Any luck with the "...for Dummies" series?

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KansasWriter

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Hi folks,

I did a search but couldn't find anything:

I have what I believe to be an (ahem) fantastic idea for the Dummies series. I am not exactly an expert but pretty close. I have lots of contacts and my idea does not seem to be taken.

Has anyone tried with these guys? Apart from writing a non-fiction book proposal, would it be best to contact them first or an agent?

Thanks!
KW
 

Thump

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Well, if you have no luck with the Dummies, there's also the Complete Idiot's Guide and a bunch of other similar series X-D
But if you're not an actual expert (and can prove it to them) they're probably not gonna take you up on it, IMO. I never tried. I buy those books 'cause I dun' know nothin'.
 

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I'd warn you to be cautious; I've only worked on Dummies computer books, but dear sweet heavens, it's the most incompetent editorial department I've ever dealt with.
 

popmuze

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I once got to second or third base with them. For all I know I'm still on second or third base.

First of all, if you're not an expert and they like your idea, they'll want you to team with an expert, so there goes half your advance (and the advance is not that huge to begin with).

Then they take you through all sorts of preliminary steps to see if you can write in their format.

That's when I came up with the idea of a "How to Write a Dummies Book for Dummies."

This preliminary stuff is all on your dime and they may take quite a while before they even get back to you to tell you further revisions are needed.

Finally, if they do want to make a deal with you, they give you an impossible deadline.

I think the real dummies may be the ones who take the bait.

On the other hand, a friend of mine has gotten wonderful royalty checks from them for years. But they approached him.
 

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You do tend to sell out on a popular title, but the headaches, and the pay compared to advances from similar publishers is not really enough to compensate for the difficulties of dealing with the editorial division.
 

CatMuse33

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Adams Media has their Everything books series, which is similar to the Dummies and Idiots books. I've never worked with Adams Media as a primary author, but I've been published in two of their anthologies and they seemed very fair and good to work with. Just another option to look into.
 

hopeful

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I recently co-authored a Complete Idiot's Guide, and actually enjoyed the experience a great deal. My co-author was great to work with, as were all the editors.

- hopeful
 

MOON GODDESS

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Dummies

I never had any dealings with the Dummies, but someone I know published an "Everything" book in a matter of months. There are several format books out there, if this one doesn't work. Have you visited their websites?
 

MOON GODDESS

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Just curious if you're willing to share how you got the opportunity to co-write? I'd love to do such a book, just to get my writing going, again. Thanks.
 

hopeful

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Hi MOON GODDESS,

You are kind to ask about my co-writing project, and how I got the chance to co-write. I think this kind of thing varies from project to project, but in my case it was my agent who hooked me up with another one of her writers. The other writer and I really hit it off, so the whole experience was smooth sailing.

Thanks again for your interest!

I wish you all the best with your next project!!

-hopeful
 
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