Friday, December 13, 2013
Smashwords: 5 billion words
By OFW Editor:
Carlos J Cortes
Published: July 17, 2012
official blog, Mark Coker announced they had published five billion words and counting.
If you typed at 25 words a minute without pause, it would take 200 million minutes to write 5 billion words. 3.3 million hours. If you typed 8 hours a day, it would take 416,600 days, or 1,141 years. Imagine the lifetimes of creative output now captured, packaged, immortalized and available for discovery at the click of a button or mouse.
Imagine a world without gatekeepers, where you the writer decide when you graduate to become a published author. Imagine a world where readers are the curators. Now imagine that day has arrived, because it's here already.
I try to imagine the cacophony of clicking keyboards as our 46,931 authors around the globe clicked away, their minds occupying wonderous far-flung places both real and imaginary, birthing their glorious words and shaping them into these sentences, chapters and books. I imagine, and honor, the immense personal sacrifice required to write these books.
Your books are are touching people. In the last four weeks at the Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble alone, Smashwords books were downloaded over 6 million times. The day may yet come when Smashwords authors reach more readers than the authors of all the Big 6 publishers combined.
Our books are selling, too. Smashwords retailers will sell $18 to $20 million worth of your ebooks this year. The majority of those sales dollars will flow into our authors' and publishers' pockets.
These are impressive figures and I must congratulate Coker on his success.
But before writers go berserk, I would advice a little arithmetic with the help of a pocket calculator. Net receipts work out at under $100 each title.
I hear that at San Diego Comic-Con Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson discussed his upcoming film adaptation of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. the first of a two-part on the Bilbo Baggins’ journey that leaves on his finger Sauron’s Ring Of Power, the precursor to Jackson’s billion dollar grossing The Lord of the Rings trilogy for New Line Cinema.
Bloggers are reporting that Jackson hinted at turning The Hobbit into a trilogy. You can read an interesting article by Mike Fleming and an interview with Jackson at
Just released, the Nielsen BookScan bestsellers list for the half-year January – June 2012, is monopolized by E.L.James and Suzanne Collins with nine out of the top ten sellers.
1. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)
2. The Hunger Games 1 by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
3. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)
4. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
5. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)
6. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
7. The Hunger Games 2 by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
8. The Hunger Games 3 by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
9. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
10. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace by Sarah Young (Integrity)
You can take a peek at the extended lists for Nielsen, Kindle and Amazon at
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