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Types of Editing: What Editing Does Your Material Need?

Hiring tons of editors is not necessary if the author knows what kind of editing is needed for their material. Editing helps the author achieving well-polished material. Thus, knowing the types of editing aids the author in identifying the kind of editing they need.

The following are the list of the types of editing:

Comprehensive Edit

This form of editing encompasses both developmental and line editing. The editorial letter's discussion points will be accompanied by extensive comments on the manuscript's pages. For instance, rather than simply discussing how the author might rethink a particular plot point or further develop a particular character or setting, this edit would include notes, comments, and suggestions throughout the book, as well as track changes, to demonstrate precisely how and where the author might best address any concerns (ideally while being inspirational rather than prescriptive).

They will show the author how to employ elements such as flow, voice, dialogue, and clarity to ensure that each line complements the bigger story: the characters, the storyline, and the ultimate meaning and effect.

This is the most comprehensive form of editorial input available. It's also what the author would get from a publishing house's editor after they've landed a book contract. However, the author should bear in mind that if they do not revise and polish their manuscript to the point where it is as near to publication-ready as possible, they will have a far more difficult time securing a book contract.

Developmental Edit

A developmental edit is a comprehensive examination of the whole of an author’s text. It is intended to assist the author in implementing significant adjustments to the whole book. While the editor may point out strengths and weaknesses with everything from tone to setting to sentence construction, this style of edit is highly weighted toward storyline, character development, point of view, pace, and structure.

Alternatively, for non-fiction organization, flow, argument, and clarity.

The author will get a response from this editor in the form of an editorial letter that discusses every aspect of the work and may vary from three to fifteen single-spaced pages in length.

Copy Edit

Copyeditors are meticulous individuals who can spot every grammatical, punctuation, spelling, usage, and continuity error in an author’s book.

Line Edit

A line edit is laser-focused on improving the author’s work at the phrase level, which means they may anticipate several track changes and comments on almost every page! A line edit will assist the author in polishing their sentences but will not address larger-scale factors like storyline, character development, or structure.

On the other hand, a line edit is more substantial than a copyedit, which is completely concerned with the finer points of language and style. While a line editor will often bring out grammatical issues, particularly repeated ones, the emphasis here is on flow, voice, dialogue, clarity, and impact. Their main objective is to assist the author in making each phrase more effective.

Editorial Assessment

This is a less thorough and often less expensive service in which an editor reviews the author’s work and provides broad-brush criticism in a much shorter editorial letter, generally 1-2 pages. It will cover many of the same craft components as a developmental edit, but with less depth, fewer to no on-page comments, fewer examples to demonstrate ideas, and fewer ideas for approaching improvements. It might still be quite beneficial if the author wants a professional's assessment of their book's primary strengths and shortcomings.


This is likewise a work that requires extraordinary attention to detail, but it occurs after the book has been prepared and typeset. The proofreader will highlight any mistakes that the copyeditor overlooked (or that were introduced as a result of responding to the copyeditor's concerns), as well as formatting flaws, missing page numbers, widows and orphans, and other layout issues.

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