There is a question pecking my mind. Is it important for writers to work with an external editor before we go on submission? So far, all my books that have been published, have been edited by the inhouse editors of the publishing houses themselves. This is the normal procedure in India. The editors of the publishing houses work with the writers to polish the book before the book is published.
Whenever I read about my blog buddies’ working with external editors (who they pay from their own pocket) I feel a bit worried. I never did that for any of my manuscripts. When I started querying a few years back, my manuscript/s went through my critique partners. I made the changes that they suggested. After a few rounds of revisions I started querying. I am wondering that if I had an external editor, perhaps my chances of getting an agent would have increased. But, if the story or the character did not appeal to the agents, then no amount of editing would have swung the scales in my favour.
I am thinking whether to work with an external editor after I my finish my current work in progress. But that will be only after my critique partners go through it (as it is about a topic I am not familiar with).
What’s your view about external editors? Do you think they are necessary if one is looking for traditional publishing? Do you think external editors can get our manuscripts into the best possible shape and increase our chances of getting an agent or bagging a publishing contract?