Yes, books with a s. : )
It is with immense excitement that I am sharing the news that I have just finished writing my second book!
It is a long title ain't it? The good news is we are going to refer to it simply as Web Analytics 2.0.
In this post I wanted to share thoughts about the book, the process of writing it (and doing three rounds of edits!) and outcomes.
The "problem" was the book continued to sell at a nice rate and I was not sure what to update because 90% of the content was still current and relevant.
Still there was a lot of new stuff I had written, new models I had developed, new and more advanced techniques, new problems we were dealing with in the world and so on and so forth.
That lead to my proposal to Willem to write a new book that would use Web Analytics: An Hour a Day as a starting point. The second book would be an advanced book that would allow the first book's readers to truly become Super Analysis Ninjas, and for those that had not read the first book to have the finest possible immersion in web analytics.
And that's just what Web Analytics 2.0 is.
The 2.0 Book
The book's core philosophy is based on the framework you have seen me talk about on this blog. . . the quest to answer four key questions: the What, How Much, Why, and What Else. . .
The awesome thing about writing a advanced book is that I can start with a bang! No history and what not. It starts with: Here is how your world should look like and this is why its important, now let's get down to business.
That's by page 9. : )
And then it just keeps kicking it up a notch. Bam! Bam! Bam!
Like the first book this is not a book about Omniture or Xiti or Google Analytics. It is not a "press this button in the tool and then press that one" book.
It hopes to be brain food.
Here is how you should think. Here are the traps to avoid when picking key performance indicators. Here are the core analytical techniques you should apply. Here are a bunch of reality checks. Here is how to embrace outcomes, regardless of the size of business you have. Here is how to achieve higher highs with testing and by listening to customers (literally). Here is how you leverage your competitor's data. Here is how you becoming a true Analysis Ninja (step, by step, by step).
And none of that is even close to the coolest part of the book (see why I am so darn excited?).
There are so many topics I deal with each day that I have not had time to write about on the blog, all the things I practice all day long in the five jobs I hold.
The book gave me the impetus to write all that down.
So there are complete sections in the book that teach:
Why tracking the social web is such a massive problem.
How to measure success of blogs.
Meaningful non-crappy twitter analytics.
Mobile analytics! This was so much fun to write about.
Measuring rich applications whose primary usage happens with no internet connection.
And more such things.
But you might end up buying the book simply for Chapter 12, it covers two things that I think will rock your world:
1. Multi-touch campaign attribution analysis (dissected and presented in a way like you have not seen it any where, I think)
2. Multi-channel non-line analytics (practical tips, best practices, unique stories to inspire you)
Even after all that I was not completely satisfied. : ) There are two more new things to end the book. A complete chapter on how to start, nurture and advance a career in web analytics. The last chapter of the book is on how to overcome the hardest challenge of it all: creating a data driven organization!
The Writing Experience
This was a very hard book to write, in many ways harder than Web Analytics: An Hour a Day.
That's partly because this time around I had my full time job, my work with my start-up Market Motive, my advisory roles in three companies, my world travel to support my professional speaking career, my blogging (the only thing that suffered), and of course my family.
It is difficult to find time and energy to write a book with all that (and impossible without a magnificent wife who takes on three times a normal human's load to support you!). Especially to pull the writing and three rounds of edits in four months!
It was also hard because this is a much more advanced book with so many topics on the bleeding edge. It is hard to make sense of it all and understand it enough to apply a reality filter and then write something that people can apply today, and use for a very long time.
And yet it was a lot of fun to write this book.
I think that's primarily because with the first book I had no real sense for what the book would become, who it would impact, how far it would go.
This time around I have a much better sense for all that.
So many of you have written to me about all the ways the book has touched your lives. As I wrote this book that was constantly at the back of my mind. It pushed me to work harder and do better because I realized all the places it would go, all the people who will crack it open, all the expectations it had to meet.
I had this visual of all the people who might buy this book and how in some way something I wrote could have an impact on them. That was pressure, but it was also fun.
The Second Little Book That Could
Some of you know that my wife Jennie and I had decided that we would donate all the proceeds from the first book to charity. We had chosen The Smile Train and Doctor's Without Borders and split 50% of the proceeds between each.
My hope was that Web Analytics: An Hour a Day would sell enough for us to donate the $10,000 advanced we had received.
We have thus far received, and donated, 18 months worth of royalties from the book, approximately $70,000 (!!).
Not in my wildest dreams had I imagined that! And there is no way that we could have afforded to donate that much money.
In a very small way this blog and the book have helped other people in our lovely world. It has been an extremely gratifying experience for us.
With Web Analytics 2.0 we have decided to do the same again.
100% of my author proceeds from the book (and all the amazon affiliate sales) will be donated to The Smile Train and Ekal Vidyalaya.
Ekal Vidyalaya runs schools in remote locations that reach the poorest of the poor children in India. Without Ekal these children would have a very limited set of opportunities in life, if any.
When the going got really tough with this book the thing that kept me going was to produce a book that would have a big impact on people who buy it and a small impact on the charities Jennie and I choose.
The book can be pre ordered on amazon now, if you are so inclined.
It will be released mid-October 2009.
Wish me luck.