Smashwords Publishes Its 5 Billionth Word In Pursuit of Its New Goal – the Complete Works of Shakespeare

Mark Coker of Smashwords announced yesterday that the self-pub service has reach a milestone seen by few publishers. The more than 47 thousand Smashwords authors have published a total of over 138 thousand ebooks - including 5 thousand new titles just in the past couple weeks.

Just to put that in perspective, you 'd have to type 25 words a minute for 139 thousand days, non-stop, before you'd be done. You'd have to start sometime in the 1630s and work without sleep for the following 380 years in order to match what Smashwords authors have done in under 5 years. (I hope you bring extra batteries and energy drinks.)

Can you imagine how many keyboards this must have taken? (I tend to kill one every 6 to 9 months, and while I'm rather brutal to them I wouldn't expect the average enthusiastic author to be much kinder.) If we take the KB in front of me as a template (18"x6"), all the keyboards sacrificed to this effort would cover an area of about 26' by 15', or about the size of a living room. It's a pity no one thought to track all the keyboards, mice, and other tools used; it would make an interesting statistic.

Now if you laid the ebooks out (as paperbacks, of course) you'd get an even more interesting number. Based on my brief calculations ( 138,071 books, and figuring that a paperback measures about 4" by 7"), you'd have enough books to carpet a 2600 square foot house, with enough left over for to do the sidewalk out fr0nt as well as the garage and patio.

Yes, that is a lot of books.


About Nate Hoffelder (11037 Articles)

Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:

“I’ve been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It’s a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog.”

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