Why do I need an external editor? Even if you’ve read your work a dozen times, an external editor can, and most likely will, find things that you may have missed. As a writer, I’m too close to my own work to be objective about it, as are most authors, which is why an outside, professional opinion is so beneficial.
Can’t my family and friends tell me what I need to fix? No matter how many times friends and family members promise to give you their honest, objective opinions about your work, chances are they won’t. You’ll most likely get responses along the lines of “It was wonderful!” or “It was so beautifully done that I wouldn’t change a thing.” The only thing this kind of feedback serves as is ego padding, which you don’t need. What you need is someone who will evaluate your work with an objective eye and give you his or her honest, sympathetic, and if necessary, ruthless opinion on the issues that need your attention. That is the job of an external editor.
What if I don’t agree with an external editor’s suggestions? A key element to remember is that you don’t have to agree with everything an external editor says, although you should evaluate all comments and suggestions. Chances are that if one person noticed a problem in your manuscript, other people will too. But remember, this manuscript is your baby, and in the end, you’re the one who has to decide what to change and what to leave alone.