With all the recent brouhaha surrounding Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee I can't help thinking about the value of editing. Of course, Ms. Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic. Until recently, I didn't know Lee's editor Therese "Tay" von Hohoff Torrey played such an important part in its development. You can read about several places including The New York Times: "The Invisible Hand Behind Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'".
Editors clearly can play a very important role.
Here, at Electric Spec, we do edit our fiction--although we're not in Hohoff's league. Usually, this editing consists of cutting words that aren't needed. Sometimes, we suggest or ask for alternate titles. We have even occasionally polished a diamond in the rough into a beautiful gem.
Once in a while an author refuses to make any changes. When this happens we agree to go our separate ways.
Hurray for all those unrecognized, unlauded editors throughout history! We salute you!