Knowing When You're Ready to Work With an Editor
You've completed your first draft! Is it time to send it to a professional editor? If you're looking to get the most out of your investment in editing, the answer to that question is no. There are numerous questions you should address first to make sure you've done all you can to prepare your manuscript for editing. Preparation ensures that your editor is getting the best version of your project, which means they can focus on bigger issues rather than spending their time correcting problems you might have worked out on your own.
Have you stepped away from your project for a short time before rereading with a fresh perspective?
Have you done all you can to self-edit?
Have you reached out to friends, family, or any of your writing peers for feedback? If you are in a community of other writers online, you may benefit from trading off and reading each other's work. This feedback exchange can provide you with multiple perspectives and opinions, which you can use for self-editing.
Are you aware of the financial investment you are about to make? Have you budgeted for the possibility of your book not getting published, even after professional editing?
Have you worked out the plot of your book to the point that you don't know what else you can do to improve it?
Have you looked into the different types of editing and considered what would benefit you the most at the current stage of your project?
Do you have an idea of what to expect from the editing process, so that you can adequately schedule time for the rewriting?
If you have answered yes to all these questions, then it sounds like you have put a substantial amount of time and effort into preparing your manuscript. That will go a long way in ensuring that you get the most out of the editing experience.
Next step? Find an editor!