So after more research and picking out a handful of agencies (two of the agents I met at conferences), I'm now afraid to submit. I've read in most of the submission guidelines very cautionary language about submitting before the book is ready, and suggestions for a professional editor. Doesn't this suggest targeting editors first?
I did hire an editor, and Tyler's observation is right. I liked a lot of her changes, but a different editor will most likely have their own suggestions. That said, all my readers have suggested a technical edit for stupid mistakes, and that the book could be "tightened" with regard to confusing plot elements, or language that sometimes bordered on too cute or too on the nose.
I think I could accomplish both of those before submitting to an agent, but will they see that it's not been given a thorough professional edit?
Chicken or Egg?
Editor or Agent?