Some excellent advice from one of our authors on why you need a professional editor, even if you’re submitting your work through the traditional/legacy publishing process.
Editors at major publishing houses (as well as the agents that feed them) care about one thing: what will sell. That being said, having your work edited by someone who is open to helping you achieve your own personal artistic vision is invaluable.
Note I said professional editor. Your friends, however well-intentioned, aren’t substitutes for a once-over by a pro. Even if they are, indeed, professional editors themselves. I tell people this for the same reason that all lawyers, myself included, still repeat the old axiom that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. What you’re really paying for, when you hire a professional–apart from the obvious–is distance. Your editor does not know you. Is not hoping to maintain a friendship with you. Is not worried about offending you. Your friends, to the degree that they’re invested in your success at all, are emotionally invested.
Which means that, at best you’re talking about people desperate to see you succeed and at worst indifferent. Neither is what you want. Moreover, as I learned the hard way (read: my writing group experience), that someone is your friend–or you think they’re your friend–doesn’t…
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