Unbeknownst to most, there are different types of editing, some more involved than others, but each is critical to creating clear copy, be it for a book, a website, a white paper or case study.
These are the types of editing I offer and explanations of each:
Developmental (Substantive) Editing
When your idea is still in the beginning stages, developmental or substantive editing helps bring structure and organization to your project.
- For companies: I help determine site hierarchy, blog categories and the overall voice and tone (brand messaging) of the website.
- For authors: I help break down your concept or topic into chunks that are easier to tackle. As a DE, I’m part of the book project from conception to conclusion.
Just as the name implies, this service provides macro-view feedback on your content or manuscript in total. This evaluation will give you an idea of what steps come next. A positive critique may mean you need only proofreading to review your site or manuscript before it’s published. A critical critique may mean your project needs more work, such as developmental editing to organize your writing or line editing to help with voice and tone.
This type of editing looks at content copy or manuscripts with a micro-view of the line-by-line copy. Here, I look for flow, clarity and tone and point out problems such as clichés, run-on sentences, and poor pacing. (Though editing for punctuation and grammar are not the focus of a line editor, it’s difficult to not do all of this at the same time. That’s just how an editor’s mind works. That said, you’ll still need a copy edit.)
Copy Editing (or Copyediting, depending upon your style guide)
- For companies and magazines: I review content for spelling, grammar, punctuation and style (rules specific to that project or publication).
- For authors: I review content for spelling, grammar, punctuation and voice.
The two most commonly used styles are AP Style Guide (Associated Press) and Chicago Manual of Style, though there are other industry-specific guides like APA (American Psychological Association) Style Guide.
The most critical, yet most overlooked part of the publishing process. This is not the same as copy editing. This is the final proof before going to print or publishing online. This is the last chance to catch typos, misplaced apostrophes and missing serial commas before your project is unchangeable. I also look for layout issues such as extra spaces, mis-numbered pages and missing bylines.
This is not the time for theme changes, revisions or anything more critical than correcting actual physical errors. Few online publications have proofreaders, so if you want perfect copy, you’ll need to have this done on your own, which is where I come in.
Book Shepherding (a.k.a. Coaching)
With the ever-increasing popularity of self-publishing, many newbie authors look for someone to guide them through the book-writing and publishing process. That’s where a shepherd or coach comes in.
Shepherds or coaches are just as important as editors when it comes to self-publishing. We explain things like what is and why you need an ISBN and how to copyright your work. We help you with interior layout, front and back matter, and all the other things you didn’t know you needed. We also help you structure your ideas and guide you through the editorial process.
If you cannot afford a ghostwriter but want to write a book, hiring a shepherd or coach is the next best and affordable option.
Do you need an editor?