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Smashwords Authors Hit New Milestone: 10 Billion Words Published

2014 is less 10billionwords2than 2 months old and it has already seen its first major milestone.

Smashwords announced on Monday that the 87 thousand authors and publishers who were distributing their works via Smashwords had collectively published a grand total of 10 Billion Words:

These words come from 87,000 writers from every corner of the globe who have gathered together to change the world of publishing for the better, one word and one ebook at a time as manifested through their 288,000 titles at Smashwords.

These writers are revolutionaries and saviors of the written word, even if they don’t view themselves as such.  They’re leading the indie author movement.

It took about 50 months for us to reach 5 billion words in July, 2012.  It’s taken only about 18 months more to add the second 5 Billion.

These 10 billion words represent creative expression unleashed.  And they represent a lot more.

If a person could type 30 words a minute, 24 hours per day, it would take a single individual 5.6 million hours of writing, or about 630 years without a break, to type this many words. You’d have to start sometime in the 1380s and work without sleep for the next 6 plus centuries in order to match what Smashwords authors have accomplished in only 6 years.

To echo what I wrote when Smashwords hit 5 billion words, can you imagine how many keyboards this must have taken?

I have a pattern of killing 2 to 3 keyboards every couple years, so we would be looking at somewhere around 1,500 keyboards, give or take a few. We’d be looking at a large enough collection of keyboards to cover an area larger than my first and second apartments combined (1,125 square feet).


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puzzled February 25, 2014 um 2:31 am

I am SO behind on my reading…

Robert February 25, 2014 um 9:18 am

And 9.9 billion of those words have never been read by anyone except the author who shoveled them into Smashwords.

fjtorres February 25, 2014 um 10:14 am

Lots of short stories there; the average length comes out at less than 35k per title.
And the average author has about 3 titles or about 110k words. Say 1.5 novels worth.
With half of that coming in the last 18 months, it looks like they’re adding about 45k novels worth per year. That is roughly the output of the Randy Penguin.

They recently had a brag PR about their authors netting $20m last year so the average author is earning about $300 which isn’t bad for short story writers as there isn’t much market for shirt stories outside ebooks. They obviously have a lot of $0.99 stories in those 288k titles.

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