The Water-babies by Charles Kingsley has had, according to the archive.org ticker, 10,148 downloads! Hoorah! Now, admittedly, their counter has good days and bad weeks, and it also counts any file as a download … so that could be 600 people downloading all 17 files separately, or it could be 10,000 people downloading the zip file once each. Plus, many LV books are available via BitTorrents, other audio download sites, and on eBay. So it’s an entirely arbitrary milestone, but it’s my milestone and I’m proud of it anyway!
My other solos are pootling along in reasonable form. Love and Freindship by Jane Austen, has been downloaded 4,891 times — as it has only 3 parts, that’s a minimum of 1690 downloaders. Rather cool! Dear Gertrude, released only a month later, is lagging the set with just 1,735 downloads of its three files / zip collection. This does not surprise me in the least … while it was storming fun to read, I can’t imagine listening to it unless I was contemplating a spectacular mashup in words, music and visuals. (I *hope* someone does that soon, it HAS the potential!) Nesbit’s Unlikely Tales has had 2,858 downloads in 3 months … which is actually rather less than I thought. Mathilda, the Mary Shelley novella is romping along with 2,375 downloads in six weeks – much more than I thought. It IS interesting to know what people want to hear.
I conclude from all this that I do not have even *slightly* popular taste in solo-project books. That said, collaboratively, I am a part of Jane Eyre, which is LibriVox’s top downloaded archive.org book at 391,407 times. (Boggling Big Number.) There’s a “sneeze and you’ll miss me” contribution to Oliver Twist, 181,604 downloads. The other Austen’s I have contributed chapters to clock in at 120,446 for Mansfield Park, 88,659 times for Northanger Abbey (and Persuasion‘s 36,591 isn’t in the Top 50!) Unexpectedly, Reviews, by Oscar Wilde is my other entry in the Top 50 with 74,963 downloads. That has 99 files, though, and it’s the sort of thing I’d expect people to pick at, rather than dousing themselves in the whole lot. (Yes, it’s Oscar, and Yes, he does have some droll moments, but nothing in the sections I read (3 or 4?) has stuck with me as über-quotable.)
Still. If it were all about the numbers, I’d be pirating Potter. If it were all about the fame, I guess a solo recording of Jane Eyre would be a solid bet. Since it is, in fact, all about the Posterity, and I strongly believe in the right of all of my authors to audio representation for Posterity … we’re all good. Plus, this shows very decent credentials as a team player, which is nice. So, hmm, what under-loved specimen of literature will I pick on next?