Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How Do You Protect Your Books?

My brain is still fried since working day and night most of December so I had to surf the web to find ideas for a blog post today. Hopefully I'll recover soon.

On Tess Hilmo's blog I read an interesting post about backing up our important documents, in particular books for us writers. She recommended an online data backup site

I mozied on over (excuse the pun) to and nosed around. It looks to be quite helpful. And no, I'm not affiliated with the site and I'm not endorsing it as I've not used it. But perhaps I will.

If you're a writer you've probably lost at least part of a book some time during your writing career. Then we learn to back up our work. But how?

There are many ways: thumb drives, CDs, emailing books to a friend or relative, creating a Yahoo loop to save it, keeping print outs, and now

My recommendation? Do all or at least several of the above. No one is foolproof.

In the beginning of my career, I backed up my books to CDs and paper copies. One day the other half of my duplex went up in flames. Our side almost caught fire, too. If the fire department had been five minutes later, my computer and my backed up CDs and paper would have been gone with the wind.

After that I began emailing copies of my books to my father. I thought that was working well. Then when I visited last and looked for my books on his computer they were gone. He'd forgotten about them when he changed computers and threw out my books when he threw out his computer. Luckily I had other copies.

I bought a thumb drive after that. Guess what? It went bad. Another one dropped off my key chain.

I also created a Yahoo group so I could save my work in their files. First, you need to have a group of five. You could get around that by banding together with other authors, family and friends to keep the loop active. However, someone in the group also has to visit at least once every two months or guess what? Yahoo will delete the group and poof! Your files disappear. I forgot...

I also printed out some of my earliest books. Once I lost my computer file and had to retype the whole damn thing. Nightmare! Plus, the almost fire would have wiped that out.

If I sound pessimistic I don't mean to be. I merely mean to point out it's not safe to rely on only one form of backup. We pour our life's blood into our books so we need to safeguard them. What's a few extra minutes to make several backups in different places for books that we spent weeks, months, and maybe even years to produce? It's pretty cheap insurance.

How do you safeguard your books? Do you have another good place to back them up?

Recent posts you might like to read:

When Do You Write?

Nanowrimo Thoughts 

To Nano Or Not To Nano - That Is The Question

Why You Should Consider Library Booksignings

Make Sure Pretentious Words Don't Turn Off Your Readers

Are You Writing Me Into Your Book?

Dont Give Up Too Early

Must Write Must Write Must Write!!!

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)


Molly Daniels said...

I've fallen victim to files crashing, I tend to go overboard. I back them up on my flash; there's a copy on my hard drive; on CD; some are on 3 1/2 inch floppies, and yes, some are even printed out. Once in a while, I'll find out I forgot to make a backup and have had to go digging through my sent files in case I've sent it to anyone. Thankfully, the two times this happend, I had. And now, with the loss of my printer and a spouse who hates paying printing costs, I have no choice but to back up my work in various forms. And since the Great Hard Drive Crash of '08, the spouse has become more tolerant of the CD's bought:)

Unknown said...

MozyHome works pretty well for me – on both Mac and Windows. If you ever need it, their 2nd level support is good.

Use the following link to get 20% more space (512 Mb) on a free MozyHome 2 Gb account:

Regina Carlysle said...

I've lost portions of WIPS before and because of that, I'm really paranoid about saving. I back up a copy on my flashdrive plus email myself stuff all the time. Mozy sounds like a cool thing. I'm also looking at getting one of those small harddrives. My husband got one and we're thinking of getting another for me.

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