This is part 2 of a discussion Kevin Hanrahan had with Barbara Longley discussing the pros and cons of Editors and Critique Groups. Part 1 is here. The format of the discussion is straightforward and it's an entertaining read as well as a useful way to look at your options and decide how best your time/money is spent. Barbara puts forward a strong position, and Kevin argues against it. For example:
Editors are writer’s lap dogs. Editors do whatever the writer wants to please him/ her.
Critique groups provide valuable feedback and insight to one’s book.
Wow! Lap dogs huh, Barb. Editors will tell me whatever I want to hear because I am paying them? It is clear to me that you have never met my editor. The dude didn’t say a kind word to me for over five months.
I tend to be in the camp of 'pay professionals', but the key word there is 'pay'. This stuff isn't cheap, for good reason, and it's easy to throw a significant amount of money into your writing (try paying for a decent cover, for example). If you are going to start sourcing your own professionals (covers, structural editors, copy editors, typesetters, etc), you really have to consider the return on your investment.