Many of you wonder why I would suggest self-editing your stories to your utmost ability before they go to a paid editor. Pretty simple. If your stories are in need of major editing, many editors won't go anywhere near them. Also, most small Presses as well as the bigger boys won't touch them if they need a major overhaul.
I know one editing service that provides you with a free sample of his work. Then, he bases his rates upon your sample. He charges three times as much for an MS needing more work than for one requiring minor work. So, you could save yourself a lot of bucks if you hustle your butt into the self-editing chair and get better acquainted with the craft.
I'm not talking beta readers either. I've mentioned before that I don't care for them. Read your stuff out loud and catch where punctuation might be needed. Purchase an online editing system such as AutoCrit https://www.autocrit.com/ or ProWritingAid https://prowritingaid.com. These systems will find many errors. such as:
- Check for hidden and passive verbs
- Identify overuse of adverbs and glue words
- Locate repetitive sentence structure
- Replace commonly overused words
- Reveal repeated words and phrases
- Eliminate vague, abstract and complex words
- Remove cliches and redundancies
Get books and learn some things about the craft. There are a ton of them available. Don't rush to get your book out if it's not ready.
Then, and only then, should you submit your book to a professional editor. Online systems and books can teach you a lot, but you need a skilled human to go over your last draft. Anything less is not acceptable.