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What Type of Editor Do I Need?

The book is finished! I’ve written it all, I’ve read it over and now I am ready for an editor! But… why are there so many? Why does the price vary to much? Where do I begin? Well, let me help you out.

There are 4 main levels of editing.

  • Developmental Editors

  • Line Editors

  • Copy Editor

  • Proofreading

Let’s start big picture, a Developmental Editor. Is one who will look over the story and see how it flows. Are there plot holes? Are the scenes in order? Did character development get overtaken by backstory and needless details? These types of editors don’t look at grammar or spelling, nothing like that. They just see big picture flow and structure.

The next type is a line editor. These are paragraph people. They check story length. Check your adjectives and adverbs. They look to make sure your vocab is appropriate for the age you are writing for and you don’t use big words that will cause young adults to be confused, or small simple words for adults who will feel like you’re being talked down to. They check to see if one paragraph flows well into the next.

Another type is a Copy editor. These are sentence people. These people check grammar and details like, spelling of a character’s name, the color of their eyes. They check for things like, “Your character was 12 in 2019 and now that it’s 2020 they are 14?”

The last type of editing service (or main type) you can get is a proofreader. This is a word level edit. They check o typos, spelling, punctuation, formatting, double words, things like that. A proofreader will look at the final copy of the book as it would be published. So, if it’s an e-book they’ll look at it like it would be given to the buyer. Paperback version, they’ll read a PDF version that would be used to make the paperback print. This allows for them to catch anything before the reader does.

With all four main types I know what you are thinking. That’s a ton of money… is it all needed? The answer… that depends on the writer. If you have good alpha and beta readers, see the previous blog about those if you don’t know what they are, then you might not need a developmental editor or a line editor. But maybe you want them just to be sure. Some people can get away without a copy editor if they know they’re strong in grammar and keep good notes on character details. As the author, it’s all up to you on what skill level you feel you are at and what you are willing to put into your work.

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