Querying authors sometimes ask, “Is editing really important? Won’t I get an editor when I get published?”
The simple answer to both questions is yes. Editing is extremely important, and you will get an editor if you are traditionally published. The problem with those answers is one little word: if.
The thing that stands between many aspiring authors and the publishing house is editing. For example, if an agent reads your submission, and there is a comma splice or a typo in the first paragraph, your submission could get rejected. Agents have more manuscripts to get through than they have time in the day, so they often look for reasons to reject a manuscript, not reasons to accept it.
Many writers are pretty good at self-editing. They can put together sentences correctly, they have a strong command of language, and they can weave a great story. However, they’re the author, so they know exactly what they mean, how it is supposed to be read, and what it is supposed to say. Thus, no matter how many times they read their work, they may overlook things that an editor wouldn’t.
A fresh pair of eyes on your work can give you a much different perspective.
Therefore, before querying an agent, consider having your manuscript professionally edited. It’s a small investment, but it is definitely worth it.