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The For Dummies Success Story

Gaining notice and garnering popularity quickly after the series' introduction, For Dummies has become a widely recognized and regarded companion around the world — a personal or professional friend who's not only informative and reliable, but also downright fun.

Starting with the publication of DOS For Dummies in November 1991, For Dummies products have shown millions how to make the most of their PCs, get on the Internet, and explore the world of Windows.

Now — with more than 250 million books in print — For Dummies products show you how to do everything — cook, garden, manage finances, run a business, plan a trip, exercise, and eat right.

The inspiration

In 1987, new technologies were popping up all over the place. But computer manuals were dull and difficult to understand. A frustrated customer in a computer store, who knew nothing about computers, was looking for a simple, basic book about the difficult DOS operating system. "Something," he suggested, "like DOS for dummies." We knew the man's frustration was shared by many other computer users, and we set out to do something about it. Thus, the For Dummies phenomenon began.

From the start, For Dummies was a simple, yet powerful concept: Relate to the anxiety and frustration that people feel about technology by poking fun at it with books that are insightful and educational and make difficult material interesting and easy. Add a strong dose of personality, a dash of comic relief with entertaining cartoons, and — voilá — you have a For Dummies book.

The presses roll

In November 1991, DOS For Dummies by Dan Gookin was initially met with skepticism — most bookstore chains didn't want to carry the book at all, claiming that the title insulted their customers and readers in general. But we responded to the critics by calling the title a "term of endearment" that readers would immediately relate to and identify with. After convincing the bookstores to give us a chance, consumers agreed.

Onward and upward

And the For Dummies experience just keeps expanding! For Dummies now covers virtually all topics, including Flipping Houses For Dummies, Manga For Dummies, eBay For Dummies, Blogging For Dummies,  and even Food Allergies For Dummies. For Dummies tackles any topic that's complex, confusing, intimidating, or conjures up any feelings of anxiety. What's more, For Dummies books are now translated into over 30 languages.

Today, the For Dummies impact extends beyond the printed word — into the realms of software, videos, and Dummies.com.