I've heard this so many times from newbie authors that I decided to blog about it.
When you submit a manuscript to a publisher, guess what? You need to submit your POLISHED work.
"But...but...but...isn't that what they pay editors for?"
Well, sort of. An editor's job is to catch nitpicky typos, like misplaced/missing/extraneous commas, the odd mix-up of their/they're/there or something, catch misused words, and to guide a writer through story issues that might need to be addressed and changed.
However. If you can't be bothered to fix your dialog tags, or you can't be bothered to learn why you don't use apostrophes for plural forms, and you have multiple errors in every paragraph, then guess what?
That's NOT an editor's job to fix. That's when you need to hire an editor BEFORE you submit your work so they can correct things. Meaning you'll have to PAY them. Because you didn't bother learning how to do your job before you submitted something.
And guess what else? You need to LEARN from every edit.
As of this writing, I've got over forty-five books to my credit, and believe me, I STILL learn from every edit. Any author who says their writing is perfect and doesn't need editing is either 1) insane, 2) an asshole, 3) lying, or 4) an insane, lying asshole. Because any author worth their salt knows they never stop learning.
And if you think your work shouldn't be touched because it's your "art," then you're deluding yourself. Take your meds, you're overdue.
It is YOUR responsibility as the writer to learn your craft. Seriously. You wouldn't want to be sitting there on the operating table before they put you under just to hear your doctor say, "Oh, hey, I'm not real sure how this goes, but don't worry, my nurse will do clean-up for me." (Nothing against nurses, because believe me, I've known my fair share frequently more capable than the average doctor. LOL) But would you want your doctor saying that to you?
Then why on earth do you think it's okay to submit less than your best work to a publisher?
Why do you think the editor is supposed to do YOUR work for you?
YOU are the author. YOU are the one who should be working and learning and DOING this!
"Oh, but that's HARD WORK!"
Um, YEAH. Guess what? Writing isn't as easy as it looks! And if you are facing rejection after rejection after rejection, maybe, JUST maybe, you need to invest in an EDITOR to show you what you are doing wrong!
Yeah, that will cost you money. Because if you haven't done the work to learn the craft, you're going to have to pony up money in lieu of experience. Just like a DIYer will have to either pay a plumber to put the new kitchen faucet in, or they'll have to get off their lazy ass and learn how to do it themselves.
If you can't afford an editor, there are PLENTY of free critique groups out there. The best one is the Internet Writing Workshop: http://internetwritingworkshop.org BUT, here's the caveat: they have a participation requirement. You'll have to critique other writers' works.
And guess what? In the process, as you do that, as you see how others critique you, as you see how others approach the same writing you're critiquing, you can LEARN. Because if you think you don't have anything to learn as a writer? Well...
*SNORT!* Then keep doing what you're doing, because it means you won't be selling much, if anything.