Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spawn of Dummies

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Way back in 1997 I wrote a book called Bird Watching For Dummies and it sold pretty darn well. It's still in print and still selling all these years later. Two Dummies-themed spin-offs have come from it, the most recent being Bird Watching Basics For Dummies, created as part of a beginning bird watching kit from Leupold Optics.

This kit, which will retail for about $79, includes a pair of 8x25 waterproof Leupold binocs with strap and carrying case, the Bird Watching Basics For Dummies book, and brochure of feeder birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The final kit will be available for sale soon.

I'm flattered that my writing is included in this nifty kit for beginning birders. Especially because I firmly believe that the world cannot have too many bird watchers.


On August 29, 2006 at 9:49 PM Stardustgirl said...

Wow! That's a nostalgia trip. Did you write the first one for them back when they were still IDG? I worked for their competition at the time, but had friends who worked there.

--Maureen (in a city where you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a book publisher, now most have fled back east)

On August 30, 2006 at 7:09 AM Bill of the Birds said...

Yep that was me (tho I also had some help). Worked with the folks in the Indianapolis office of IDG and wrote the entire thing in 9 months.

Just before BWFD was born, our Phoebe came into the world. That's why my dedication for the book is
"For Phoebe, my favorite little bird."

On August 30, 2006 at 9:37 AM Rondeau Ric said...

For once a real question.

Obviously you are a very knowledgeable birder and editor.
How difficult was it to “dumb” down your knowledge to a level that was understandable but not condescending to new birders?


On August 31, 2006 at 10:19 AM dguzman said...

I actually read your Birding/Dummies book long before finding your blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned much from it. It was only later, after having read your blog for a few months, that I saw the book again at the library and made the author/blogger connection. I felt as though I'd had some sort of celebrity-sighting moment, like "hey, I have seen that author's dog!"

On August 31, 2006 at 4:06 PM Patrick Belardo said...

Someone gave me a little mini version of that book about 2.5" square. I wonder if that is yours too. I'll have to find it.

On September 5, 2006 at 5:26 PM Bill of the Birds said...


It was NOT hard to write BWFD in the proper tone and style. In fact I found it much easier than a lot of the other writing I do.

You are too kind.

Patrick: Yep, Running Press miniaturized the Dummies book a few years ago. I never knew it until I saw one at a Barnes & Noble checkout line.