Editing is a subject which no author should ever ignore.
Editors broadly come in two flavours- structural and line. Structural Editors go through the entire structure of your book and then suggest rearranging your chapters, or rearranging paragraphs within your chapters to make your book structure more cohesive.
Line Editors, on the other hand, go through your book line by line. They fix grammatical errors and in general improve your readability.
You can find freelance editors on the internet and the good ones will cost you a packet. What do you do then, if you are on a budget?
This is where your friends and indulgent relatives come in handy. Do you remember that classmate of yours who was always a few points ahead of you in the English paper? Or that senior who edited the college magazine? Or that relative or family friend who is a voracious reader at least?
The most important thing is that this friend or relative should first have an indulgent, benevolent and not overtly critical view of your writing skills.
Next, he should be able to adhere to some kind of a time-line. Otherwise, the work will never be finished.
As for me, I am still on a shoe string budget so I can’t afford a professional editor. But it is true that most self-published authors, who are serious about writing as a career, pay for professional editing. So if you can afford one, do go ahead and employ one.
I do have some friends helping me out. Sometimes when I really feel confident about the quality of my first draft, I even ask my father to give me editing tips and suggestions. The results actually are quite pleasing. I always make fun of my father saying that I have got a really mad editor who can make my entire writing look red with track changes.
I wish you luck in your quest for a similarly ‘mad’ editor.