Developmental Editing, Line Editing, and Proofing

A developmental edit is recommended for first time authors or for plots that just aren’t working. The editor will read through the manuscript, not focusing on typos and grammar issues, but on the CONTENT or storyline and tell you what does and does not work in your manuscript and give you suggestions for a rewrite. You want developmental editing done by editors who are also experienced published authors or extensive readers who have been trained in developmental editing. At ePubMasters we understand plots and what makes them fly or crash and burn.

A line edit (sometimes called substantive edit) is a very close reading of words as they make up the whole. Editors will suggest changes in word choice and note repeated words, typos, overused phrases, and places that need clarification. They will also make some suggestions for some rewriting, but not as in depth as content editing. Line editing is recommended for authors who are secure with their plot, pacing, and characters, but who would like to fine-tune their manuscripts. Our content editors have experience with dozens of books.

Proofing (sometimes called copy edit) is recommended for authors who have been through family, friends, and critique groups (or developmental and line editing) and have their stories complete for publishing but want to make sure the rest of the typos are cleaned up, some of which will be put in when you make corrections from earlier editors. Our proofers will also note some line-editing issues if there are any overt ones, but should NOT be used in place of a line edit. Proofing focuses on missing words, grammar, commas, etc. Please keep in mind that established publishers and indie authors have at LEAST one line editor and two proofers go through each book before they publish it, and even then books are never perfect.  Industry experts agree that a book with fewer than ten typographical errors is truly a well-edited book.

Keep in mind that the cleaner your manuscript is when you give it to an editor, the cleaner it will be at the end. Because every time you fix something, you risk putting in a new error. We always recommend that you do a compare document with your original after correcting proofing errors so that you can make sure you didn’t accidentally add errors.

If you need an edit, please give ePubMasters a try!

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