Please be aware that not everyone agrees on what to call the different types of editing and what each one entails. You might think you are paying an editor to copy edit, but you may actually be paying for a line edit. Some editors also include line editing in their content editing service. Then, there are some people who consider proofreading to be “the whole kit and caboodle.”
So be sure to ask before you start working with an editor to make sure you’re getting exactly the kind of help your manuscript needs. Below, I describe each type as I understand it to be (which may be different than your last editor), and, if I offer that service, my rate and time estimation will be listed below it.
The content editor or developmental editor: These editors look at the big picture of a story—the structure, not the words. They do not correct spelling and grammar mistakes. This substantive editor handles developmental revisions of the manuscript’s content and points out things such as unrealistic dialogue, point-of-view errors, flat characters, inconsistent character behavior, sagging middles, info dumps, plot holes, or lack of conflict. They read the entire manuscript and then write an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of plot and characters. They also make comments in the manuscript, but most of them don’t make any changes in it.
*Please note that I am NOT a developmental editor. After you have had the content of your book edited, I would be more than happy to complete the editing process as outlined below.
Proofreading: This is often confused with copy editing, but a proofreader is not a copy editor. The proofreader compares the copy edited manuscript to the printer’s proof to make sure that no errors were introduced during the publishing process. They usually look at the formatting, end-of-line breaks, paragraph and sentence spacing, and typographical errors, and some also point out any misspelled words or erroneous punctuation that may have been missed previously. Additionally, if your work is an e-book, your proofreader may check to see how the e-book looks on the small-screen device and let you know if the e-book conversion created any problems. Be sure to go over all of this ahead of time so you know what to expect.
*Please note that it takes a special sort of person, one that thinks differently than a copy editor, to be able to do a good job proofreading. I must admit, I am NOT a proofreader.
~These are base rates and will be firmed up once your sample manuscript pages are read and edited.
~My editing services include 2 read-throughs or passes. If you decide you want more, there will be an additional charge. The first read-through results in my changes and suggestions for you to consider. After you address these, I will read through your manuscript again, making necessary changes and comments. Depending on how “clean” this read-through is, you may want to do a third, which will be subject to applicable rates for that particular edit.
~My line editing service includes fact checking on historical fiction.