Smashwords, the self-publishing platform that allows authors to reach all the major ebook retailers except Amazon, recently published its 5 billionth wordand continues to grow hand over fist. Launched four years ago, after founder Mark Coker and his wife Lesleyann found it difficult to gain traction for their novel, Boob Tube, Smashwords has been steadily expanding its stable of independent authors. In its first year, 2008, it published 140 books, and growth since then has been astonishing. Last year Smashwords helped authors publish more than 92,000 books, and in 2012 the running total is already at 130,000.
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