To a certain degree, you can edit your own work. It’s always good to go through your writing as carefully as you can. You’ll get rid of the most obvious errors, but you should always have your work edited by a professional freelance writer.
If you give your manuscript to a friend who is also a writer, you’ll still need to have it edited by a professional editor. Your friend might give you a helpful critique of your book, but writers are not always good editors.
So, who is an editor worthy of your manuscript?
1. Someone who has studied the rules of writing.
2. Someone who has reference books, such as Chicago Manual of Style, APA Manual, etc. No matter how much knowledge an editor has, there will always be a sentence that will need a little research.
3. Someone who can explain why they are recommending you make a change.
4. Someone who can present editing recommendations without incurring the anger of the writer. Constructive criticism is always best, and it’s an art.
5. Someone who offers a written report of the editing. It may be that the report is by way of using the tracking device in Microsoft Word or it might be a written report. In any case, to get your full money’s worth, you’ll want some documentation and explanation of the significant problems in your book. Don’t just give an editor free license to make changes.
To benefit from a full edit of your book, you’ll want to consider the changes and suggestions of the editor and decide whether to make them. You’ll learn from the editing process this way, and your writing will improve as a consequence.