My dear fellow writers, before you hire a copyeditor, ensure that you understand the different types of editing, as knowing the difference will save you money! I can’t tell you how often a writer has submitted a manuscript to Publish and Promote, the company I work for or to me at Bodacious Copy, thinking all they needed was proofreading. They were given a quote based on proofreading, and then when I received the work, I realized it required line editing, which is far more involved, takes an editor longer, and costs more. No one likes to be surprised by a substantial increase in their invoice.
Editing is an essential step in the book publishing process. It ensures that the manuscript is clear, coherent, and error-free and meets the publishing industry’s standards. In other words, editing focuses on the meaning of your content, and copyediting focuses on the technical quality. However, a book may go through several different types of editing, each with its specific focus and purpose.
The first type of editing is developmental editing. This type of editing focuses on the overall structure and content of the manuscript. The developmental editor works with the author to identify and fix plot holes, inconsistencies, and other issues that may weaken the overall story. For example, suppose you’re writing a nonfiction book. In that case, a dev edit will help you to structure your outline and introduction, develop your chapter titles and subtitles, and ensure you stay on point as you explain and prove your key points before writing your summary. This type of editing is typically done before the manuscript is submitted for consideration by agents or publishers.
The second type of editing is copyediting. Copyediting focuses on the mechanics of the manuscript, such as grammar, punctuation, and style. In addition, the copyeditor checks for errors and inconsistencies and ensures that the manuscript conforms to the guidelines set by the publisher or industry standards. Copyediting is typically done after the manuscript is accepted by an agent or publisher or once a self-publishing author completes it to their satisfaction.
The third type of editing is line editing. This is what I do best. This type of editing is a combination of developmental and copyediting. The line editor focuses on the content and mechanics of the manuscript. They will work with the author to polish the manuscript and make it the best it can be. Line editing is typically done after the manuscript has been accepted by an agent or publisher or once a self-publishing author has completed writing their book before publishing it.
The fourth type of editing is proofreading. This type of editing is the final step in the editing process. The proofreader checks the manuscript for any remaining errors or inconsistencies. If applicable, they may also check that the manuscript is formatted correctly and meets the publisher’s guidelines.
In addition to these four main types of editing, several specialized types may be used for specific books. For example, technical editing is used for nonfiction books that contain specialized or technical information. This type of editing ensures that the information is accurate and easy to understand. Likewise, medical editing is used for medical books, such as textbooks or patient guides. This type of editing ensures that the information is accurate and up-to-date.
In conclusion, editing is an essential step in the book publishing process. It ensures that the manuscript is clear, coherent, and error-free and meets the standards of the publishing industry or simply becomes the best manuscript it can be before you self-publish. There are several different types of editing that a book may go through, each with its own specific focus and purpose. Developmental editing, copyediting, line editing, and proofreading are the four main types of editing, while specialized types of editing, such as technical editing and medical editing, may also be used for specific kinds of books. Knowing the difference in editing types before hiring a copy editor will save you money.