May 28, 2022

Types of editors: developmental editors, copy editors, and line editors

Editing a book is a complex and multi-faceted process. There are three main types of editors who work on books: developmental editors, copy editors, and line editors. Although sometimes used interchangeably, there are differences in each.


Developmental editors focus on the big picture, such as the overall plot and structure of the book. They help you to develop and structure your ideas, ensuring that your book has a clear message and flow. They offer feedback on how to make the story more compelling and readable.


Copy editors focus on the book’s content, making sure that it is accurate and consistent. They also check for grammar and spelling errors and help to improve the clarity and precision of your writing, catching errors, and correcting inconsistencies.


Line editors work on a manuscript at the line level, making changes to the wording and syntax of the text. Line editors often work with writers who are already well-established, and their focus is on polishing the text to make it as clear and concise as possible.

All three types of editors are important in ensuring that a book is well-written and enjoyable to read.

All authors who write books need to use at least one of these types of editors. No matter how good a writer you are, you should always use an editor to help make your book better. This is because they can help fix any mistakes that you might have made and also make sure your book is the best it can be. An editor can also help make sure your book is readable and enjoyable for your audience.

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What type of editor do you need?

While all three types of editors are important, the most important type of editor for your book will depend on its stage in the editing process. If you are just starting to work on your book, a developmental editor will be most helpful in shaping your ideas. If your book is nearly completed but needs some fine-tuning, a copy editor will be ideal. And if your book is ready to be published, a line editor will give it one last check before it goes to print.

Ultimately, the most important type of editor for your book is the one who can help you to achieve your objectives for the project.

Before you research the types of editors

Once you’ve self-edited and before you hire a professional, it’s recommended that you getting anywhere from 2-5 beta readers to help catch any errors or plot holes you may have missed. A beta reader is someone who reads your book and offers feedback on the content, flow, grammar, etc. They are different from an editor in that they are not there to make changes to your book, but rather to offer their thoughts and suggestions.

Also read: How Much Time Should You Spend Self-Editing Your Book Before Sending it to Beta Readers

You can find beta readers by asking friends or family members if they would be interested in reading and giving you feedback on your book. You can also post in online writing communities or forums, or search for beta reader services online. When choosing beta readers, it’s important to pick people who will be honest with you and give you constructive feedback that will help improve your book.

See also  How Much Time Should You Spend Self-Editing Your Book Before Sending it to Beta Readers

After you’ve received feedback from your beta readers, it’s time to revise your book. This is where you’ll implement the changes that your beta readers suggested, as well as any other changes that you feel are necessary. Once you’ve made all the changes you want to make, NOW it’s time to hire a professional editor.

Like with beta readers, there are different types of editors you can choose from, depending on your needs. If you’re not sure what type of editor you need, or if you need more than one type of editor, I recommend searching for an editing service that offers a free consultation. This way, you can speak with an expert and get personalized advice on which type of editor would be best for your book.

Choosing an editor

When choosing an editor, it’s important to find someone who is a good fit for you and your book. You should look for someone who is knowledgeable about the subject matter of your book, as well as someone who has experience editing books in your genre. You should also make sure that you feel comfortable communicating with your editor and that they understand your vision for the project.

Once you’ve found an editor you want to work with, the next step is to negotiate a contract. This is where you’ll discuss things like the scope of the project, the timeline, and the fee. It’s important to be clear about what you expect from your editor and to make sure that both you and your editor are on the same page before any work begins.

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