Congratulations, you have survived the first draft. But, before you think about querying or getting an editor to fix your style errors, take a moment to think about this question. Even if you believethat an editor will help you when it is just the rough draft. An editor should be able to do an amazing job and turn it into a publishable novel right?
No, and if you were to hire an editor it would be a waste of money and time.
So, back to the question.
Is your manuscript really ready after being freshly written?
The answer to most cases is no. It is not ready for an editor. Thus it is not publishable. Why?
Because an editor’s job is to make the writing shine so the story can be best told. And your first draft will be an all over the place story, perhaps not having a clear protagonist. Or even more than that. There are many fundamental errors, which would make editing just useless.
Those are structural errors, not style errors. Most editors can’t help you with that, only you can. There are those who can and these are called developmental edits, or perhaps mentoring.
But it is your job to fix your own errors because only you will have the tools to fix them.
The editor won’t know your vision, your idea. And they don’t want to harm your voice which is why they are asking you rather than doing it themselves.
And that editing is a process which would be fine tuning all the sentences, which means that the content will need to be exactly the same and it needs to have a clear story and structure. Otherwise it would ruin the work of the editor when it does go into rewriting.
But the editor is supposed to help your writing, not rewrite the story into something readable. And that’s the point. Your first drafts needs more rewrites and revisions on its own. You will need to make sure there’s a story told. Trust me. Revision will make the story clearer and thus better use of the editor when the time is right.
And many editors online turn away jobs not because they don’t want to. But because it will go against their integrity as an editor. They can’t fix the work because it’s supposed to be done by the author. And that’s the point. You need to fix your work and ensure that it is in the best shape before you send it to an editor. You cannot just send it to an editor. Because that’s asking them to commit fraud. And if an editor accepts the job, they are cheating you.
So, put it into a corner. Read it first before you send it to an editor. Get an alpha reader or a critique partner before you do that. And if you need more work, get a beta reader. Editing is not to make your work readable, it is to make your writing shine.