Replacing Apple pages, an oddyssey.

I have been a self-publisher for about 10 years now. My first books were  complicated: words and images and lots of formatting. These days I’m self-publishing novels. Just words. Easy right?

Yes, because I used Apple pages on my desktop, and the pages app on my iPad. I was good at using them. I wrote on the iPad and then emailed the manuscript to myself. I could open it on either the desktop or my iPad and it was always the same as I had been working on it. My last book turned out lovely and though I had to learn a LOT it was almost effortless and fun.

Then I updated my operating system on my Mac to Mavericks and met the new pages program. I worked on a manuscript for a week figuring out along the way that a lot of the functions were missing, like being able to view two pages of your manuscript open like a book, nice when you’re formatting.  Or being able to have a gutter (the margin in the middle of two pages that is bigger for printing in a book.) Or find and replace invisibles. I used that everyday. Gone. So I reverted back to the older pages 09. Reasonable, right? Except opening my documents in the newer pages ‘corrupted’ them. I could no longer use them in the earlier version. I had to trash them for the older versions and accept that I had lost a week of work.

Fine. Whatevs. Then my iPad broke. It, coupled with a keyboard, was my main writing station. It took about six weeks to replace it with a refurbished iPad 2. The night I brought it home I restored all my stuff to it, and pushed a button that said, “Would you like to update this iPad?” YES! give me bright and shiny newness, yes! I planned to write and write and write.

Except when I tried to open the file I had been working on six weeks prior, the new pages app warned ‘if you open this doc you will no longer be able to open it with pages 09 on your Mac.’ AARGH!

For almost three days I have been trying to find a way to get my workflow, my pizzazz, my career back. I need:

1. an IOS app that I could write on that played well with…

2. a desktop application that I could format with that would play well with…

3. the servers at createspace headquarters, where my books are published and printed.

I dared to dream that the files could go back the other way and I could occasionally format on my iPad too. That dream has been squashed apparently.

I bought iaWriter and Daedalus Touch for the iPad and used both a bit to see which I prefer. Neither would open a .pages document, only .txt. Say good bye to any formatting. Sigh.

I trial ran Ulysses 3 (to pair with Daedalus Touch) which was a little too simple. I’m not sure I want to markdown all my emphasis, and my italics, and my bolds, and then Scrivener which was very complicated.

I ultimately decided to use Scrivener (the tutorial took 3 hours so I better like it. No, wait, you better love it lady.) Then and only then realizing that in the flurry of App purchases and trials and memberships and accounts and user manuals, that I had committed to the ONE that had no iOS counterpart.

Short of rending my shirt, I figured out how to use Scrivener, Dropbox, and Daedalus Touch together in a sort of wonky fashion that may or may not work, but by now who cares, I can’t even remember what I was writing about.

Oh that’s right, I was writing the sequel to Bright, and William and Estelle were about to…off to work in .txt, on Daedalus Touch. Wish me luck!

Oh, and do you have a workflow application that you LOVE? Can you tell me about it?