Regex Guru

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Regular Expressions Cookbook Is in The Money—Win a Copy

Filed under: Regex Cookbook — Jan Goyvaerts @ 15:17

You may have heard some people say that most book authors never get any royalties. That’s not true because most authors get an advance royalty that is paid before the book is published. That’s the author’s main incentive for writing the book, at least as far as money is concerned. (If money is your main concern, don’t write books.)

What is true is that most authors never see any money beyond the advance royalty. Royalty rates are very low. A 10% royalty of the publisher’s price is considered normal. The publisher’s price is usually 45% of the retail price. So if you pay full price in a bookstore, the author gets 4.5% of your money. If there’s more than one author, they split the royalty. It doesn’t take a math degree to figure out that a book needs to sell quite a few copies for the royalty to add up to a meaningful amount of money.

But Steven and I must have done something right. Regular Expressions Cookbook is in the money. My royalty statement for the 3rd quartier of 2009, which is the 2nd quarter that the book was on the market, came with a check. I actually received it last month but didn’t get around to blogging about. The amount of the check is insignificant. The point is that the balance is no longer negative. I’m taking this opportunity to pat myself and my co-author on the back.

To celebrate the occassion O’Reilly has offered to sponsor a give-away of five (5) copies of Regular Expressions Cookbook. These are the rules of the game:

  1. You must post a comment to this blog article including your actual name and actual email address. Names are published, email addresses are not.
  2. Comments are moderated by myself (Jan Goyvaerts). If I consider a comment to be offensive or spam it will not be published and not be eligible for any prize.
  3. If you don’t know what to say in the comment, just wish me a happy 100000nd birthday, so I don’t have to feel so bad about entering the 6-bit era.
  4. Each person commenting has only one chance to win, regardless of the number of comments posted.
  5. O’Reilly will be provided with the names and email addresses of the winners (and those email addresses only) in order to arrange delivery.
  6. Each winner can choose to receive a printed copy or ebook (DRM-free PDF). If you choose the printed book, O’Reilly pays for shipping to anywhere in the world but not for any duties or taxes your country may impose on books imported from the USA. If you choose the ebook, you’ll need to create an O’Reilly account that is then granted access to the PDF download. You can make your choice after you’ve won, so it doesn’t influence your chance of winning.
  7. Contest ends 28 February 2010, GMT+7 (Thai time).

Chosen by five calls to Random(78)+1 in Delphi 2010, the winners are:

  • 48: Xiaozu
  • 45: David Chisholm
  • 19: Miquel Burns
  • 33: Aaron Rice
  • 17: David Laing

Thanks to everybody who participated. The winners have been notified by email on how to collect their prize.


  1. With “Mastering Regular Expressions” under my belt, this book seems the perfect candidate for improving my regex skills. I hope I win, and I hope you continue to make lots of money from it. Happy birthday, and greetings from chilly Belgium.

    Comment by Geert De Deckere — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 16:51

  2. Hello Jan,
    just stumbled upon your RegexBuddy site – as I had to solve regex problem – and wanted to know who made this software.
    Now it seems I am the first lucky one to get the chance of winning a very good book.
    I will accept my fate 😉
    Wish you good luck and ongoing good ideas for regexing!
    greetings from snowy germany

    Comment by Matthias Joseph — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 17:18

  3. Hello Jan,

    Bedankt voor RegexBuddy & PowerGrep!

    And I wish you a happy 100000nd birtday :)

    Regards, Tom

    Comment by Tom Pester — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 17:28

  4. The fact that you have written a book on the single most frustrating part of programming that I’ve ever come across is a testament to your RegEx skills. Congratulations on getting out of the red on your book!


    Comment by Ramone Hamilton — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 19:43

  5. I would love to win a copy of your book. Reg-exes rock!

    Comment by J. Versaci — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 19:54

  6. Congratulations! I’m glad to hear the book is proving to be so successful, it is well deserved success. And Jan, happy birthday!

    (Don’t enter me in the contest, just giving you my well wishes. I’ve had my copy since day 1.)

    Comment by Allen — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 20:12

  7. Happy Day Jan! Your materials have made Regular Expressions a breeze to learn.


    Comment by Harry Peltz — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 21:40

  8. Let me be the first to wish you a happy 100000nd birthday! (And I hope DRM-free PDFs become more popular with publishers.)

    Comment by Roger Pate — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 21:42

  9. Congratulations Jan! Although we have a copy of your book in our office, I would love to win a copy for use at home :) Keep up the great work with everything!

    Oh, and happy 100000nd birthday!


    Comment by Bob Dankert — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 21:49

  10. Great news! Interesting facts about author’s royalties. I know there must be some who write just for the money but it does show that in many cases that can’t be the primary motivation. I can’t remember if this happened to be the first published book for either of you but, even if it isn’t, it must be great to do. Thanks for the time to write it and sharing your expertise with us.

    p.s. #3 was my favorite. Very clever way to look at the birthday. :)

    Comment by Scott Boland — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 22:41

  11. I use Regular Expressions a lot at work to tackle a variety of problems. Great to see a book published on this topic, cuz most people get intimidated by the syntax.
    Kudos for the authors effort…sure would love to get a free copy!!!

    Comment by Raghava Nellaturu — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 22:54

  12. Am I really the first one to respond? Oh well, happy 100000nd birthday lol!

    Greetings from the Netherlands (Groeten! :-))

    Comment by Chris Horeweg — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 23:12

  13. I recall a Professor of mine who stated he would not consider hiing a developer that was not familiar with at least rudimentary capability levarging Regular Expressions in her/his profession. Given that, I wonder how I have a job.

    This sounds like a book I could indulge given my copious amounts of spare time. Is 5 minutes a day enough?

    Comment by Tim O'Connell — Tuesday, 16 February 2010 @ 23:17

  14. Congratulations on being in the black! AND happy 100000nd birthday! My 11110 (nor 100000) bothered me overmuch, but it sure put my mom in a funk.

    Comment by Frank Figearo — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 0:00

  15. Hi Jan,

    greetings from good old europe. I hope to win a copy of your book;-)

    Comment by Kurt Trinko — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 0:25

  16. Hi,

    Congratulations on completing this book on regex. I am going to recommend my office library to acquire this book soon.


    btw: happy 10000000nd birthday

    Comment by Rishi Kulkarni — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 1:19

  17. Congratulations on your achievement. Regular expressions are greatly underrated outside a fairly specialised group, so it’s good to know that a critical mass of sorts has been achieved.

    Comment by David Laing — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 4:27

  18. happy 100000nd birthday!

    Comment by Doug Laakso — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 5:35

  19. RegexBuddy, one of the best tools to have around. Thanks for the great tool (and the reason why I know about this blog)

    Comment by Miquel Burns — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 5:47

  20. I’ve been a big fan of JGSoft for a long time now, and am very impressed by not only how great your software is, but how much detail is put into the smallest features. In addition, RegexBuddy has been very good in helping me learn Regular Expressions. Of course, anything else can help. I’d love a copy of your book, but a lack of funds (college student with no job) makes it difficult to afford. So….who am I to argue to a chance at a free copy?

    Plus, I can show it off to everyone on campus and talk them into buying copies.

    Oh, and congrats on the 6-bit birthday.

    Comment by Doug Burkhalter — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 9:20

  21. Good to hear that you’ve achieved fame as a book author, to add to your fame as a genuinely-useful software author.

    Comment by Lance Andrewes — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 10:01

  22. @Scott Boland: Regular Expressions Cookbook is the first book I (partly) wrote that is sold at retail and published through a traditional publisher. It is for Steven as well. For me it’s still the only book. Steven has since contributed a chapter about regular expressions to High Performance JavaScript.

    @Rishi Kulkarni: I don’t think I’ll ever reach 8 bits.

    Since comments are moderated, you get the illusion to be the first one until I get around to approving the comments posted thus far. At least if you fail to notice the notice above the Submit Comment button. I typically approve comments once a day.

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 12:12

  23. I wish you a happy 100000nd birthday :)

    Comment by Komang Arthayasa — Wednesday, 17 February 2010 @ 14:14

  24. Happy 32nd birthday, Jan! 😉

    Comment by Olivier — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 2:26

  25. I have found your website very helpful to learn about Regular Expressions.

    …and I wish you a Happy 100000nd birthday

    Comment by Michael Allaire — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 6:03

  26. Congratulations on the success of your co-authored Regex Cookbook.

    Comment by Chris Seaton — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 7:43

  27. I’d certainly welcome a copy of your book which is already on my to-read list.

    Comment by Antti Karanta — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 13:41

  28. Happy 100000nd birthday

    good deal

    Comment by Caleb Crane — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 20:17

  29. […] site since he’s giving away five copies of Regular Expressions Cookbook; just leave a comment on this post (but make sure to read the rules listed there first) by Feb. 28th and you’re in the […]

    Pingback by ‘Regular Expressions Cookbook’ Giveaway on Jan Goyvaerts’ Regex Guru — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 20:24

  30. I just found your website from Steven Levithan’s blog and have added it to my Google Reader. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!

    Comment by Jared Mellentine — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 21:23

  31. Always wanted to know regex better. Maybe one day I could parse HTML with them :)

    Comment by Vadim — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 22:10

  32. here’s to wishing you a happy 100000nd birthday!

    Comment by Rob Friesel — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 22:23

  33. Congratulations on the success of your book. I’ve always been a big fan of your extremely informative website

    Comment by Aaron Rice — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 22:36

  34. Happy Birthday! Only 5 more years until you’re a prime number again.

    Comment by Garner Halloran — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 23:05

  35. Thanks for the great giveaway, I hope I win.

    Happy 100000nd birthday!

    Comment by Mike — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 23:15

  36. Love the site; would probably love the book just as much! Btw, happy 100000nd birthday…

    Comment by Matt Powell — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 23:36

  37. Regular Expressions are like little girls: when they’re good, they’re really really good but when they’re bad they’re horrid. Usually its only comprehensive tests that keeps the former from becoming the later.

    I recommend everyone use some base other than 10 when reporting their age. I would love to see my 80 year old grandmother explain how she’s really 50 years old. And for those of you who want to remain 29, just increase the base you use every 2 years… you’re not lying, just exploiting someones mathematical ignorance, but everyone one loved math in high school so we can all laugh.

    happy x40th birthday

    Comment by Adam van den Hoven — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 23:40

  38. Mastering Regular Expressions was a really exciting read. Hope this one is as good.

    Comment by Alexander Makarov — Thursday, 18 February 2010 @ 23:58

  39. I use basic regex quit a bit. I could step it up though, and this would certainly help out! Here’s to your 100000nd birthday!

    Comment by Travis S. — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 0:20

  40. happy 100000nd birthday!

    happy birthday wishes —


    Comment by david gurba — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 0:23

  41. I learned a bit about Regexes from EditPad Pro. Even there your tutorial was excellent! It has allowed me to do things I’ve wished for for many years.
    I’ll make good use of your book should I be lucky enough to win.

    From someone who just achieved a 7 digit age.

    Comment by Bill Prange — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 3:17

  42. Hello Jan,

    And I wish you a happy 100000nd birthday :)

    Comment by Mingjin Wu — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 3:34

  43. Happy 100,000nd Birthday.

    Comment by Adam Euans — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 7:52

  44. Happy Birthday! Congratulations on the book, too. If I don’t win I may have to buy a copy.

    Comment by Michael Crumley — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 10:15

  45. Congratulations, Jan, on reaching 040! (Or 0x20 if that scares you!)

    Comment by David Chisholm — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 14:40

  46. Happy 100,000nd Birthday! Although I have bought the PDF version, i would like to have the printed version as well. Thanks!

    Comment by rex — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 16:44

  47. Happy Birthday – and boy I hope I win that book :-)

    Comment by Anders Hellerup Madsen — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 17:13

  48. Happy 100,000nd Birthday.

    Comment by xiaozu — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 17:50

  49. Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Ian Beveridge — Friday, 19 February 2010 @ 19:22

  50. Happy 10{5}nd birthday! I’m discovering regular expressions and really like it! crossing my fingers….. 8X

    Comment by Javier Montes — Saturday, 20 February 2010 @ 2:56

  51. Congratulations on your success. A regex newbie like me can use a copy of your book :-)

    Comment by Boyan Kostadinov — Saturday, 20 February 2010 @ 3:26

  52. Sounds great. Please count me in.
    Wish you a happy 100000nd birthday :-)

    Comment by Mona — Saturday, 20 February 2010 @ 7:55

  53. As someone who still uses Classic ASP, programmed in jscript, nothing would make me happier than learning to be more fluent in Regex. Jscript’s string processing features are all based on Regex, and to be honest, I need to get better at working with it.

    I guess if I don’t win I should just, you know… buy the book, huh?


    Comment by Michael Wendell — Saturday, 20 February 2010 @ 11:43

  54. happy 100000nd birthday.

    Comment by Junior Medina — Saturday, 20 February 2010 @ 13:58

  55. Hopefully with a copy of this book I can finally master the art that is Regular Expressions.

    If I don’t win I intend on buying a copy any way.

    BTW: Happy 100000nd Birthday! :-)

    Comment by Mark McDonnell — Monday, 22 February 2010 @ 4:26

  56. I have just started working with regular expressions with my introduction into the field of evolutionary genomics. I wish I had learned about regular expressions earlier in my academic pursuits – it would have saved me an enormous amount of time…

    I will admit that I already own a print copy of the book. but a free electronic version certainly would be nice!

    Comment by Kevin Emerson — Monday, 22 February 2010 @ 9:04

  57. I started learning regular expressions with which is a very useful online resource on this topic. But I feel that I could improve my regex skills and IMO this book is perfect to learn from. In other words, I’d be glad to get a copy of “Regular Expressions Cookbook” :-)

    Comment by Rafal Kukawski — Monday, 22 February 2010 @ 14:18

  58. Thank you. Your work is very helpful.

    Comment by Greg Everett — Monday, 22 February 2010 @ 21:29

  59. Congratulations! I originally learned regular expressions from reading your tutorial in RegexBuddy. Thanks for all of your good work!

    Comment by Adam Zwierko — Tuesday, 23 February 2010 @ 2:16

  60. Felicitari!
    I wish you a happy 100000nd birthday!

    Comment by Marinela Perju — Tuesday, 23 February 2010 @ 17:44

  61. Please don’t put me in the contest — I already have a copy :) — just wanted to say the book is quite worth picking up, a great resource.

    Comment by David A. P. — Wednesday, 24 February 2010 @ 7:38

  62. Congrats – well done! And I still did not lost my hopes for RegexBuddy for Mac once in the future 😉 Till your 100’000th birthday there should be plenty of time to realize it 😉
    Best, Martin.

    Comment by Martin Müller — Wednesday, 24 February 2010 @ 20:48

  63. I’d love a copy of your book. I really need to brush up on regular expressions

    Comment by Dean Farrell — Thursday, 25 February 2010 @ 7:47

  64. Hi Jan. I use regular expressions often and still have more to learn. I came across the book not long ago and have it on my wishlist. I’ll probably get to it eventually if I don’t happen to win it :) Thanks for giving back to the community through all your efforts.

    Comment by Ahmad Mageed — Thursday, 25 February 2010 @ 9:09

  65. if i win a copy of this book I wish,i can do some more experiment & learn more on regular expression. please count me.

    Comment by Rocky — Thursday, 25 February 2010 @ 16:05

  66. Happy 100000nd birthday!

    From a “regular” user of EditPadPro, PowerGREP, RegexBuddy, hope I still have time to read the book (again).

    Comment by Daniel — Thursday, 25 February 2010 @ 22:46

  67. Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I’ll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems. They buy the “Regular Expressions Cookbook”. Now they have no problems. It’s an excellent book. Well done for selling a ton of them.

    Comment by Martin Peck — Friday, 26 February 2010 @ 0:05

  68. I was recommended this book from a friend, hopefully I’ll get a free copy to see for myself!

    Comment by Finlay Mann — Friday, 26 February 2010 @ 7:09

  69. happy 100000nd birthday. I need regex knowledge bad. Let me be the one (of five)

    Comment by Tim kearley — Friday, 26 February 2010 @ 20:49

  70. Hi Jan,

    Your books should be a staple in any developer’s library. The value of truly understanding regular expressions cannot be overstated and many of us would have little to no understanding without your books and websites.

    Thanks for all your contributions and happy 100000nd birthday.
    Many happy returns!

    Comment by Bill Brown — Saturday, 27 February 2010 @ 1:52

  71. Hey Jan,

    Since I consider that RegEx provides keys to the world, and that he who has mastered the subject to be a true ruler – I hereby King you. Any happy 100000nd. Having just passed my 110000 all I can is, let’s be thankful that we are not using the octal system 8-).

    Congrats on your success.


    Comment by Thomas Beek — Saturday, 27 February 2010 @ 3:43

  72. I would love to read your book in english! I know, that it was publish in Russia recently, but I would prefer an original copy:)

    Comment by Sergay Romanov — Saturday, 27 February 2010 @ 21:40

  73. Happy 100000nd birthday, Jan!!
    p.s.: in fact, any book of O’Reily may be bought just because of a cool picture on the cover. But the contents is always great too. Ave O’Reily!!

    Comment by Pavel Moskalevich — Saturday, 27 February 2010 @ 22:09

  74. Hi! Came across your page by searching for help for some regex, it seems I came to the right place!

    Comment by Francisco Sedano — Sunday, 28 February 2010 @ 8:53

  75. Missed it by 9 hrs! dang.
    happy 100000nd birthday
    and congratulations on going positive!

    Comment by Jake Swenson — Sunday, 28 February 2010 @ 9:15

  76. The contest runs until the end of today. There’s about 9 hours left.

    Comment by Jan Goyvaerts — Sunday, 28 February 2010 @ 14:50

  77. Hi and first of all, of course: I would like to wish you a happy 100000nd birthday!

    Thank you for the fine software you’ve made. I own EditPad Pro and RegexBuddy and have gone at least a little way towards learning regex with the latter. Your book would be the perfect way to get in-depth knowledge of the wonders of regular expressions.

    Thank you and good bye from Norway!

    Comment by Christian Noer — Sunday, 28 February 2010 @ 16:31

  78. I haven’t seen the inside of the book yet, but the Contents look promising :)

    Comment by Nikolay Yordanov — Sunday, 28 February 2010 @ 22:01

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