Which type of editing do you need?
You’re not the only one who’s confused about what to ask for. There’s no standard language for the different editing styles; the definitions of terms like proofreading, line editing, and editorial assessment vary from editor to editor. Have no fear — here’s a breakdown.
Copyediting and proofreading
Copyediting and proofreading correct mechanics while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text. They address spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and more.
Copyediting and proofreading also check for and impose a consistent style. I default to the Chicago Manual of Style, but I’m not a slave to it; I have my own house preferences and can adopt rules I detect in your work. Stylistic choices include decisions about capitalization, use of numbers, presentation of quotations, and more.
Copyediting and proofreading are always a package deal from My Two Cents Editing. This makes our rates seem higher than average at first glance, but I believe they are quite competitive. Every manuscript undergoes at least two thorough editing passes: one by me, and another by my expert, eagle-eyed proofreader.
Line editing or substantive editing
Line editing and substantive editing improve clarity, accuracy, flow, and more. Think of them as deep copyediting. They often reorganize material at the sentence, paragraph, section, or chapter level to improve structure and sense. They include rewriting, writing, or deleting material.
Distinguishing between copyediting and line editing often feels like splitting hairs, so I stick with calling it copyediting. Our editing pace in the intro edit will determine the rate we propose to you.
Developmental editing is the process of bringing a manuscript from concept to completion. It can take various forms: a collaborative endeavor, a diagnostic critique, or a combination of the two.
In developmental editing, we make suggestions about story, structure, voice, and angle. We may challenge you to research your content, your competition, or your audience more thoroughly. We can guide you through the next draft so you can get closer to your goals.
Our comprehensive manuscript critique would provide you with a blueprint for your next draft; I think of it as a deliverable form of developmental editing.