Today we announced an important Smashwords milestone. Over 100,000 ebooks are now published and live in the Smashwords catalog, thanks to the efforts of over 36,000 Smashwords authors and publishers around the world.
This month also marks our fourth birthday. Four years ago we unveiled Smashwords at the Tools of Change conference in New York. It's fun to read our original Smashwords launch press release. Back then, ebooks accounted for about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. book market. Self published authors were considered black sheep.
What a wild ride it's been the last four years. Millions of books sold. Millions of readers touched by your words. Lives changed.
My favorite emails are from complete strangers who contact me and write, "Because of Smashwords, I'm writing again." Those emails make this all worth it, and inspire me to do more and do better for our authors.
Four years in, it still feels like we're just getting started. The next couple years will be exciting. New global markets are opening up. Billions of new, potential readers will be equipped with ebook-ready smart phones, tablets, computers and yes, even e-readers.
These potential readers will all be a few clicks away from discovering, sampling and purchasing books previously unknown and unavailable to them. Maybe some child growing up at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro will enjoy your book some day. Maybe your words will inspire them to write. Maybe it's already happening.
Ebooks transcend geography and make your words accessible to vast audiences. The secret to reaching your audience (beyond of course publishing and distributing with Smashwords!) is to write words worth reading. If you honor your reader with quality work, your reader will honor you back by reading more of your words, and by recommending you to their friends.
Read today's press release in the Smashwords Press Room.
On behalf of all 13 of us at Smashwords, thank you for joining us on this journey to change the world of publishing one indie ebook at a time.