The most important thing I've learned is it is beneficial to you as a writer to personally choose your editor. Look over an editor's list of past books, find out their strengths...and their weaknesses. Have a dialogue with the potential editor (send them a sample of your work), and ask what kind of editing process the editor sees your book going through to get it fully edited. Don't let an editor be assigned to you by even a small publishing house, unless it's for the final line edit.
Why? Well, I have to say I've had editors assigned to me--thinking all editors were the same--but I immensely enjoyed working directly with an editor I stumbled upon for the final edit of Saving Mary. I worked alongside her and could, therefor, ask questions and pose solutions, and I learned a whole lot more about the process. I found out that we work rather good together. The process went smooth and somewhat quicker.
What else did I gain from editing a self-published book?
- I am now a better writer because I've polished my editing skills;
- I understand the importance of patience, taking projects step-by-step;
- I know to book massage appointments every week while in the editing process;
- I know what mistakes I tend to make;
- I know and understand my writing style.