One of the biggest questions I get about the craft is about editing. I have spent anywhere from $70 - $1400 on a manuscript to be edited and I know others have spent much more. There is no way your manuscript should see any reader's/agent's/editor's hand with out being fully edited by a professional. By professional, I do not mean your critique partner, critique group, beta reader, or your MOTHER!
I found out the hard way about editing and editing services. Here are some tips to help find the right editors.
1) KNOW YOUR GENRE! and know the genre of the editor. I had an editor that was a man. . .don't roll your eyes! I really liked him! BUT he didn't read chick-lit...(do I hear laughter from all the men out there?) Right!?!
He would email me asking me about the women in the book and "do they really think this way?" NOT what I was looking for in my editor. He did a great job, but the process took much longer because I felt like I was Dr. Laura helping with his love life.
2) KNOW YOUR TIME FRAME. When you email editors, you have to have your time frame in mind. When do you want your book in the hands of the reader/agent/editor? If the editor is booking six months out, and you want the book in two months, this editor is not for you.
3) KNOW WHAT SERVICES YOU NEED. Editors offer so many different services from line edits, copy edits, plot holes. . . .Me~always have my entire manuscript edited on all levels. It's the most expensive, but I want my books to be the best it can be when I send it to my readers and to my agent. Yes~I do have my manuscripts professionally edited before my agent sees it.
4) KNOW YOUR MANUSCRIPT IS IN GOOD HANDS. The editor should want to see at least three chapters of your manuscript before you sign with them and EDIT it. You need to see how they edit and they need to see how you write.
Just like the blog I posted this week THICK SKIN WITH EVERY WORD where I discussed how writing is subjective, well. . .not every editor is going to like your work and not every relationship is going to gel.
The media bistro has a wonderful article about the indie author and editors.
Here is a list of BEST EDITORS on Twitter.
If you are seeking traditional publishing, the Review, Review has a great article on editors.