No matter how well you write, if you plan to publish your own book or submit your manuscript to a publisher, you need an editor. Why? Because an editor will serve as an extra set of eyes that will catch grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and usage mistakes, and be an objective reader who is paid to be candid with you and point out any flaws or inconsistencies in your manuscript.
Sure, it’s okay to have your friend who was an English major read your book, but most English majors were trained to analyze literature, not edit someone else’s writing. Besides, your friend may not offer honest criticism for fear of hurting your feelings and/or ruining your relationship.
Now, you may ask, “If a publishing house is going to publish my book, it will assign an editor to me, so why do I need to hire my own editor?” You need to hire your own editor before you ever submit your manuscript to a publisher or an agent, because you want to present a quality story or nonfiction document. Your manuscript will be placed in the reject pile if it is riddled with errors and deficiencies. Just remember that old adage: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Next time: How to Choose an Editor