“Is having an editor vital for your manuscript?”
Short answer: Yes!
There are many different levels of editing, but definitely get your manuscript edited before either self-publishing or submitting to a publisher. Submitting or publishing a manuscript that has been edited will show a certain professionalism that is missing from a majority of “fast publish” publishers and self-published works.
As an example, I’ll supply the process expected from most publishers.
- A writer completes their first draft of their manuscript
- After 30+ days the writer goes over their manuscript and rewrites it
- After another 30+ days the writer goes over the rewritten manuscript and rewrites it
- The above process keeps going several times until the author finds no more faults
- The author engages other authors to critique their work and rewrites according to notes
- The above step repeats 4-6 times
- Content edit
- Line edit
- SPAG edit
The edits and rewrites clear up logic errors in the writing process, ensure the style is kept throughout and clears up grammatical, punctuation and spelling errors.
You can get away without the last two most of the time, depending on the publisher, for they have their own process for editing.
Understand, if you get accepted by a traditional publisher, you will be expected to go through their editing process as well. If the publisher says they will just publish the work the way you submitted it then you should run, not walk, away from them. All work needs to be edited by the publisher to ensure it meets a certain level of standards.
When you self-publish, please make sure you do the editing steps for it will only help you sell more copies. People are getting tired of seeing grammatical/spelling/logic errors in books that are self-published, and thus are now trending to not purchase them due to the sloppy editing jobs.