Categories of Editing
Editing can be divided into four main categories, although there tends to be quite a bit of overlap. I specialize in copyediting and proofreading, which are the final stages in the writing process, polishing the material before it makes its public debut.
● Developmental editing (also called substantive and structural editing) involves the “big picture,” including the overall storyline, character arcs, and conformity to genre expectations. For example, a romance has a happy-together ending for the main couple and a mystery has the crime solution neatly explained.
● Line editing has a more fine-tuned focus, checking consistency throughout a manuscript, as well as timeline, diction, and grammar. (Although I don't have a price table for line editing services, if I notice any problems in the above areas while copyediting, I'll flag them in a sidebar comment.)
● Copyediting focuses on areas such as proper punctuation, spelling, missing or repeated words, and awkward sentences. A copyeditor catches mistakes the author missed. My copyediting service includes the creation of a "style sheet" listing any unusual words or industry jargon, capitalization choices (such as Earth versus earth), units of measurement (e.g., half an hour versus 30 minutes), punctuation (PhD versus Ph.D., for example), hyphenation (e-book or eBook), and more, which serves as a guide to maintain consistency across your document.
● Proofreading is the final technical review before a work is published. A proofreader checks formatting and also catches any mistakes the copyeditor may have missed.
For copyediting and proofreading, I follow the guidelines set out in the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, and I use the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. If you have a different style guide (such as AP, MLA, or GPO*), please let me know in advance so I can review it before starting work on your project.
Check out my Rates page for a special pricing deal on my Two-Pass Editing package, which includes one round of copyediting followed by one round of proofreading (of the same material).
I look forward to working with you! To get started, please review my services and my rates, and contact Alice@Paper-freeEditing.com.
* A good copyeditor makes sure all acronyms are spelled out at some point in the text in case readers are not familiar with them. Here, AP is Associated Press, MLA is Modern Language Association, and GPO is Government Publishing Office, all of which offer editorial guidelines about topics such as the treatment of numbers and numerals, rules for capitalization, and use of italics and bold type. Now you know.