Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

I was completely shocked when I visited today and saw this book in my “recommended” list. Why shocked? Because Susie isn’t writing it!

As you well know, Susie first proposed exactly this book, with exactly this title, to Wiley early in 2004.  They liked the idea, and hired her to write it, but eventually decided they wouldn’t go for the title.  They said they needed to offer something more than “just” blogging for the book to sell.

She fought fairly hard for the original title, but eventually decided that for her, the most important thing was to have written the best blogging book possible regardless of the title on it.  The core of the book would still be a very hands-on, detailed guide to blogging. And that’s how it got to be called “Buzz Marketing with Blogs for Dummies.”

Since it was published, Susie’s book has sold quite well.  She’s averaging about 10,000th on Amazon every weekday, months after the book has been released.  That’s darn good.

Good enough that Wiley has evidently decided to publish another book on blogging, this time called “Blogging for Dummies.”

Here’s the thing. They have never contacted Susie about this. The first we heard of it was today on Amazon.

I think that’s pretty shoddy, or disorganized, of them.  [short_rant]The cover even SOUNDS like “Buzz Marketing”: “Set up, publish and maintain a blog that draws readers”... [/short_rant]

There’s no reason I can imagine for Wiley not to come back to Susie about a general blogging book.  After all, she’s since written a third book for them, and they’ve asked her to write even more.  She’s never missed a deadline, and her copy is clean as a dog’s bowl. So, why they then went and asked Brad Hill to write another book about blogging, I just don’t know.

Having this blogging book out might serve Wiley pretty well, but I doubt it will do good things for the sales of Susie’s book. Interestingly, Joe Wikert, a publisher at Wiley blogged about this issue of issuing competing books just last month, and Brad Hill himself commented about how unfair it was that authors have to sign non-compete clauses but that published could put out competing books.  Uh, Brad…

So I don’t know what to think, but I do have a favor to ask.

Susie’s far too sweet and polite to raise a fuss about this, but I would appreciate it if you could point out the silliness of this situation—please, nothing against this other author Brad Hill, who seems to be a very frequent writer of Dummies books. He doesn’t have his own blog, which is odd, but he writes for Weblogs Inc., and I’m sure his book will be decent. 

It’s the folks at Wiley who I think have acted a little wantonly, and I’d like you to call their attention, and the attention of others, to the fact that they already have a book about blogging, and that it’s weird to bring in another author into a subject area in which you already have an expert.

Secondly, please help me make sure that any mention of this new “Blogging for Dummies” book does not claim that this is the first blogging book by Wiley, or the first mainstream blogging book, or anything like that.  Susie wrote her book starting in the fall of 2004 and had it published in March


2005. It was the first Wiley book about blogging. It’s also the first business blogging book of any sort.  She ought to get her props, and as her peeps, I’m counting on you.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

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“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

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“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

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