I sold an e-book last night. For actual money. Someone, possibly someone I have never met, actually paid hard earned cash for one of my novels. I have now sold a grand total of 1 book. It is currently ranked at 59,298 in the Paid Kindle Store rankings.
According to Wikipedia J. K. Rowling has sold an estimated 450 million copies of her books. If you assume an average thickness of two inches for each book and you stacked them on top of each other you could make 4752 columns each the height of Mont Blanc (the tallest mountain in the Alps)
Obviously this means you could then construct a staircase out of these books to reach the summit of the mountain. The height of each step would be 1.66 feet which is quite large, especially considering that it would only be 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide. I also tend to think the taller columns might be a bit wobbly, so it wouldn’t necessarily be the best way to conquer the mountain.
However it would look quite striking and it’s certainly a testament to the gigantic amount of books Jo has sold.
The other side of this statistical illustration is that my virtual sale would be of absolutely no use to anyone. I am, however, terrifically pleased and would like to thank this nameless somebody for brightening my day.
Never wanting to shy away from a challenge I have drawn two useful diagrams highlighting the difference between our sales figures.