Whether you want to polish your manuscript to a high sheen before submission, or want to raise it to another level before self-publishing, a freelance editor can make the difference between failure and success. The market is more competitive than it has ever been and to stand out your work has to be the very best it can be.
When I decided to go with Abbott Press instead of a traditional publisher I knew I wanted to use a freelance editor to give my manuscript that edge. It isn't cheep but if you want to make a career out of writing rather than just throw your work out there to see if it sticks, then it's a good idea. Even if you have an English degree it can't hurt to have that extra set of professional eyes on your work. We are too close to our work to be the sole editor of it.
But with all the options out there where do you turn? It seems like everyone and their cat are offering editing services now days. While my cat has pretty discerning tastes, she should not be editing anyone's work. The best advice I can give you on choosing an editor is to do your research and get recommendations. Different editors will take on different projects, charge different rates, and take differing amounts of time to complete the work. Ask a lot of questions, and don't be afraid to ask for a small sample of their editing. I won't let you go without a few recommendations. The first is the Second Draft service through Writer's Digest. They offer many different services and levels of editing. The next is one of my blogging friends, agent intern and freelance editor Cassandra (C.A.) Marshall. Who wouldn't want an agent intern editing their work right?! And Cassandra is a sweet person who also does cover design. So if you need a cover be sure to check her out for that too.The last is my good friend, and co-moderator of the #WritersRoad Twitter chat, Tee (TS) Tate. Tee received a Master of Arts in English and is an amazing writer to boot.There are a lot more great freelance editors out there. All you have to do is ask around.