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Hi, I’m Jennifer Lancaster, I’m a freelance editor and author. I often write on marketing and money subjects, and niche marketing in particular. I pass this along to my clients as a guide on how to get your book targeted and selling.


If you’re at the early stages and you’re still writing your first draft, you might want to know about the next stages of editing. A lot of people don’t understand the differences between editing types, so they don’t know what to choose—or how much to pay.


Types of Book Editing

The lowest level of editing is proofreading, and generally that gets done at the end of the process. It’s a check for typos, what’s on the page, referencing, and that sort of thing. Expect to pay from 1 to 2 cents a word.

Copy editing is a level up from proofreading. That’s where your editor checks for grammar, spelling, perhaps breaks up long sentences, and makes sure punctuation and lists are consistent. We also check cross-references, a bibliography if you’ve got one, and impose a standard style. 

I offer what we call Line editing, which also looks at paragraph flow and keeping to the voice and tone. Also suggestions of sub-headings, possible lists, and other things for better readability. Without taking away the author’s style, I try to make the voice and tone targeted to the readership. Expect to pay around 3.5 cents a word or 4 to 4.5 cents if wording suggestions are needed.

The next level is Developmental editing, also called Structural editing. You can do this two ways. One, with a review (by editor) of 4-5 pages of notes about how to fix it and how to better laser focus it. The other way is by developmental editing and suggestions on the book manuscript.

We use track changes. For most author’s books the editor will do two rounds, possibly three. We’re often interacting with the author, giving suggestions and helping to form a better book together… helping you to hit that reader spot!

Here, we look at the book’s purpose, the placement in the market, as well as all those other things mentioned. We look at logical progression — it should go from the introduction, in steps, to results and the conclusion. Your editor will also give you help on the parts of the book: the front matter, about the author, copyright page, etc.

The cost of developmental editing varies a lot, so fixed fee quotes is more usual.

Editing Types: in Conclusion

So that’s a little about book editing types today. I’m a freelance editor, and if you choose this way of getting a book edited, you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars over and above the freelancer’s time as you might with a publishing support house/vanity press.

Get active straightaway and book in for a Free 20-minute call with Jennifer Lancaster, editor and writing coach.

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