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Should You Hire a Professional Editor?

Photobucket [1]I’m seeing more queries these days where writers claim their manuscript has been professionally edited.

And it’s no surprise. People inside the industry—like myself!—are known for emphasizing the importance of submitting a flawless manuscript.

Rather than a reassurance, though, queries that mention a professional edit can leave me feeling less confident about the work. I’ve heard agents say the same thing.

This seems grossly unfair, doesn’t it?

There are 3 elements at play:

Can you benefit from a professional edit? Maybe. Your work already needs to be very good and deserving of the investment. Even the best editor in the world can’t turn a mediocre work into a gem. But they can make a good work great.

Tips for Hiring a Professional Editor

If you have trouble finding a solid recommendation, try subscribing for a month ($20) to PublishersMarketplace [2]. Credible and independent professionals have member pages.

For another viewpoint on this issue, check out Jim Adam’s guest post for me over at Writer’s Digest, How to Save Time and Money With Professional Editors [3].

I’d love to hear from writers about their experiences working with professional editors, and if it has made an impact on getting their work accepted.

Photo courtesy Flickr’s Mr. Wright [4]

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About Jane Friedman [5]

Jane Friedman [6] has more than 20 years in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. She’s the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet [7], the essential industry newsletter for authors. You can find out more about her consulting services and online classes at her website, JaneFriedman.com [6].