the most celebrated players in soccer (that’s football to anyone not in North America), but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to sharpen his skills. In 2004, Posh Spice’s husband was presented with a copy of the fictional title Penalty Taking For Dummies.

Lighting up the silver screen For Dummies books pop up frequently in films, but perhaps never as prominently as in 2007’s Evan Almighty,

61 starring Steve Carell. In that film, Evan is given divine orders to construct a massive boat and, to help him with his mission, a copy of Ark Building For Dummies. Talk about a heavenly endorsement!

Ten Bold New Electronic Ventures Suitably for a brand that got its start with technology books, Dummies is always broadening its digital horizons. Here are ten ways that Dummies is reaching its audience in cyberspace: ✓ E-cheat sheets: Those handy, tear-away Cheat Sheets at the front of every For Dummies book have found a new home online, providing the same great content in a more easily accessible format. ✓ E-books: Books have gone digital, and Dummies is there, ensuring that readers can get the content they need on the e-reading device of their choosing. ✓ Electronic custom publishing solutions: With the growing popularity of e-books, custom publishing clients are exploring this option, and Dummies delivers. (For more, check out ✓ Smartphone apps: Got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? There’s a Dummies app for that! Basic Spanish For Dummies is the top-selling Dummies app, helping busy people tackle a new language on the go. Many For Dummies apps are also available for Android smartphones with more coming soon. De nada. ✓ How-to, step-by-step slide shows on www. New on are slide shows that illustrate exactly how to accomplish tricky tasks, such as creating a custom show in PowerPoint 2007, one step at a time.

62 ✓ Videos on The For Dummies Web site is home to over 350 videos that cover a huge range of topics, from creating a podcast to carving a turkey. ✓ A global shop on No matter where you are in the world, you can visit www. and shop to your heart’s content, buying books, e-books, and licensed products. ✓ E-mail newsletters: You can get Dummies in your in-box! offers readers the opportunity to stay informed through ten different e-mail newsletters on diverse topics, including digital photography, home and garden, and health and wellness. Check out Figure 5-1 for an example.

Figure 5-1: Dummies delivers directly to you!

63 ✓ A familiar presence in social media: People are connecting online in new and exciting ways, and Dummies is in the social media mix, providing a friendly and trusted voice. You can find Dummies on Twitter (@fordummies), Facebook (www., and YouTube ( ✓ Technical support, Dummies-style: A new licensed venture, Tech Support For Dummies ( and shown in Figure 5-2), offers 24/7 assistance with hardware, software, electronics, and more, with monthly, annual, or one-time rates. Dummies to the rescue!

Figure 5-2: Dummies offers 24/7 technical support assistance.


Ten (or So) Eye-Popping Statistics Mathematics isn’t always the most exciting topic, but the numbers in this section are impressive. The following statistics demonstrate the astonishing popularity of the For Dummies series: ✓ Just 7,500: This relatively small number is how many copies of DOS For Dummies, the first book in the series, were printed back in 1991. ✓ More than 250 million: That’s how many For Dummies books are in print today — a far cry from those DOS days in 1991. ✓ More than 1,800: With books covering everything from A+ certification to the Zune, it’s not surprising that the For Dummies series boasts such a large number of titles — and the list just keeps on growing! ✓ Ten every minute: That’s how many For Dummies books are sold in the United States. In Canada and the United Kingdom, a For Dummies book is sold every minute, and in Australia, one is sold every three minutes. That’s success you can set your watch by! ✓ More than 2 million: Speaking of numbers, this many readers couldn’t stop inserting them into 9-x-9 grids in Sudoku For Dummies, a book that spawned two best-selling sequels. ✓ Only six weeks: iPhone For Dummies, 3rd Edition, went from being a great idea to a best-selling book on store shelves in this amazingly short span of time.

65 ✓ More than 30: Dummies truly is a global phenomenon, with books having been translated into this many languages through the years, including Arabic, Estonian, Greek, Russian, and Vietnamese. ✓ More than 200,000: Dummies isn’t just about books; you can find that reliable yellow and black on a wide range of licensed products. This astonishing number is how many units of the GPS Navigation For Dummies personal navigation device have sold. ✓ Nearly 600,000: Sacré bleu! In France, they sure love Dummies (or “les Nuls,” as they say). L’Histoire de France Pour Les Nuls (shown in Figure 5-3) has been a runaway bestseller in la belle pays, selling this many copies and becoming the topselling foreign-language For Dummies title.

Figure 5-3: Everything you always wanted to know about France!

66 ✓ About 2 million: attracts this many unique visitors a month, and they’ve come to rely on the site’s helpful videos and articles to assist with everything from technology advice to how to remove wallpaper. ✓ More than 15 million: As far back as 1992, the Dummies brand was making sure to jump on hot topics that consumers needed information about right away. Early editors took a gamble on Windows, betting that it would overtake DOS as the operating system of the masses; a bazillion copies later (15 million, to be precise), Windows For Dummies remains the bestselling computer book of all time.

For Dummies has experienced two decades of exponential growth! Here are a few history highlights. 1991: The Dummies series is born when 7,500 copies of DOS For Dummies roll off the press 1992: Dummies goes international with licenses to foreign publishers for translation

2002: Dummies goes on TV when the Pregnancy For Dummies television miniseries premieres 2003: For Dummies consumer titles are launched in the United Kingdom 2004: French History For Dummies is published in France, and sales soar

1993: For Dummies boasts 17 different titles

2005: The successful Workbook For Dummies line extension is introduced, and Dummies releases its first-ever full-color Dummies books

1994: The first “non-tech” title is published, Personal Finance For Dummies

2006: Australia’s Prime Minister, John Howard, launches Cricket For Dummies in a large media event

1995: The first Canadian Dummies title is published, Personal Finance For Canadians For Dummies 1996: launches

2007: Windows Vista For Dummies quickly becomes the #1-selling tech book — total global units sold: over 15 million

1997: Dummies Daily e-mail-based eTips are launched

2008: Dummies publishes its first book targeted at seniors: Computers For Seniors For Dummies

1998: The For Dummies phenomenon is featured in People Magazine

2009: Dummies releases its first Kindle-only book — Kindle 2 For Dummies

1999: The first Australian title, The Internet For Dummies, Australian Edition, is published

2010: Dummies Mobile Apps are available in the iTunes store; by year's end, 40 are available globally

2000: For Dummies travel guides are launched

2011: Dummies celebrates 20 years of Making Everything Easier!

2001: 100 million English-language For Dummies books are in print

Making Everything

The history, statistics, and fun facts! Although yellow-and-black For Dummies books are pervasive today — found all over the world and wherever books are sold, covering subjects from Access to Zune — at one time they didn’t exist at all. How did this brand come about? What juicy tidbits exist in the Hall of Memories to explain the brand’s titling strategy (Dummies? I’m not a dummy!) and its unique elements like cartoons and icons? This special anniversary edition answers these questions and provides insight into how the launch of a single book in 1991 evolved into a global brand phenomenon.

Open the book and find: • The first book and how it came to market • Decisions that helped establish the brand • The role authors have played in making Dummies successful

Easier !

• The brand around the globe • Fun Dummies moments in history

Learn about: • The first Dummies book and how it came to be

Go to®

Special Edition

20th y r a s r e v i n An

• The evolution of Dummies packaging

for videos, step-by-step examples, how-to articles, or to shop!

• The brand’s history and milestones • Each book series, licensed products, memorable quotes, and more!

For Dummies 20th Anniversary minibook  

For Dummies 20th Anniversary minibook