One of the most successful book series in recent years has been the For Dummies series that began in 1991.
The roots of this book series are tied to technology. The first Dummies book was titled, “DOS for Dummies,” and technology-focused Dummies books continue to be in abundance today. For example, one of my coworkers has co-authored a book titled, “SAS for Dummies,” and currently maintains a blog titled, “The SAS Dummy: a blog for the rest of us.”
Beyond technology, I’m amazed by the plethora of subjects covered within the series. The For Dummies bookstore has titles ranging from “Building Chicken Coops for Dummies” to “Acoustic Guitar Songs for Dummies,” and the DUMMIES.COM web site is now featuring step-by-step “How to Peel an Avocado” content excerpted from the “Vegetarian Cooking for Dummies” book. I own one book, “Wine for Dummies,” from the series and reference it from time to time.
Fear of failure can be an especially strong deterrent when one is confronted with learning new things. From a marketing perspective, I think that whoever originally coined the series name, “For Dummies,” was brave and showed no fear in banking on the fact that a majority of consumers would relate and admit to the fact that they were novices or “dummies” about many subjects.
Without doubt, the “For Dummies” marketing slogan has had broad appeal. The books are now available in more than 15 world languages. When it comes to learning something new, it seems everyone is a beginner, and the old saying is true: “you have to start somewhere.”
I think I’ll go acquaint myself with a glass of exotic vino. What’s the next new thing that you’re planning to try?