stCanada29, you're right that you do not have to divulge who you are. And many people would argue with me on anonymity, though many would agree. Whatevs. Be aware you come across as someone with an "interest" in the book, not just as someone interested in it.
As to why Mr. C would go self-publishing or with a less-than-stellar publisher: been there, and I empathize. It is very hard for a book to be profitable. Publishers are on the ropes. It is tough to convince one to gamble editorial pay, paper, ink, and royalties on you. Hence my self-publishing route; the greater control and royalties are why some established authors are going this route.
It is fairly easy to find competent freelance editors and proofers however; even book designers, since this book has illustrations needing careful location and insertion. They are a cost, but deductible business expense.
Still wishing you and the project well.