When it comes to getting your manuscript published, it’s not a bad idea to hire a professional editor. Sure, initially it’s great to get friends and family to read your work, but unless one of them is in the industry they may miss important details. Also, friends/fam love you and therefore may have a difficult time giving you hard criticism (should your writing warrant it).
Editors are also up on all the latest industry guidelines and trends. Their perspective is priceless … just kidding, it can be very expensive. Of course, what you get differentiates the price, but a full manuscript critique with copyedits will cost a pretty penny. One estimate I received was about $2000 dollars (and that’s for a manuscript of 93,500 words).
Some editors base their pay by the page, some on the words, others by the hour. You just have to check their website.
Luckily, I was able to win a free manuscript critique (which saved me approximately $400). This was the most basic critique, with the editor looking for lack of continuity, logic, character development and other basic things integral to the success of a story.
Unfortunately, this was also when my over-optimistic world fell apart. For the first time I received unbiased feedback. I wished I had gotten it a lot sooner, I could have learned the defects of my book and the proper route to fix them without excessive waste of time.
In conclusion, pay up and hire a professional. You will learn more in one critique than in ten from your friends.
P.S. I’ve pasted the website of the editor that I use. Her name is Laura Carlson and she’s not only very thorough, her prices are low. If you’re looking for someone, I’d choose her.