Which of these 4 types of editing do you need?

Shirley Holder Platt

by Shirley Holder Platt

For new authors, hiring an editor can be a daunting experience. Before hiring anyone, it’s a good idea to know that there are several different types of editing, and each has a specific focus.

Basically, there are four types of editorial work:

1. Editorial Assessment
2. Developmental Editor
3. Copy Editor
4. Proofreader

An editor hired for an editorial assessment reads your manuscript while taking a close look at your premise, the structure of your story, your style, and the plot. You’ll receive valuable feedback about your characters and the flow of your novel. The editor will give you ideas on ways to correct any weaknesses and improve upon the strengths. You may expect significant changes at this stage.

A developmental editor will read your manuscript to find plot holes, identify problems with your characters, and improve phrasing by looking at individual sentences and words. I’ve had a developmental editor point out timing issues within stories, as well as characters acting out in ways inconsistent with earlier descriptions. The editor will also look at your story in the context of others in your genre and suggest ways to improve the story for your targeted audience.


It may be hard to hear what your editor has to say, but my best advice is to swallow your pride and heed his or her advice.


A copy editor is not concerned with the big picture. Instead, this editor will check not just grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but will also keep an eye out for glaring inconsistencies. I had a character sit in a chair at the beginning of a scene—then slide out of a booth at the end. Fortunately, the editor caught that. Whew!

A proofreader is sometimes called a line editor. This person will meticulously go through your manuscript, line by line, as a final check for typographical errors. If you’ve ever read a book on your kindle with glaring typos, that author needed a proofreader. Don’t be one of those people.

No matter what type of editing you get, my best advice is to swallow your pride and heed your editor’s advice. It may be hard to hear what he or she has to say, but the editor’s job is to make you shine. Although you do not have to make the changes suggested, a professional editor is always acting in your best interest.

Chances are you’ll find the editor you need in the ChapterBuzz Service Directory!

Shirley Holder Platt is the author of ten romance/chick-lit novels and one crime/comedy novel. Her book-in-progress, Mama Needs New Shoes, won the October 2018 Most Buzz Award, and several of her now-published novels appeared first on ChapterBuzz.

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