Mergers & Acquisitions For Dummies

Mergers & Acquisitions For Dummies

Are you a business owner thinking about selling your business or are you an owner or executive thinking about growing your company through acquisitions…and you don’t know where to start? Then Mergers & Acquisitions For Dummies is for you!

Written in an easy to read, straightforward style, M&A For Dummies gives you the lowdown about basic terms and decorum, tips for finding buyers or sellers, ideas about structuring deals, and takes you through the entire M&A process, step by step. If you’re “a-wantin’ to know,” M&A For Dummies is for you!


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How many copies have you sold and can I have a free copy?

Apparently you have missed the irony of your question. As much as I wish I could tell you I carry a couple dozen copies at all times, the fact is books are heavy! I do not walk around with dozens of copies on my person. The other fact is the publisher, Wiley, is in the business of business. That means they’d like to make money from selling its products. In other words, any time I’ve handed out a book means I’ve actually bought that book. So if you’d really like a copy, simply buy a copy. The book is sold anywhere books are sold.

As far as the aggregate sales total, that number is meaningless. If I tell you the book sold 1000 copies or 5000 copies or 10,000 copies or 100,000 copies, would any of those numbers mean anything to you? Probably not. The aggregate sales numbers don’t mean much because aggregate sales are a function of consumer demand and time.  Instead, you want to look at the velocity of sales. Amazon has a great way to monitor this: Amazon Best Sellers Rank. If you see a title that is constantly in the, say top 20,000th to 100,000th best selling title, that book is probably selling a hundred to two hundred copies per month. And that’s pretty good. If a book’s rank has seven digits, it probably sells a handful of copies a month (or maybe a handful per quarter or year).

How did you get around the copyright issues? Doesn’t someone own the rights to all those “For Dummies” books?

The publisher contacted me to write a book. Someone does own the copyright to the “For Dummies” franchise, and that is Wiley Publishing.  So I didn’t “get around” copyright issues…I wrote the book after being contracted by the publisher to write the book! Here, you can read more about the “For Dummies” franchise if you’re interested.

Did you really write it or did someone else write it for you?

Yes, I really wrote it! No one else wrote it. I did not use a ghost writer. I did not use someone who transcribed and organized my thoughts into a cogent book. I actually wrote the thing! I. Pressed. The. Keys. On. My. Keyboard. Me, no one else! Please, stop asking.

How did you get the opportunity to write the book? What did you say to the publisher? How did you sell the idea?

I wrote something else (Venture Capital 101), gave that book away for free, one of those copies somehow ended up at Wiley Publishing and they contacted me to write something. That story actually forms the basis of my book, Networking Is A Curable Condition. If you want to learn more, simply buy that book.

I have an idea that will make a great “For Dummies” book! Introduce me to the publisher, now!

Get in line, pal, Wiley is pretty clear about not accepting unsolicited proposals for books. Don’t believe me? Here’s their “don’t call us, we’ll call you” section of their website. As far as me providing an introduction, that won’t get you anywhere. I’m just a lowly writer! We’re at the bottom of the value creation puzzle for publishers. And frankly, authors are a dime a dozen.

How long did it take to write the book?

Roughly four months of actual writing. Prior to that, I spent about three months working with Wiley to finalize an outline.

No, really, who wrote it for you? Someone else actually wrote it, right?

I can’t tell you how often I get asked this question. Why do people always think someone else did all the work? What do you think I am, a ’60s TV show about a pop band where the songs were written and performed by people other than the actors singing them? I’d like to meet this “someone else” because he must be a pretty busy person.

Anyway, let me state for the record, clearly and unequivocally, I wrote the darn book! I conceptualized it, laid out the flow of information, and wrote the text. All of it. I did have an editor, who was very helpful, and a proofreader, who also was very helpful. But the book is all me. Well, at least the words. I did not design the cover nor did I create (or conceptualize) the cartoons in the book. I’m not a fan of either! The cartoons, in particular, do the book a disservice. The cartoons use terminology not used in the book and worse, often cast the work of negotiating and mergers and acquisitions in a negative light. I actually conceptualized cartoons I felt would work better, but the publisher obviously had different ideas. Oh well!