Editing is the most important part of my job as an author. Before I gave up my day job to write full-time I was myself an editor, first at Penguin, then at Headline, which is partly why I’m so passionate about the process. And yet I cannot tell you how much I hate it. It is extremely dispiriting to sit in a room with your editor and be told that the book (in my case novel) you have lovingly crafted over a long period of months is not gripping, charming and perfectly turned out, that it is in fact repetitive, unconvincing, too sketchy here, too drawn-out there. But I’d be mortified were anyone other than my editor and agent to read the first draft. It is vital that an author has someone willing to be tough with them. It’s in their best interests, and if that person is employed by the author themselves on a freelance basis, I question how tough they’ll be willing to be. —Every good ebook needs a good editor | Harriet Evans | Books | guardian.co.uk.
The Gottlieb anecdote is also well worth reading.