Years before I started writing I knew virtually nothing, if anything, about the craft. Yes I knew how to write but where to go from there? My English when it comes to grammar, run off sentences, prepositions, dangling participles and past tenses might as well be a foreign language to me. If you are like me then a good editor is absolutely needed. But what kind of editor do you need?
Editors ranges from content to copy to line editor. You also have your proof reader, critique partner and beta reader to boot to think about. There is also your developmental part which is what I do.
Who you choose all depends at what stage of your book you are at. Editors can be pricey but after working so hard on your manuscript do you want to leave it to chance you got every single thing right?
I know my line editor is awesome. I have had a few publishers comment on my manuscript noting how professionally it was edited. That is all her and no one but her.
Will you need more than one editor? If you can afford to then do so. You need to get your work in the best possible shape you can get it in before you start submitting for publication. Publishers get thousands and thousands of mail from writers. One good way for them to toss it in the slush pile is for it not being properly edited.
Even if you self publish, all it takes is for a few readers to read your works and rate it low due to the edits. Do enough books like this and readers will notice. You still need a editor regardless how you publish your writings.
Not sure where to start? Ask other writers. If you are part of a writing group ask the members in there. Look online,check out websites that are designed to help you to find an editor of any kind. But take the time to do this. Your work took you a long time to complete, why short change it now that it is ready to shine? This is not an area you short change yourself.