Dropbox: A Handy Tool for Authors

DropboxHave you ever lost all the work you’d done because you didn’t back up?  I think it’s happened to all of us.  It’s happened to me. After a power surge in my 100-year-old home, I ended up paying a computer forensics company $1500 to get my data back.  That was a long time ago.  And believe me, I learned my lesson.

I back up to CDs and to an external hard drive.  Neither of those are greatly convenient.  But there is something better.

Dropbox. It’s free, and it’s drag and drop. It’s a super handy tool that I couldn’t live without at this point. Initially, you get 2 gigabytes of storage space free with your account. That’s a lot of space if you’re using it for documents.

You can write a document on your computer and then just copy it into Dropbox when you’re done. Or, you can write the document in Dropbox and leave it there. Since I’m so paranoid, I keep a back-up on Dropbox and just drop a copy of my original in there each time I update it. You can do whatever works for you.

Need to share documents between computers?  Dropbox.  Need access to documents while you’re on the road?  Dropbox.  Want to collaborate with other authors on the same document?  Dropbox.  I think you get the picture.

I use Dropbox for all of the above, and more. I’m collaborating with other authors on a project, and we just share a folder and can go in and out as we please. It’s incredibly handy!

If you’re not at your computer, you can log in to your online Dropbox account from ANY computer and edit, update, print, etc.

I used it traveling cross-country. I’d update my documents on Dropbox from my laptop whenever was convenient, then as I traveled, if I needed to print something, I’d stop at a library, access the documents I needed, and for about 25 cents, I’d print them out. It was perfect.

Other ways I use Dropbox:  I put a manuscript in a folder and share that with my editor; I share images and text with my cover art person; I upload music for a book video trailer and share that with Busy B’s Videography…and so on.

There is even a folder that is “public” on Dropbox – and you can use that if you want to share a document with someone who does not have a Dropbox account. They can download it, but they cannot contribute.  That comes in handy when you have large files – like picture books – but my BETA readers and reviewers can download them without having to sign up for an account. All I have to do is give them the link to the file in the Public folder.

I would never endorse a product if I didn’t use it.  I’ve never had a problem with Dropbox…and I highly recommend it.  For more information, you can watch their video at http://www.dropbox.com/.

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K.S. Brooks is an award-winning author and photographer, and Co-Administrator of Indies Unlimited. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and her web site: http://www.ksbrooks.com/[subscribe2]

Author: K.S. Brooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning novelist, photographer, and photo-journalist, author of over 30 titles, and executive director and administrator of Indies Unlimited. Brooks is currently a photo-journalist and chief copy editor for two NE Washington newspapers.  She teaches self-publishing and writing topics for the Community Colleges of Spokane, and served on the Indie Author Day advisory board. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit her website and her Amazon author page.

12 thoughts on “Dropbox: A Handy Tool for Authors”

  1. I'm using Dropbox on daily basis as developer, and it saved my life many times. I don't know if SugarSync is better but Dropbox's folder sharing and the collaborative projects I did with it was very impressive and easy to use. I have the 50gb account. If you open a new account through this link we'll get together a total bonus of 1.25Gb!!! http://db.tt/XJZFMXC

    1. Thanks for the comment, Joe. It's nice to hear that praise for Dropbox coming from someone who is more computer savvy than I am. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hey Yvonne, It's password protected except for the public folder. I'm not certain what type of security they use because I'm not savvy that way.

  2. Thanks, Kat. My pastor uses Dropbox but I didn't really understand what it was. He sent me the link to our church address list and I downloaded it. I'm going to look into it for myself now. My computer has crashed twice in about 6 months, and fortunately they were able to retrieve everything. But I can't imagine what would happen if I lost everything.

    1. Glad to hear it Diane. Like I said, I still do traditional back up, but so many times I hear people say "the doc I worked on all day today is gone" – and Dropbox is perfect for avoiding those kinds of gremlins.

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