It’s a common misconception that all Editing is the same. It actually isn’t and therefore when looking for an Editor, for your work, it’s important to choose the right person for what you need.
Also I’ve seen many fellow Authors complain about the Editing in their own books, even when published through traditional publishers.
I’ve found that not all publishing houses actually have all four types of editors. Some of them just have Copy Editors and proofreaders and the best Authors will tell you that the most work comes from their Developmental and Substantive Editing stages.
1. COPY or LINE Editing
This type of editing is mainly for correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, Word usage. They check for imposing and consistent style and format. They also note permissions needed to publish copyright material. They essentially prepare the manuscript for the next phase of the publishing process.
2. DEVELOPMENTAL Editing
This type of editing works more closely with the author of a book to develop a manuscript from initial concept, outline, or draft through any number of subsequent drafts. The scrutinise the content and make suggestions regarding it. They also make suggestions on organization, and presentation, based on an analysis of competing works.
They work with the Author on rewriting and researching and sometimes suggest topics to Authors to include in their work or provide additional information to make the book more appealing.
3. SUBSTANTIVE Editing
They work to improve the book by identifying and solving problems of overall clarity or accuracy They will reorganise paragraphs, sections, or chapters to improve the order in which the text is presented. They will rewrite segments of text to improve readability and flow of information. They consult with others about issues of concern and they respond to any queries.
They primarily compare the text with the last stage. Marking any discrepancies in text and checking for for problems in page make-up, layout, colour or type.
They also query or correct errors or inconsistencies that may have escaped an editor or writer. They read for typographical errors.