Five Thousand Times Two Translates Into Goodness

raspberries This is a "first time author post" from a first time author who is quite obsessed with all things "the book" and honestly enjoying every minute of the ride (ok Willem you were right and all those sleepless nights and 18 hour weekend days might, just might, have been worth it!).

One of my mantras is to stay fanatically focused on putting value added content on this blog so I hope you'll excuse my detour to write about the book.

I just want to share this happiness with you all. A short post, a quick read, and no comments necessary from you.

The reason I am happy is that after two months of being on the market, the little book that could, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day has sold enough copies to earn $10,000 and hence allow me to donate $5,000 to each of my charities!

In mid April Willem (my wonderful Wiley Acquisition Editor) had called to say that the book release date would be pushed out. That was a bummer. But I remember telling him that my goal was that by the end of 2007 I want the book to sell enough copies so that I could donate $10,000 ($5k to each).

That was both a reflection of the fact that Web Analytics is no Harry Potter and the fact that first time authors make very very little money from the book. Even with 100% of my proceeds going to charity $10k seemed like a stretch goal for seven months.

But thanks to you all we are there already and we have met that goal.

I am both happy (did I say that already?) and deeply grateful to all of you for buying the book and supporting it in so many ways!!

I have had help from a amazing bunch of people for this.

Wonderful folks who have written reviews of the book:

Thanks Dave, Mike, Seth, Andreas, Luke and many others who have written reviews and helped spread the word.

Of course thanks to the 21 of you who have written reviews for the book on Amazon.Com!! My goal is to have 75 reviews of the book on – with the hope that simply the presence of the reviews will drive sales in all channels! :)

Others have done very interesting things to help support the book.

Will Critchlow and the folks at Distilled are handing out a free copy of the book to their customers who sign up for their Reputation Monitor service. Check it out. Their clients get something of value and the charities get funds from sales. Win-win.

Others are doing similar things, a common feature seems to be companies buying a small number of copies and giving it to all their employees or clients.

I feel lucky to have their support helping the book find a audience. This is especially helpful because I am not a very good sales person and have had few ideas about how to promote the book (other than asking for amazon reviews!).

There is one more important person to thank in the area of raising money for charities. My friend, Ms. Left Brain, Gradiva Couzin. Her advice was "Avinash you have to set up a affiliate program, you are going to be surprised." This tip was super valuable (and something I would not otherwise have done).

Thanks to Gradiva the link that you see on the right nav (and included in this url had generated $1,600 in affiliate dollars (on top of the $10k above). Amazon will pay that out in a quarter, so that money will be on its way to the charities as well.

Lots of you have used the vanity to as a link in your blogs and articles. Your kind efforts are in that $1,600!

I feel that it is a privilege to get to write a book and have it be published. I think I'll never get tired of seeing my book in a bookstore (here's daddy pride, my son Chirag at Borders bookstore: "Daddy your book is in the library!").

I am so grateful that this little book on a niche subject has helped raise a small amount of money. 100% of my proceeds go to The Smile Train and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), to assist in their efforts to make our world a better place. You all are contributing to that. Thank you.

Every post I write requests comments, not this one. No comments necessary.

And to end on a high note, cute overload, little kids and babies with the book!

Gócza: Daddy I am not sure I agree with Avinash's choice of Page Tagging over Log Files. (The making of a future Judah Phillips!)

noah CN
Noah's Dad is a great Web Analyst, looks like Noah's taken up after Dad! PS: That's the best smile ever!

jake web analytics
Do you see a pattern here? Jake's Mom is also a great Web Analyst! I bet he is going to write a great Amazon.Com review of the book. :)

sara botum
Sara Botum: Mom this one, this one, I really do want this one! :)

leah UK
Beautiful English countryside. Check. Wonderful cottage in the background. Check. Pretty little Leah. Check. Obligatory Web Analytics book. Check!

dylan NY 01
Dylan is going to be the next baseball home run king, just look at the picture. Two fingers holding up a 450 page book! He is super strong!!

corbin AUS
Corbin: Ha! I knew it! Yells: Dad, you were wrong. It is three standard deviations from the mean and not two for creating control limits on your conversion rate trends!


  1. 1

    Yells: Dad, you were wrong.

    Us Dad's are always wrong. Appears to be a ground state of being. :-)


    – Corbin's (very proud) Dad

  2. 2

    Hi Avinash

    So gald to hear that it's going so well – you really do deserve it.

    However I have to disagree with you on one point and also make a suggestion.

    I think you under rate yourself as a sales person. Whilst you may not be trying to sell, I suspect your interest in and attention to your audience is an increadibly strong influencing factor in your sales figures. Perhaps you could just call it an 'optimised Avinash experience', but I doubt without it you would sell as many…

    As far as the suggestion goes, you might want to think about adding a amazon affilate link to some of the other amazon stores. I wanted to use your link, but I wanted to buy from the UK store. Not sure if it's transferable. Perhaps a link to a page with all the other amazon stores? Anyway just my £0.02 worth.

  3. 3

    Thanks for the update Avinash – glad it's going well with the money for charity.

    And thanks for the links!

    Speak soon.

  4. 4

    You have one more sale to add to your accomplishments. I own an online lingerie boutique and I am finding a bit challenging and overwhelming to wrap my head around all the data. Thanks for the tip regarding bounce rate.

    I am really looking forward to learning more about my customers and hoping to attract more people who are interested in the beautiful intimates I offer.

    I checked on your tour schedule. I will keep an eye out for when you may make it around Philly.

    Life is short. Wear pretty underwear.

  5. 5


    Congratulations on your sales numbers so far, that is awesome news! I have little doubt that you'll accomplish your sales/donation goal before the end of the year and agree with Lucy, you are obviously a very sophisticated sales person.

    All the best,

    Eric T. Peterson
    Author, Web Analytics Demystified

  6. 6

    Kristina : I wrote to a friend the other day and this is what I said:

    "……Life is really short and my relationship methodology is simple: No fake crap. It works or it does not."

    But I like your version even better, there is something Zen about it!

    "Life is short. Wear pretty underwear."

    I read it at 0700 this morning and it made me laugh. Thank you.

    Now off to buy some pretty underwear!


  7. 7

    Damn it Man! with these cute kids smiles you are going to make me buy another copy of the book…8-)

  8. 8

    I'm glad your book sales are doing well, too. Hopefully you'll exceed your goal by the end of the year.

  9. 9

    Congrats Avinash! You are spreading good karma for sure.

    LOL about that lil tyke! So cute! I bet he was trying to understand the difference between "page bounce rate" and "knee bounce rate!" :-)



  10. 10

    Hi Avinash,

    well done! I'm glad to hear that you reached the targets. That reminds me that I completely forgot to add this important information to the review, i.e. that all proceeds are donated to charities. I'll update the post this weekend.

    Now I feel bad that i've lent my copy of the book to someone at work, i should've asked them to buy one.

    Best wishes!


  11. 11

    Amazon review #23 just went up. Who's next??

    Phillip Crum

  12. 12
    Sonia Raval says


    Congrats on hitting the goal! I hope you're working on a sequel…

    Amongst the recent analytics books, this is a "must read"; a very practical approach to web analytics.

  13. 13

    Great to hear the impressive numbers. Congrats!!

    I am sure you will achieve your target for this year very soon. My very best wishes are with you.


  14. 14

    Ahh, I missed a point of adding the Amazon review target not the financial one. With love of so many people, Avinash should be able to hit the 75 review target soon.

    Financial Target has already been met. But what about the revised target, is there any further goal set? How about hitting 100k? Quite aggressive huh!! … am a marketer, live in optimism.


  15. 15

    hi nice post, i enjoyed it

  16. 16

    Congrats on hitting your target. I added a review to amazon as well.

  17. 17

    Thanks for the link, Avinash.

    Have you read Tim Sander's excellent book, Love Is The Killer App? (

    Tim's basic message is be nice, help folks out w/o expecting anything in return, and good things happen.

    Your whole approach reminds me of LoveCat!

    Great stuff.



    PS For folks interested in buying Avinash's book in bulk, Amazon has the best pricing (books+shipping) until you buy 50+ copies. At 50 or 100, you might do better from the publisher. If you go w/ Amazon, do use his affiliate link: to help the charities.

  18. 18

    Welldone on the sales Avinash.

    Having been handed responsibility for Analytics at my company 3 months ago with no background in the web (!), your book has been a life-saver. I have carried it around with me extolling its virtues to anyone who will listen, my passion for your book has become something of an office joke now.

    However, I fear I may have driven up your cost per sale. Six weeks in I got the confidence up to look up "dashboards" in the index (advanced stuff for me). Imagine my horror when I discovered that 50 pages of the book were missing, including the section on dashboards. Thankfully the book seller gave me a replacement, and all is now well.

    Good luck with the new company

  19. 19

    Hi Avinash,

    Thanks for putting up the gorgeous photo of Leah – she looks so cute. I'll tell her tonight as soon as I get home – she has just started speaking – in both the Queen's English and Spanish which is pretty hard work for this hardworking mummy to keep up…

    And more importantly congratulations on your really great sales figures which are going to such great charities too!!!


  20. 20

    Good news on the book sales and donations. Would be really cool to see a big player like Google matching some of those funds. I bought another 6 copies the other day and gave to friends. Thanks for posting the pic of Noah.

  21. 21

    Hi Avinash!
    Wow, congratulations on the fabulous book sales! I can't say that I'm surprised. And especially wonderful: the news that your charities are going to recieve such a bountiful gift – creating many smiles and much health around the world, all thanks to you. Rarely is such generosity and graciousness seen. You are an amazing example to us all!

    Here is a book that is making ME a happier SEO provider and making the world a better place! Who could ask for more?

    It looks like I'll be the last person on the block to publish my review… but that's OK, it's always nice to get the last word.

    congrats again, you deserve it,

  22. 22

    Don't have kids but I just purchased your book anyway based on the feedback. I'll send in a picture of my dog not chewing it up :)


  1. […] The real web analytics princess, my daughter Leah Posted by: Marianina Chaplin in Web Analytics It appears that an usurper to my title of web analytics princess has appeared, in the shape of my daughter Leah. She has been making friends in high places in the web analytics world. And in fact, Leah has recently been caught on camara whilst researching/contemplating web analytics conundrums in Avinash's book Web analytics an hour a day and is now on his blog.  […]

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