How Safe Is Your Romance Collection from Retailer Raids?

3 Hacks For Protecting Your Books

Animal Farm The day Amazon reached into hundreds of owners’ Kindles and deleted Animal Farm out of hand is the stuff of legend, now.

But since then, nothing has changed that would prevent Amazon, or any retailer with their own proprietary readers (Barnes & Noble, Nook, Sony eReader) from doing the same thing (again).

If the idea of losing some of your romances, now that you’ve acquired them, fills you with anxiety, then here are some hacks that will get around the issue of retailer removal.

Don’t keep all your books on your reader

A surprising number of book lovers I know have never once set up their reader’s application on their computer and synchronized data.  They keep their reader separate from their computer and all their books on their reader.

Learn how to synchronize your reader with your computer, so that the book collection is replicated on your hard drive.

Then delete from your reader all the books you won’t read in the next week or two.  They’re safe on your computer and you’ll simplify the reader’s title offerings, making choosing what to read next hassle-free.

Don’t keep all your books in your reader’s directory

Eye on Flat Panel MonitorOnce you have synchronized and/or backed-up your reader collection to the hard drive, don’t leave the collection sitting in your reader’s back up directory.

Copy the books over to a centralized directory where all your ebooks can be permanently stored – including books from other readers, if you have multiple reader applications.

This is your library collection and is beyond the influence or reach of retailers.

Back up your permanent library collection

There are a slew of cloud storage spaces available for free or low cost these days, and back-up data drives are cheap (I just paid less than $200 for a 3 Terrabyte external hard drive, for instance.)

Set up auto back-up software or timed applications so that your permanent library is replicated in the cloud or another hard drive.

This double copying makes your collection virtually fail-safe and the loss of any book in that collection next to impossible.

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4 Comments

  1. Robyn Larson July 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I have backed up all my books onto a external hard drive. I learned the hard way a long time ago, when I was buying books from Elloras Cave. My hard drive crashed and all on it was lost. Luckily Elloras actually resent all the books that were still there and I down loaded them again. I had about 800 books at that time. So now I back up back and back that up.

    • Tracy July 13, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      Yours sounds like a sensible plan, Robyn.

      I have redundancies at least two layers deep, and having two computers (desktop + laptop) that share the same files gives me peace of mind.

      But it’s frightening how many people rely just on their ebook reader and that reader’s retailer to keep all their books for them.

      I know of at least one ebook retailer — Fictionwise — who has already gone out of business and told everyone they’re SOL on their books if they were only keeping them on the on-line shelf space. I lost all my books that were DRM protected, there, because a technicality wouldn’t let me download them.

      There’s lots of people I know who keep their entire book collection on their Kindle or Kobo and don’t think about retailer crashes or their device dying….

      Cheers,

      Tracy

  2. Melanie July 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    How do I back up books bought through Amazon and are on my Kindle?

    • Tracy July 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Melanie:

      Once you’ve synchronized your Kindle with your main computer, search for the directory called “My Kindle Content”. That’s where your books are stored on your hard drive. Back that directory up to a secondary location, either using Windows Explorer, or Calibre, or whatever backup/synchronization program you prefer.

      Cheers,

      Tracy

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