How to Write a 'Dummies' Book for Dummies
Now that my new book, Success as a Mediator for Dummies is about to launch, mail, email, carrier pigeons and messages in bottles arrive at my door regularly, seeking “how to” advice for writing a Dummies book.
I tell them there are two ways to go.
The first, and by far the easiest (though by no means simple) is to make your expertise sufficiently well known that the Dummies people at Wiley will come to you when your niche is hot enough to join the 1600 Dummies titles already in print.
The second, and far more difficult (though no means impossible) way to turn your expertise into a Dummies book is to write a proposal for one.
Unfortunately, Wiley, the Dummies publisher, does not accept unsolicited proposals. You’ll need to find a literary agent to submit yours – a path I’ll write about in Part II of this series.
Make Yourself Sufficiently Prominent to Attract a Dummies Offer
Anyone with expertise in their field – or even simply in their hobby – should already know that strings of letters after your name are no longer necessary to testify to your expertise. Sure, they help. I’ve got a few after mine. But is wasn’t my J.D. or my LL.M in dispute resolution that led to my first conversation about a Dummies mediation book with Wiley.
I know that because the mediation field is pretty small and most of the mediation bloggers I know were also contacted as potential authors of Success as a Mediator for Dummies.
All you need is for your name to be strongly associated with your field or your area of expertise. Marketing types call that branding but I call it blogging.