Candles and Electricity* – Cidney Swanson

Candles and Electricity*

I am frequently asked why I chose to publish Rippler independently.  The short answer is that I couldn’t resist. Imagine for a moment that you lived in the age during which electric light was being installed. You don’t have electricity.  Some of your neighbors have had that new-fangled gas-lighting installed, but they admit it was a bother and that it smells bad, and honestly, you’ve always been fine with candles and a kerosene lamp or two yourself.

Now imagine that you are off to the big city where you will stay in a hotel.  Your room is supplied with candles and electric lighting.  You try it out, and suddenly you see the appeal.  Electric light is bright and unwavering.  You consider how convenient it is; there’s no wick to trim, no running out of wax, and considerably less fire hazard.

Obviously the analogy breaks down pretty quickly.  Oh, what analogy?  Well, in my example above, paper books would be to candles as e-books are to electric light.  (Kerosene and gas lighting are the e-readers of 20 years ago that didn’t catch on and the ability to read books on your computer.) (Maybe you have to flip them for the analogy to work.) (Whatever.)

Clearly, there are times even today when you might choose candles over electricity: to set a certain mood or because there’s a black-out.  And when you camp, you might use a Coleman lantern.  But for everyday convenience, our nation has decided nothing beats electric light, for the time being.

I believe that is where we are heading now with regard to reading.  That is, I think that in the near future, more people will read books electronically than on paper. This is especially true for the kids born at the turn of the millennium, and they are the future.  They also happen to be my target market.

I had a novel (a series, actually) that hadn’t found a home yet.  I also have two other titles that are close to being ready for submission.  I had decided I would pursue publishing those instead.  But what to do with Rippler, the darling child of my heart?

I couldn’t resist giving e-publishing a try.

And I’m so very glad I did! I completely underestimated the amount of work involved, but much of what slowed me down will be easier the next few times, and people are buying Rippler.  I’m so tickled!  My little book, which could have languished on my computer’s hard drive, is out there being read by people I’ve never met! I did not expect sales to take off this quickly, but I’m not complaining!

I’m moving right on to my next novel.  And that feels great.

Oh, and by the way? I totally love lighting my house with candles, and I will always treasure books printed on paper.

*With a nod to Joe Konrath’s blog, where I first ran into the analogy.

Book One in the Ripple Series  at Amazon

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