The Big Reveal

Welcome to The Big Reveal.

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them. Some of these ladies have helped me with my own work, or given me advice on blogging or writing, so check out their blogs and see what they’re about.


Luckily last week, even though I lost both my computers to viruses, the files were recovered. I’m sure many authors have nightmares about losing their work and some probably have.

So in honor of my computer problems, I asked
if other writers are obsessive about backing up their work and what they do.


Krista Van Dolzer, Agented author
Yes! I always save copies of my current manuscripts to my hard drive and a flash drive, and then I e-mail those files to myself–both addresses–periodically. A manuscript would be an awful thing to lose.

(A big CONGRATULATIONS to Krista–who has moved up into the agented section. She’s now representated by Kate Schafer Testerman. Good luck with your exciting next step, Krista.)


Melodie Wright, Agented author
I back up my work on a jump drive. I also save it on two computers and it’s in my email several times.


Ryann Kerekes, Agented author
Obsessive? No. But I certainly do back-up my work on a frequent basis. I email myself the manuscript every time I add a few thousand words or so.

Cassie Mae, Un-agented author
Not obsessive at all. I save the document then put the laptop away. I do have multiple copies just because I send each chapter to my cp’s and they are saved in a downloads folder as well in my email. However, if I were to lose my laptop, I think I’d be royally screwed, lol.

Jade Hart, Un-agented author
Oh, I’m totally compulsive when it comes to this. I save a copy in Microsoft Word and PDF on a external hard-drive and USB stick every day that I’ve written. Then I go one step further and actually put the USB stick in my purse so that if my computer ever got stolen then I’d still have a copy on me! lol. I haven’t had nightmares of losing my document yet, but I do think ‘what if I lost it all’ and my heart thumps like a jack-hammer! 🙂


Janet Taylor, Un-agented author
Oh girl, yes!! I mainly use Dropbox. If you don’t have it—you are missing out on one of the great conveniences of life!! It’s FREE and you can save your work to it- and pick it up again at any computer you work on. It’s FABULOUS! Also, when I’m be-bopping about my ordinary day, and an idea, a sentence, even a single words strikes me, the first thing I do is email it to myself. I keep all those little gems in my WRITING IDEAS folder. Some of them- I look back and go…Sheez–what the hell does THIS mean.. “a great vibrating ball of purple plushness.”

Stacy Stokes, Un-agented author
Oh yes. I’m obsessed with it. I’ve started emailing drafts to myself in case my computer crashes or I lose my memory stick. I have no idea how many versions I have sitting in my inbox…hundreds maybe? Sheesh…

Me (Suzi) Un-agented author
I always save my work to the hard drive and a flash drive. Sometimes I send a ms to my e-mail inbox and sometimes I save the file as a pdf in case something happens to the Word document. I don’t do those last 2 things every time though. That would be a lot of work.

Joelene B. Perry, Published author
I have WAY too many projects going to email it to myself, but if I’m working on a project, and am about to leave the house, I will email that to myself. I have thumb drives EVERYWHERE, and back up my work every day.

Liesl Shurtliff, Pre-published author
I think my husband is more obsessive about it than I am. We pay for an automatic back-up program called Backblazes. I also use Dropbox, and I occasionally email a draft to myself. So I think I’m pretty secure.


Mindy McGinnis, Pre-published author
I’m not obsessive, I probably back up once a month or so. Really I should do more. I backup my stuff on Buzzword, which is like Google docs, but is run by Adobe.

Something I noticed in this post. How many names are there for those little tiny drives we save our work on? I counted five: flash drive, jump drive, thumb drive, USB stick, & memory stick. I wonder if this is a regional thing or a name brand thing. Interesting.

An additional question I wished I would’ve asked, is if anyone ever lost a major piece of their work. And if so were you able to recreate it.
What about any other writers out there… are you obsessive about backing up your work?

8 Responses

  1. After losing a couple of complete manuscripts, I email them to myself at the end of each time I work on a project. When a book is completed, I send it to a separate email account that is set up to house just my manuscripts. Fortunately, the ones I lost had a hard copy here, but it takes a long time to retype a 100,000 word book into the computer a second time.
    I am currently working on my 22nd book, Port Call to the Past. They have all been published by Star Publish LLC. I do not have an agent. I lived in Grand Forks for 37 years and moved to NE Wisconsin after my husband passed away.

    1. Ouch. Retyping 100,000 words would not be good. But I suppose better than losing it all. That’s a terrific idea to e-mail with the separate e-mail account. Then you don’t have to go to your inbox and move it to a folder… which is what I’m doing now. I have several extra e-mail accounts I don’t utilize, I might have to do that too.

      It’s cool to hear from someone from GF. Thanks.

  2. I heard Krista got an offer, but I didn’t know who and all the deets! OMGosh!!!! Krista!!! Congratulations and big squees and hugs and chest bumps!!!!!

    1. Yeah. I was excited to put it on my blog. I’m sure she’s told a ton of people know, but she didn’t even have it on her own blog yet. It’s like I got the scoop! Although she’s already up on KTliterary. 🙂 It’s cool to go to an agent’s blog and see someone I kinda know.

  3. My biggest fear is while drafting, because as others have said, I usually have versions of a completed draft in my email outbox, even if it was just from sending them to my Kindle for a second read. But, yeah. Especially because I draft in Scrivener, I usually just upload to the Cloud every night after I add words.

    Great post, and a great reminder!

    1. Thanks. I’ve been hearing more about Scrivener lately. Don’t know much about it. It’d be interesting to hear from people that use it if it’s worthwhile to have.

  4. Totally obsessive! I hit save ALL the time and email my ms to myself every single night!! I do delete the former version as I go though so my inbox is neat and tidy (cos, you know, I’m obsessive).

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