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I don’t too get excited over new tech gadgets, especially tethered appliances like e-readers, but I will say I love my KoboVox. However, now I’m ready to break up, sort of. I still love it for reading ebooks and surfing the web. Up until last week, I started to really love it. Then I stopped. It all has to do with my upcoming YA mystery Ganked and Kobo’s ability to make books disappear.

Let me explain . . .

Have Kobo will Edit

About two weeks ago, I finished the second serious draft of Ganked – that’s the draft that is almost ready to show to actual real people for feedback, including my totally amazing agent at Transatlantic Literary Agency. The almost is key, because I wanted to give it one last close read before sending it out to beta readers. I’m also thoroughly interested in e-publishing (not something I write about a lot here, but that could change.) And when I found out that you could convert an Open Office document (my word processor of choice) to an .epub file (Kobo’s ebook file of choice), I was in!

Ten minutes later (seriously) I had an epub version of Ganked, fully formated on my ereader. Cool, huh? But it gets better (then it gets worse, trust me.) In addition to reading my book anywhere and everywhere, I could also make annotations on the text! When I saw that I nearly cried (honest.) All I had to do was read the book and when I saw something I needed to fix, I’d slap a note on it and be done.

And that is what I did. For five days, I read and made notes on the .epub version of my manuscript. I was giddy with the possibilities of how this would change my editing process, which usually involves a lot of printing or me hunched in my office chair reading from my computer screen. Now, I could sit on the back deck, drink of choice in my hand, and edit with my feet up.

It was great. And then it went bad very quickly.

Have Kobo won’t Edit

One night, I turn on my Kobo and it flashed a bit, whirled a bit and then then stopped. Nothing. Blank. Confusion followed by growing panic. Then, suddenly as if nothing happened, it loads up my books and was ready to go. A little hiccup, but back on the road in no time. Except, something was missing. One thing, to be precise. My thing. My book. Ganked was gone! It was nowhere to be found. It had disappeared. It was an ex-book.

I fiddled with it for a bit. I plugged it into my computer and could see the Ganked epub file right there on the Kobo’s hard drive, but the once amazing, now amazingly frustrating Kobo wouldn’t recognize that file when I turned it on. Worse, there was no trace of all my notes.  They were gone. Calls to Kobo have yet to determine where exactly those notes are stored on this tethered device. If anyone knows, please feel free to tell me.  After 3 days of denial, I finally faced up to the fact: my notes, pages and pages of notes, were gone, gone, gone.

And like all the things we load up onto ipads, smartphones, ereaders, I wonder if they were ever really there in the first place? I love ebooks and what they are offering authors, but I’m also a big fan of the hold-in-your-hand, solid kind of books too. At the very least, give me an ereader that allows me lift the hood, tinker with the hardware, so I can know exactly where stuff is on the thing.

Old Tech Still the Best

For now, I’m going old school:

Old school PnP rocks for these edits. (Click to read. Sneak Peak FTW!)

I’ve just returned from the local copy shop, have a read pen in hand and ready to kick my feet up and get some editing done.

See you in about 55, 000 words.


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I write a lot about creation and technology and often share Tech Teaching resources and ideas in my monthly newsletter Reading Change. If you’re interested in learning, video games and other resources for teaching with technology, subscribe today.  Subscribe before July 15th, 2012 and be entered to win 1 of 4 copies of Max Finder Mystery: Collected Casebook Volume 6. Truth.

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