Should you pay for a critique or professional edit?

If you’re looking for an objective opinion—one that doesn’t come from your writing partner, critique partner or your best friend—then paying a professional editor may be a good idea. Someone who hasn’t been involved all along in your brainstorming and writing process can look at your book with a fresh mindset and point out things that don’t work, things you can improve and even things that are great but could use more of a punch.

A professional critique can be helpful when you’ve already been through multiple rounds of revisions, hopefully worked through it with a critique partner or two, and you’ve polished it as much as you can. It’s kind of like straightening up the house before the house cleaners come. You don’t want to waste money having an editor fix things you could have fixed yourself.

I recommend only seeking out a professional critique or edit if you’re ready to learn from the feedback. Sometimes we are too close to our manuscript to receive corrective criticism without feeling defensive. So be ready to accept suggestions, and even more importantly, be ready to learn things you’ll take with you as you go forward in your writing career.

If you’re ready to learn what someone on the outside thinks of your book and what potential it has, it’s time to pay an editor. There are many places to find professional editors; I have a list of good editors here.

Happy writing!

If you should decide to invest in some personalized counsel, I offer coaching for unpublished authors here: My Coaching Services


Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!