4 Types of Editing to Succeed

Choosing the right editor for your book and stage of writing can be confusing. It is important to hire the right editor for each stage of your book project. Ask four editors to tell you what type of editing there is and you might get four different answers.
Your book needs four levels of editing:

  • Developmental editing
  • Stylistic Editing
  • Copy Editing
  • Proofreading

Let’s look at each of them individually. 

Developmental Editing

Also known as structural editing, it is the big picture edit. Does the manuscript hold together, or are things missing, need revising or expanding upon? Are your chapters in the right order? Does the manuscript flow logically?
Developmental editors ensure that all the content needed is included and nothing extra or unnecessary distracts from the main promise of your book.

For ideas on doing some of your own developmental editing, check out this video: How do you do your own developmental editing? 

Stylistic Editing

This is editing on the level of a paragraph. Are the paragraphs and sentences well structured and the right length? Also, is the language appropriate in level and style for the audience and the purposes of the book? Is the tone of the language appropriate?

Copy Editing

Now we get into the nitty gritty of grammar, spelling and punctuation. A copy editor will also ensure consistency in names and facts and so on. They will probably be working off a style sheet which is a guide to ensure consistency.


Finally, we have the proofreader who does the last read to ensure the manuscript will fit into the design and that there are no final errors anyone else has missed.

Looking for more about editing? Check out How to pick the right editor.

– Keep writing

Melody Ann

Author Nation is your go-to resource for becoming a successful nonfiction author, from planning to promotion and everything in between. Download the resource for the stage you are in.

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