When a Bug Derails You

I spend a lot of my time writing. But once I am done, I have generally convert my stories into ePubs so that I can proof them. Lately, I ran into a bug, that derailed a number of writing hours.

Let me explain.

I write in Ulysses almost exclusively. I started in Scrivener, and I still write with it, but for a lot of my smaller stories, I use Ulysses. My current story, Evelyn, was written in Ulysses, and I started to experiment with some new formats for exporting to ePubs. As part of my normal process, once I export the document, I open it in iBooks on all of my devices. This time, my export failed on two of my three devices. This made me scratch my head. So I tried again, with a different preset. Same result. Clearly, the software was to blame, so I opened a ticket with Ulysses and continued to troubleshoot my problem. After a bit of back and forth, we both came to the same conclusion. The problem was not Ulysses. It was iBooks, on iPad and iPhone. Which concerns me.

So, I ported the document to Scrivener and exported it again. This time I actually got an error I could use.

Failed to load book because the requested resource is missing

It would seem there is a serious bug in iBooks, and it has been there for a while based on the results from Google. The solution is to erase iBooks (after you delete the book, and reinstall it, close iBooks, restart the iDevice, eieio). And because iBooks is a default application, the only way to remove iBooks is to do a complete reinstall of the iOS. Not exactly the answer most people want to pursue. I am lucky. I have a conversion program that can turn the eBook into a Kindle file, which I can then send to my Kindle. It is a bad workaround, but it would be nice if there was an easier way to fix default applications.

So, if find that an eBook is not opening correctly, that might be your problem. I am not sure there is a good way to fix it other than via an iOS update. Good luck.

UPDATE: I am happy to report that the latest version of iOS has fixed whatever was borked in iBooks!

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