Scott Adams on writing books

Have been an on/off reader of Dibert cartoon strips. Scott’s humor can many a time be thought provoking. From a recent entry in his blog :

When I wrote my first book, The Dilbert Principle, I inadvertently stumbled on the most powerful, sure-fire book-selling concept ever: Say what other people are already thinking, but say it better than they are thinking it. In my case, I told people that their managers were as useful as the undigested bits of peanuts in a squirrel’s turd. (See, you just laughed.) Bingo – best seller.

All non-fiction best-selling opinion books are nothing more than your own opinions fed back to you with seasoning. Ann Coulter sells to conservatives who agree with her. Al Franken sells to liberals who agree with him. And they do it brilliantly, in my opinion.

I tried to violate that rule with a later book called Dilbert and The Way of the Weasel. My thesis was that everyone is a weasel, including you and me. Oops. I think seven people bought that book, and probably as gifts for people they don’t like. No one wants to hear that he or she is a weasel. People want a book that says OTHER people are weasels because that’s what they believe. Most people don’t want to risk having their mind changed.

To be fair, there are independent thinkers who read all sorts of books. But there aren’t enough of them to make a best seller.

Liked the way he puts things in a matter-of-factly way.


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