As writers, we want to make a good first impression. However, we also want our books to make a good first impression. How can we do this? It is called editing! (BTW - aside from getting our books edited, we also need to edit query letters, cover letters, and book blurbs.) It probably is not the best idea to do the final editing on our own work. If we missed something the first few times through, we aren't suddenly going to find it. How many times have I thought my end product was good to go, then showed it to a friend that found a spelling or gramatical error, or a formatting error, or something that simpy did not flow well!
So what keeps me from hiring a professional editor? Money. And why should I hire a professional editor? Money. So far my books are not selling enough copies for me to know how they are seen by my prospective audience. That is a promotional issue. That is another blog. I need to look long term, and budget for a professional editor.
I am lucky, in that I do know a couple of professional editors. They may not accept my work, but they are a place to start. I know them, and I know their reputation. My suggestion to anyone looking for a professional editor is to review their credentials, then go over their reviews. See what other people think of their work. Then make sure that you and the editor are on the same page as to what they are offering. What I would be looking for is someone to review grammer and punctuation, to do an overview and see where there may be inconsistencies in the story, or where the plot doesn't flow well, and to look for things like the repetitive use of words. (I once read a very poorly written mystery where the same word was used nine times on the same page!)
You might also want to think about whether you want to wait until the editing job is completely finished before you review it, or whether you want to have an ongoing conversation with the editor about what is being done. Do what is comfortable for you, and what is comfortable for your editor.
What you are looking for here is a fully edited manuscript that looks professional, feels professional, and presents your work in the best manner possible.
(c) October 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.