Recently I’ve been trying to upload the second draft of my novel, No More Dreams, to Google Docs so that I can edit it there, as well as share it with a select group of friends and fellow writers for feedback.
But I can’t do it. The novel is about 180,000 words long–close to half the length of War and Peace. Google only allows text documents of up to 512,000 characters, which it estimates at being about 100 pages of text (although my calculations below put 512K characters at about 73,000 words, which would be more than 100 novel pages).
So here’s what I wrote in the sidewiki to the size limits page:
The limit for documents is too small. At only 100 pages, this means you can’t write, read, or comment on a novel in a single file.
Google Docs should be able to accommmodate a file at least as large as the largest novels commonly read.
Let’s assume an average word is 7 characters including a space. Atlas Shrugged is very long, at about 600,000 words (longer than War and Peace, by a long shot).
Multiply that out, and we see Google Docs should be able to take documents at least 4.2 million characters long.
Google, get to it.
Google is currently suggesting that Docs users split long documents into multiple files. My response: not good enough. This reminds me of the old days when a thesis supervisor would recommend you put each chapter in a different file to guard against file corruption. Those days should be over. Cloud fail.