Earlier this year, I determined that I had written over a million words. Not in emails or grocery lists but in finished works--stories, novels, books of poetry. Not all published, but all complete. Maybe that's why I'm interested in a statistic that Smashwords keeps on their page, updated continuously. It's the number of words they have published in their three+-year existence. And I am given to believe that these words are only counted from books that are currently in publication--not practice books that are published for a few minutes so that their authors or formatters can see how they look, then unpublished or archived.
I've kept a few notes and done a little figuring. On May 6, 2011, Smashwords authors had published two billion words. They reached the total of 2.8 billion on the afternoon of August 15. That's .8 billion in about 98 days, or .1 billion every 12.25 days.
2.9 billion was reached on August 29, so that's .1 billion words in 14 days, a drop off of about a day and a half per tenth billion. Today, September 10, 2011--12 days later--they reached the total of 3 billion. It seems, then, that the amount of words uploaded over the last four months has been pretty steady.In this case about a billion words in approximately 4.1 months. I'll continue to keep tabs on it, though, and report back.
Congrats to Smashwords and to the authors who have made their books available through their services.
UPDATE, JULY 4, 2013. On this date, Smashwords crossed the 8 billion words threshold. That translates into about a billion words every 4.4 months, which is a slight decrease over the last time I checked, above, where it was a billion words every 4.1 months. I'll see if I can keep tabs on it until 10 billion is reached.