I finished writing my first book two years ago, and of course, the next natural thing to do at that time was to send my baby out into the world. So I wrote my query, researched agents, followed their instructions with a magnifying glass. I just knew an agent would call immediately, and say how publishable I was. We would then interlock our arms, and together we’d walk into a glorious publishing sunset. It couldn’t get easier than that. Right? Wrong. My book wasn’t good enough for public consumption. Simple as that!
You guessed what came next. Some rejection letters came faster than others did, many of them in coded language. Surprisingly enough, there were also little bites. A couple of agents had asked for pages; one even went so far as to request another set of pages and exclusivity. It turned out I wasn’t a good fit for her after all. Bless her kind heat. She was gentle in her response.
The next generic thing to do was to join a new writing workshop group with gifted writers. The five members of my group read my manuscript from beginning to end. I followed some of their suggestions, some, I didn’t. In short, the book went through one year’s worth of rigorous renovation.
Now, I am at another crossroad. Do I accept feeling comfortable enough in the knowledge that my book is well written and interesting and begin querying again? Or do I send the book to a highly recommended professional editor first? My wonderful and very patient husband, who stood by me the duration of the five years he had to suffer the roller coaster waves with me, feels that it’s a waste of time and money.
I am not sure what to do. What do you think? Have you ever used a professional editor’s help with a good outcome?