I guess in my head I was imagining the latest draft of one of my stories. If I had submitted the first draft, it would have been a waste of money, as I have completely re-written it. Beta readers have helped point out obvious errors that made a ton of light bulbs go off for me, and now I have re-drafted the outline, and am now working on the next edition of it right now. It’s something I got for free wthout having to pay anyone for.
I am glad I had beta readers read my story first before paying anyone to look it over. This newer draft feels much more like the polished, finished draft. I look forward to a developmental editor with this new draft and helping polish it further.
I guess what I mean is - I recommend to get some beta readers to read one’s draft, address the obvious issues that anyone could see, and then let a developmental editor see all of the other errors. I only say that because of money. If money wasn’t an issue, then a developmental editor would be my first, second, and third go-to option, as they can do wonders for a story. But since they are a bit expensive, you might as well give the story to beta readers first. I’m not quite sure how it’s helpful not to.
I’m still super happy I had beta readers first before paying anyone. I believe I saved some money by doing so, but then again, I got lucky and had some excellent readers.