Never underestimate the value of a good editor.
I was speaking with friend tonight, and he mentioned that one of my editors had helped him look smart. I cannot agree more. My editors make me look like a (relative, given what they have to work with) genius. There is no amount of praise you can give your editors that is not deserved (given even marginal skill on their part).
My book, Into the Fire would not be anything like as good as it is without the help of both my editors. I give them credit for this in the book, but it was brought to mind again this evening. And bears repeating (and they are both well above marginal skill).
If you don’t use a good editor, you should. And you should pretty much accept what they tell you. They want to make your book better as much as you do. And they will. If you listen.
I have come to believe that to have a best seller, you have to have luck. But, without a good book, all the luck in the world won’t help much. How do you get a good book? Well, practice, certainly, and a good idea, sure, and understanding of your genre, of course. But really, a good cover for many of those things (and a way to achieve some of those things): a good editor.
Can’t afford one? Really? Can you afford not to have one?