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Failure is always an option - How you should backup your work

Things go wrong, they go wrong when you least suspect it. You could lose part of your book, or worse, all of it if you haven’t taken the appropriate precautions. Here’s some things that you can do to make sure you won’t lose a word should the worst happen.

Hard drive failures, failed OS upgrades, malware, loss, theft, fire, meteor strike, all of these things can destroy your computer causing you to lose your book if you haven’t prepared for disaster. However, you needn’t suffer if you cover your back… up.


Dropbox is one of the easiest ways to protect your work. It creates a folder on your computer which is also stored in the cloud. Any changes you make to any files in this folder are automatically synced to the cloud as well as any other device you have the app installed on.

It also includes 30-day version history, in case you accidentally delete a file or want to restore a previous version.

Download the app and you’ll be instantly given 2gb of space for free, more than enough space to store your book.

Google Drive

Google drive is another cloud storage solution that works with your gMail and Google Docs accounts. You can store up to 15gb of data for free, but you cannot recover accidentally deleted files through a consumer account unless you contact Google support.

Download Google Drive here.


OneDrive is the cloud solution available through Microsoft. It’s pretty much the same as Google Drive except that it works through Microsoft Office software.

Download OneDrive here.


Backblaze isn’t a drive in the cloud like the services listed above but is a full computer backup solution. Your whole computer is backed up over the internet, continuously. That means that you will have an up to the minute copy of your whole computer stored offsite.

The service costs $5 a month but is unlimited in size. Whatever the capacity of your computer it’s covered. It will also backup any external hard-drives that you have plugged into your compter.

You can backup and restore from anywhere with an internet connection. You may restore a single file, a folder or all your backed up files from a web browser for free. There is also the option to have a 128 GB flash drive FedEx to you or an external drive up to 4 TB for emergencies.

Signup for a Backblaze free trial here.

Time Machine

If you have a Mac, then be sure to enable Time Machine, it’s an effortless way to keep your data safe. It keeps version history of your files so you can revert to a previous version or recover a lost file. It automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. If your computer dies, you can simply plug in the backup drive into your new machine and it will restore it exactly as you left it.

Learn more about Time Machine here.


There’s no excuse not to have anti-virus installed in this day and age. There are plenty of free solutions out there, some that are better than the paid for applications.

Check out AVGfree, Sophos, and Avast for decent free anti-virus software packages.

Do not use Norton. It’s terrible.

Personally, I save all my scrivener files into my Dropbox, run Sophos anti-virus, Backblaze, and Time Machine. With that combination, I’ve got more copies of my books backed up than copies I’ve sold ;)

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