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What does it take to develop a “brand” as an author or a line of books? Twenty-five years old, with 250 million books in print and counting, the Dummies brand is still going strong as one of the most well-known and go-to book series for people wanting basic information about just about any topic from accounting and beekeeping and cookbooks to You Tube and Zoho.To answer that question, we posed that question to one of the most successful “author-brands” we could think of. Spokesperson David Palmer allowed this reporter rare and exclusive access to the very busy Dummies Man.Remotely from the Wiley* headquarters in Hoboken, he answered my questions about what drives a best-selling series of books and what keeps a brand alive for two-and-half decades.Here's the Q&A and the important takeaways: Valerie Peterson: Thanks for meeting with me, Dummies Man.Let’s go back to that very first title on your list.Would you tell us about the first Dummies book and how it began your journey into the international brand it is today?
So we saw a need and took a chance and the author, Dan Gookin delivered.
And I was tapped to be the face of the brand, so to speak, on the book covers.
We felt people needed a resource they could open, find the answer to their question, close the book and use it. We quickly published more books on a variety of topics using the same, easy-to-follow model.
Today, there are more than 300 million books in print and we add roughly 200 titles per year.
The first German Dummies title published in 1992, the first Canadian title published in 1995, the first Australian title in 2001 and the first UK title in 2003.