“My writing doesn’t need editing by anyone except me. I have a good knowledge of grammar, spelling and construction, I have the plot at my fingertips, and I have the concentration needed to avoid missing silly mistakes.”
Is this valid?
One is invariably too close to the story not to see what one expects or wants to see. The number of errors in published books by top authors does illustrate this — and many of these have, in fact, been professionally edited!
It can be a no-win situation: you get carried away by the story, which is good, and you start rushing, which is bad. Or you are bored to tears by the story and start skimming. Or you nit-pick to such an extent, out of boredom, that you miss the overall picture of why it isn’t ‘working’. Or, in picking up one type of error in a paragraph you switch off and miss another type entirely.
Friends/relations as beta-readers can certainly be of great help, and the price is right! However, for something one wants to publish seriously there is no substitute for paying for a professional. If you are as good as you think you are, the quote based on a sample will be very modest, and the result will ensure you will attain the degree of professionalism you would like to show.
As an editor/writer, do I get my own books edited? Answer: most definitely yes.
I am personally happy to produce, without commitment, costing quotes based on a total word count accompanied by a sample of anything from a page to a chapter to a section in length. Just drop me your email address (for deletion) in comments here.