I rarely post just to send you to someone else's blog, but I really loved Rachelle Gardner's post today. It tackles the question of whether or not to hire a freelance editor for your book.
I've often wondered about this. I've heard before that hiring an editor is necessary so you don't make a fool of yourself by missing "amateur" mistakes in your writing, typos, etc. But I've always balked at the idea because I've got a great group of critters who look for those things for me. Each of them has a different strength, too, and will find different types of errors. Still, I've worried that having my work critiqued by fellow writers isn't "good enough," and that an agent or publisher is going to see that I haven't had my work professionally edited.
Rachelle points out that freelance editors should serve essentially the same purpose as a good critique group. And she states flatly that having an editor "fix" the issues in your book for you doesn't teach you anything, and can--and this is my favorite point--mask your real ability (or lack thereof) from the eyes of the agent.
YES! That settles it for me. I can see the need for hiring a professional editor if you don't have the benefit of great critters, or if you're going to self-publish. But, I now feel much better about my decision to not go that route.
Anyway, you can read the whole post on Rachelle's blog.