An editor is next. If you want to be considered a professional: Get a good editor.
Before people jump on me otherwise:
I’m an English teacher. I know what the woes of peer editing looks like, and it doesn’t get better just because we’re writers. I don’t edit my own stuff, and I teach writing for a living. If you’re looking at going trad or indie: hire. A. Good. Editor. This is where you spend your money other than a good artist for covers/marketing.
I once did freelance through Upwork or Fivrr as a ghostwriter and editor. You DON’T always get what you pay for, and both sites are full of potential scammers who steal your work and money. Look for someone like mine who is a veteran in the field. Keep in mind: you get what you pay for in many cases, too. A $50 edit is not always the same depth and polish as a $350 edit–the better editors normally (not always) want more money with good reason.
My editor over at www.bestbookeditors.com is highly knowledgeable about the next steps after editing, so a good editor could also give you greater direction than just editing.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.