Recovering a Lost Manuscript

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Lost Manuscript: Two words no writer wants to hear. Today we hear the story of Linda, whose entire collection of manuscripts were almost lost to a computer malfunction, but save by


Today we put a lot of faith in our machines to keep our manuscripts safe. Power up the laptop and there she is, my beautiful manuscript. So what happens when the machine fails us and the manuscript is lost?


This is what happened to one of our writers, Linda C., last week when a computer upgrade went bad and all seven of her manuscripts vanished. Poof! No backups. No data on her hard drive. Nothing. It was as if they never existed. Imagine the terror when she failed to recover the digital files.

“When I realized all my stories vanished after my computer crashed I was devastated. Fourteen years of writing gone! I got very depressed, ” Linda recounted.  She even enlisted her husband, a software engineer, to recover them to no avail.

Fortunately, there is a cloud to this silver lining, the Internet cloud; or to be more specific, the servers used by Linda created an account on AUTHORS and uploaded her manuscripts to our servers for submission to agents and publishers a few months ago. We store these files in two locations, one being a backup to the other. (Yes, servers can fail us too, thus the redundancy.) We know how precious a writer’s manuscript is, so we do our best to protect it from any mishap. The manuscripts live there as long as a writer keeps their account.

After Linda contacted our support team to share her horror, we zipped them up into a file and emailed them back to her to be put on her newly reformatted computer. Needless to say, we gave her the best news of the year.

“You have no idea how happy you made me when you told me not to worry and that all my submissions were safe on your server. What a relief! Had I not submitted to AUTHORS my stories would literally still be gone. So you’re kind of like my personal back-up system.”

As diligent as we all try to be, let this serve as one more reminder: save and backup your precious files! These days, there are more ways to do this than ever before. CNET has a great article covering 3 easy ways to backup your work. Or, just sign up for an AUTHORS account if you haven’t already: it turns out that having an account on is just another way to protect your precious pages from harm. There are famous authors who have lost their manuscripts never to see them again. helps us avoid being the next one.

Happy (and worry-free) writing.

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