Editing styles

Which style 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 types of editing; the definition 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. We default to the Chicago Manual of Style, but we’re not slaves to it; we have our own house preferences and adopt rules we detect in your own 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 we believe they are quite competitive. Every manuscript undergoes at least two thorough editing passes: one by Meghan, and another by an 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 often include rewriting, writing, or deleting material.

Distinguishing between copyediting and line editing often feels like splitting hairs, so we stick with calling it copyediting. Our editing pace in the intro edit will determine the rate we propose to you.

Developmental editing

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 may make suggestions about story, structure, voice, and angle. We may challenge you to research your content, market, or audience more thoroughly. We can guide you through the next draft so you can get closer to your goals.

Our comprehensive manuscript critique provides you with a blueprint for your next draft; I think of it as a deliverable form of developmental editing.


Questions about your book’s needs? Drop us a line.