Writing and completing an entire book is a huge accomplishment. It requires time, energy and perseverance. The next step to the completion of the writing is of course to re-read, revise and edit the book. And once a writer has done all of that, the next logical step is to begin the submission process in order to get the book published or to self-publish. Maybe … but not so fast.
Yes, a writer should be able to revise and edit their own work, making it presentable enough to send out and begin the querying process. And with the many changes that have taken place in the world of publishing, it would seem that writers have more avenues than ever to get their books published.
Before sending out a query, with or without a sample of the writing, depending on the agent or publisher you target, consider having an editor look at your work. This will likely cost money, as reputable editors almost always charge for their services, as they should. It is however possible to have an editor look over your work through a contest win, trial offer, through a writing course or during a conference.
A good editor can advise you on how ready your completed manuscript is for the big wide world. Better to send out a polished product than to end up missing the mark once your work is in front of an agent or publisher.