So after SCBWI, I was sure I was ready to submit my book. Agents, editors and publisher were just waiting for it. I was sure.
And then I got my first rejection. Too many typos to even read past the first page. And what's worse - I can't even see the typos - still - after a few read-throughs.
I had contacted an old agent who was once a publisher and have burned a contact. Sure, I'll probably be able to submit in the future, but it just feels sloppy, like showing up at a dinner with a dirty tie.
A professional editor. No, I'm not here to take your money, or even to tell you where to spend it. But unless you're a natural editor, paying may be the best way to go. After having spent a year on the book, I can't see my spelling errors, much less catch small mistakes in logic I may have accidentally committed. While friends are great for an opinion, only an experienced editor is going to be able to give me the professional polish I need to get this past the gate-keeping eyes of other publishing veterans.
I only wish I could take back the first submission and start over.
Live and learn.
I had ready in many publications to read and read and read my manuscript over. But at some point, the saturation does me no good. So when you think your book is ready, give it away to someone who's never seen it, and get fresh eyes to mark up a fresh copy.