One of my critique partners always hired an external editor before he queried agents. Though he had a couple of critique partners and beta readers, he felt that an external editor would give him an edge when he sent out queries and sample pages to agents.
His first few manuscripts were rejected by many agents and just when he was on the verge of giving self-publishing a serious thought, he signed up with an agent who got him a two book deal.
There is a question running around in 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 in-house editors of the publishing houses themselves. This is the normal procedure in India. The editors of the publishing houses work with writers to polish the book, before the book is published.
When I started querying a few years back, my manuscript/s went through my critique partners. I made the changes they suggested. After a few rounds of revisions, I started querying again targeting different agent. 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 didn’t appeal to agents, then no amount of editing would have swung the scales in my favour.
I am toying with the idea of working with an external editor after I my finish my current work in progress. Yes, I finally started my adult novel on 1st April. I have written 31,739 words so far. I am enjoying writing something different from my usual middle-grade fiction and the two main characters: Kunal and Ria, are becoming more and more familiar as the story progresses.
What’s your view about external editors? Do you think they are necessary if one wants to go the traditional publishing route or seek or an agent? 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? Have you gone the external editor route?