So you've finished your novel, does that mean it's ready to start submitting to agents or editors?That really depends on your definition of a finished novel. When I write the last words I consider that my first draft. No one but me, and sometimes my readers, reads my first draft. I believe in getting the words on the page in a timely fashion, which results in a very rough first draft. The next thing I do is print it out and line edit it with a red pen. I also add quite a bit as I'm going through it in this round. Once finished I sit back down at the laptop and enter all the red into it. After that I spellcheck and save. Now, and only now, is it ready for someone else to read it. This is the main reason I don't do editing for other people. To me the first edit should be done by the writer so they can tweak the story where they need to and still keep it their own.
So what goes into all that editing? What is this mysterious editing process that makes a novel ready for submission? I've gone over bits and pieces of what I look for when editing my work in prior entries but here's a great link to another writer's take on editing:
Check it out, your novel will be glad you did.