Editing, Publishing

If my cat had thumbs

picture of sleeping cats
These lazy bums think they’re ready to write a novel. Is it wrong that I was tempted to draw chalk outlines around them as they slept?

Have you ever wondered how difficult it might be to self-publish your novel? Let me tell you, it’s pretty easy. If my cat had thumbs, she could throw a sheath of paper on the floor, slather the pages with her paws prints, and call it a first draft. She could scan those sheets of paper into a digital file and organize them into the order of her preference, thus completing draft number two.

Do you hear something? I do believe that is the sound of cat lovers everywhere breathing a collective sigh of excitement over the announcement of Zelda Cat’s latest novel. Wait. Zelda would never truck with such nonsense. We’ll get Lulu to do it.

If my cat had thumbs, she might then upload her masterpiece to a website like Create Space, list it on Amazon, and call it published. Luckily, my cat doesn’t need thumbs to curl up on the windowsill and wait for her money to start pouring it in.

If my cat had thumbs, she could totally write and publish her own book. However, just because she could, that doesn’t mean she should. Moreover, just because you can easily self-publish the second draft of your novel manuscript, that does not mean that you should.

Do you know what you should do? Revise your novel more than once. Do not go straight from second draft to published draft. Get professional feedback. No, my cat does not qualify as a professional just because she has managed to self-publish her book. I mean ask a real professional. While you’re at it, open your mind to the idea that your writing may not be as advanced as you believe it is.

If you attempt to hire a copyeditor and are told that you aren’t ready for a copy edit, you should probably listen and learn. If nothing else, you should at least get a second opinion. But I wouldn’t get it from my cat if I were you. She’s a lazy editor.

~Amanda L. Webster

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