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Old 01-14-2009, 06:40 AM   #1
Bob Russell
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MR e-book uploads. How many words now?

I saw this note about Fictionwise serving a trillion words in it's library of e-books for sale. I'm not suggesting that we are anywhere close to that number of words at MobileRead (either in the forums or in the e-book uploads).

http://www.teleread.org/blog/2009/01...y-fictionwise/

But, still, it made me curious how many we might have here...

Any guesses?
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:57 AM   #2
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I suspect that Fictionwise's trillion number includes all formats, and not just unique titles.

There are about 180 words per kB (kilobyte) of english text (which, incidentally, turns out to be about 5.5 characters per english word on average). So, for example,

Cranford: ~73,000 words; 400 kB
Mansfield Park: ~160,000 words; 900 kB
Anna Karenina: ~350,000 words; 2,000 kB

We can also estimate the minimum number of unique titles that have been uploaded to MR, which is about 3500 (from a couple of days ago). Then we can estimate the average size (in kB of text) of the books that have been uploaded. There can be a large uncertainty here, but an average of 500 kB is not unreasonable. So,

180 words/kB x 500 kB/book x 3500 titles minimum

is about 315 million words for unique titles. If one uses an estimate of 1000 kB for the average book size, then this converts to 315 x 2 or about 600 million words.
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