A writer asked me this question on Quora, “Is there any editor who will work as a literary agent as well, or at least who can connect me with an agent for sure so that it can be assured that my money for editing will not fall in vain?”

The answer is no.

An editor’s role is different from an agent’s role, although some cross-over influences can take place. There are two kinds of editors, one is a freelancer you hire to improve grammar or story development. The other kind of editor works for the publishing house that acquires the story. I assume here we are talking about a freelance editor you pay on a work-for-hire basis.

The agent’s role is to sell the manuscript to a publisher for a fee.

Ethically, the editor cannot charge you to formally edit the work and also represent you as an agent then charge a fee when the work sells. That is just not done by professional agents. Such a practice double-dips into the writer’s income. However, the hired editor may have industry connections and guide you to an interested agent, while only charging you for the editorial work. The agent often makes editorial suggestions or revisions to improve the chances of selling to an in-house editor, but only charges you for selling the work, not for editing.

Nobody can assure you that you will make the right connections or that any amount of editing will assure you that the book will be published. Seeking a publisher is more like buying a lottery ticket than buying a piece of fruit that potentially turns out to be rotten. What hiring a professional editor can do for you is to enhance your chances of being published.

You must work very hard to succeed. There are no shortcuts or sure things in this field.

Keep writing! Those who persist have the best chance of winning!