You’ve written your first (or fifth, or fiftieth) book. Whether you’re a debut author or an established pro, having a book editing expert review your work is a must.

The services offered by competent book editing companies can assist in the creation of a cohesive, error-free manuscript ready to make a difference with your audience.

The explanation is more confusing: there are several types of book editors. It’s too much for a single round of book editing and probably too much for one editor. As a result, you’ll need to figure out when to engage an editor and which pro is best suited to your book’s current phase.

Types of book editing services

The services offered by book editors fall along a spectrum. This might range from high-level substantive editing to manuscript evaluation to the final, detailed proofreading.

The sort of editor you need depends on the current state of your book’s development. An author who completed an early draft may not require a copy editor’s fine-tooth comb. If you’re satisfied with your book’s structure and don’t want to go through the developmental edit, you can skip it and go right into line editing.

What sets each form of editing apart? Let’s go through each one in detail.

Developmental editing

This is also referred to as structural or substantive editing. It’s time to brace yourself: this is often where your book becomes a disaster!

After your developmental edit, your professional editor will take a high-level look at your work to see if aspects like your plot, themes, character development, or primary argument succeed in meeting your objectives.

Is it time for you to write your book – a mystery or thriller? Your editor may identify inconsistencies or gaps in logic that prevent you from achieving your goal—working on a nonfiction book. Your editor can assist you by ensuring that each chapter connects to the previous one in order of importance.

It’s tough to edit your book as a newbie, but it’s vital to write your book if possible. Your manuscript must be heated to become something lovely, just like metalworking.

That might imply excising needless characters, adding new subplots, or reordering chapters so that your argument runs more smoothly, depending on what type of book you’re producing.

Line editing

Line editing is a type of developmental editing that focuses on each sentence in your text. The emphasis at this stage is no longer on the overall manuscript but on each phrase. Line editors examine tone, choice of words, syntax, and structure line by line while they go line by line.

Line editors are a dapper bunch. At least when it comes to maintaining consistency in your writing style. How you arrange your words can fluctuate considerably depending on your mood, energy level, and previous reading material.

If you use formal language excessively or slip into a stream of consciousness that feels misplaced, your line editor is the first to notice it.

A line editor is similar to a sandpaper strip; however, it shouldn’t be as harsh! This professional must guarantee that each sentence runs smoothly.

As an aside, line editors are frequently excellent at critiquing character dialogue to ensure that cowboys don’t talk like English noblemen or children don’t sound like forty-year-old professors. Because so much depends on line editing, it may be one of the most time-consuming editorial services available.

Copy editing

Congratulations if you’re ready for copyediting. You’ve made it through some of the most challenging phases of editing. Your book should now have a solid foundation and consistent writing style. Now is the time to focus on the minor details of your text: grammar and conventions.

Your copy editor will likely return your draft with a slew of suggested changes: “Insert a comma here.” “Use a different word there.” Let’s fix this dangling modifier. While the procedure may be time-consuming, spotting these mistakes before publishing your book is critical for maintaining customer satisfaction!

A copy editor uses a style manual to look for grammatical mistakes in your text. They pay particular attention to several small sections:

  • Fact-checking
  •  Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Readability
  • Layout
  • Clarity
  • Consistency

Your work should be well-trimmed and ready to meet an agent or publisher after you’ve worked with a copy editor.


Proofreading is a subset of copy editing that requires some discussion. Proofreading is the last go-through of your document before it’s published. What purpose does proofreading serve? There are three compelling reasons why you would need a proofreader:

Your copy editor may miss a few mistakes. As a result, it’s critical to hire a proofreader.

It’s easy to overlook a few mistakes while you’re editing text. You may inadvertently introduce additional problems by accepting or rejecting copy edits. A proofreader can catch little errors such as extra spaces and missing punctuation.

A proofreader can verify the formatting of your book. Hire this meticulous professional to help you prepare your book for publication.

Above all, a proofreader is the final line of defense before your book goes public. This professional can ensure that minor mistakes do not detract from its credibility after publication.

Understanding the different types of book editing

Now that you know about each sort of book editing, you need to figure out when and if your book requires all of the above services. As you can see, there’s a distinct order of operations in the book editing process.

For example, it’s ludicrous for a copy editor to tidy up your draft since your work needs someone to make it messy in the hands of a developmental editor! Here’s how to tell whether your book needs any one or all of the following services:

If you are starting your writing project

You’ll need a big-picture thinker at this stage. More specifically, you’ll need a developmental editor. While some writers believe structural book editing is only for completed books, you may use structural or development editors at an early phase of the writing process.

That’s because these experts frequently serve as strategists and mentors. They can assist you in achieving clarity and focus, whether you have notes, an outline, or a finished draft.

After all, it takes time for innovative ideas to develop. And creating a book from your concept often necessitates a well-planned approach. Developmental editors can assist you in structuring your chapters and laying out your plot—even before you start writing.

If you have a completed manuscript

Are you typing the last word of your first draft? Congratulations! Wise writers allow their work to rest for a few days before rereading for glaring mistakes. However, editing on your own will only get you so far.

It’s simple for authors to “Throw the baby out with the bathwater” by over-editing and eliminating crucial parts of the work as essential parts.

On the other hand, you are not that bold enough to “kill your darlings,” as the saying goes. That implies you wrote some beautiful lines that don’t contribute to your book as a whole. These are difficult to chop up because they’re so beautiful.

A developmental editor may help you make these difficult decisions. This professional editor can provide a second opinion that is free of biases from those closest to you. Editors with expertise in your field can approach your book with insight into the publication market where you want to publish.

Finally, my main point is that they can assist you in taming your manuscript to fit within the industry standard page length for your category or ensuring that your story has the appropriate twists and turns for your target demographic.

Most significantly, you’ll get an honest evaluation of your work and the tools and inspiration you need to make significant changes.

A comprehensive book, of course, has a different meaning for everyone. Maybe you’ve gone through numerous drafts and rigorous editing of your novel. In that case, a sentence edit to fine-tune your language at the phrase level might be the next stage. You could also be ready to outsource copyediting services.

Are you interested in a collaborative approach to the work?

Perhaps you have a lot to say, but you’re having trouble putting it on paper. You may want to write for an English-speaking audience, but your language isn’t English. Perhaps you have no such time to devote to writing but still wish to communicate your incredible experiences or subject-matter expertise with the rest of the planet.

If these examples represent your own experience, consider working with a ghostwriter. A ghostwriter is a skilled author that specializes in assisting other people in putting their ideas, thoughts, and knowledge into words.

These professionals work together with you to understand not just your topic but also your voice and personality. They’ll interview you to discover how you want to tell your tale and why it’s essential to do so.

Ghostwriting, in other words, is not about handing over your fantastic concept to someone else. It’s a collaboration with a specialist who can assist you in bringing your narrative to life.

You will continue to own all rights to the work, and no one has to know you employed a ghostwriter unless you choose them to. So don’t let a lack of time or skills keep you from sharing your unique idea for a book if it is good.

How to choose the exact type of editing for the book

The first step toward improving your writing is to choose the best book editing service for your needs. The basis of this choice is the sort of editing you require and the shape of your manuscript. However, there are other factors to consider.

Here’s what you should think about (and avoid) when selecting an editing service that meets your demands.

Keep the following points in mind while choosing an editing company:

Your budget

The most expensive editorial services are developmental and line editing. They’re also crucial for producing a well-written book with brief sentences. However, if you don’t have enough money to pay for several edits, seek an editorial company that can combine two or more services at a discount.

You’re “why”

What are your goals in writing your book, and how will they influence the editing services you require?

If you’ve gathered your memories and family legends for future generations but don’t plan on selling your work to a broader audience, a developmental eBook editor or line editor is probably not required. However, a copy editor may improve the quality of your work.

What’s included

The range of editing services available is enormous. Some editors charge a lower fee yet give less value for the money. A freelance editor working alone may provide fewer bells and whistles than a book editing service that employs many editors.

Ask about the quantity and type of feedback you will get when hiring editors. Learn whether the provider offers price cuts if you combine various services. Also, find out your choices if you aren’t pleased with the completed editing job.

Things you should avoid when deciding what type of editing is right for you. As you plot your course, here are some things to avoid:

Cutting corners

After investing a large number of hours into a manuscript, the worst blunder an author may make is to skip over a crucial editing step. Professional editing services might be pricey, especially if you need numerous editing forms.

But opting against getting a critical development editor or sharp-eyed copy editor can be quite costly. Request expert feedback on your work from an editor and get an honest evaluation of where you stand. If your book needs help, cutting corners will prevent it from realizing its full potential.

Waiting for your editor to make all the decisions

An editor is someone who works with you in a partnership. Your editor will never have the final word, even at the editing stage. You do.

As a result, you must put in the effort to implement your editor’s comments – or reject specific ideas if you disagree. If you don’t understand an edit, try to get clarity from your editor by following up. Taking an active part in the process will result in the greatest return on your investment.

Depending on friends and family for editing help

Your friends and relatives can provide constructive criticism. They may help and encourage you. However, they cannot edit your book unless they are professional eBook editors. You’ll need an unbiased outsider (who also happens to be a publishing insider) to give you an honest evaluation of your work.

Freelance editors that know how to provide constructive criticism without hurting your feelings are the best type available. Their task, however, is to ensure that your book is excellent when it’s finished. If it isn’t yet good enough, they will let you know.