Professional Editing, is it necessary?

My oldest sister messaged me the other day on Facebook. She asked how my book was coming. She does this from time to time at random. It just so happened, that the message got to me right after reading another rejection letter. Needless to say I wasn't in the best of mind-frames at the time to answer.

"16, rejections now... It's going...," was my reply.

Mental note- Allow at least an hour to reply to anything after reading a rejection letter.

She responded back quickly with, "(insert other sister's name here) sent hers off to a book therapist. You should talk to her about it."
(Yes, thats right there are two aspiring authors in the family!)

Thankfully I waited a little before replying again. I get cranky when I get a rejection.

I've thought of book doctors, professional editors, or whatever you want to call them.

I've wondered if it was really worth the investment to send out my work and have it professionally edited?

Let's face it, it's not cheap!
I've seen quotes of $700-$1k for an 80k word manuscript. That's a lot to invest in a gamble.

What are the benefits and are they really worth it? Will an agent take my work more seriously? Will it really give me an edge?

Professional editing is no guarantee. If the story doesn't catch the eye of an agent or editor, the money is lost.

Still, I really want to be published. I've submitted my work to critiquing groups, I've bought books on grammar and punctuation (let's face it, we all know I fail on this subject), and I've tried to go over my work with a fine tooth comb.

Does it really make the difference to professionally edit? Has anyone out there in the void used these types of services? Any recommendations?

Comments

Jessica said…
Hmmm. Well, I'm targeting category (harlequin) so for my first manuscript, after it was rejected, I paid for a harlequin critique. For me, it was definitely worth it. The critiquer was awesome, gave me both compliments and "Hey, this makes no logical sense" comments. LOL I will forever save that.
But for single titles? That's a tough call because a prof. editor is going to be just as subjective as an in-house editor. If you do decide to pay, I'd look at a whole bunch of editors who do stuff like you write. Sometimes they list their clients and stuff. Maybe see who's published that they've edited too. Good luck!
Oh, I guess I should add that it's not really a necessity. Like you said, it's a ton of money. You could spend the same for a conference and get crits and pitch appts. Or pay for contests. Let me know how things go. :-)
Glen Akin said…
lol 16 rejections doesn't really mean you need a professional editor. Some people get more than that before getting published. Some, less.

While some write another book that gets picked over their first try. It's a weird business, this writing stuff. Just keep doing what you do best and you'll get there :D