The 4 Different Types of Book Editing

Need to edit your book? Learn the 4 different types of book editing here...

Good morning, writers!

At the top of the year, I said that 2018 is the year of the writer (specifically, the author). It is now the end of April and I still believe that. But you know what I realized? I encouraged aspiring authors to write their first book, but I didn’t share the tools to help them (you) edit and publish their (your) book, as well as write it.

So, today, we’re going to talk about the editing process.

Depending on your need, the editing process may be lengthy because you may need multiple steps instead of one step. And that’s okay!

What are the steps in an editing process? Well, let’s break it down by editing type.

There are 4 different types of book editing. I will list them below:


Developmental editing is an in-depth edit of a manuscript. It focuses on the story’s setting, plot, characters, and flow. This editing type is very involved and checks for the fluidity/clarity of the author’s content, tone of voice, etc. Developmental editing also examines whether or not a story is missing something or in need of a few cuts. (Rewrites happen in this editing phase.) Authors, have thick skin when dealing w/ your developmental editor. They’re there to help you develop your story and make it...well, worth reading.


Line editing is a line-by-line review of a writer’s manuscript, and it focuses on the structure of the work (i.e. word choices, paragraph usage, etc.). This type of editing doesn’t necessarily focus on the story OR grammar, but on the “craft” of a manuscript (via @vivien.l.reis). In other words, line editing examines how well a writer can organize his/her words. 


Copy editing deals with the rules. This is where editors check for grammar, syntax, spelling, sentence structure, and inconsistencies!


Proofreading is the absolute last step in the editing process! I REPEAT, proofreading is the absolute last step in the editing process. It’s similar to copy editing in the sense that it focuses on the (writing) rules, but it’s more of a review of the overall editing process. It’s the final stage of the proof.

Aspiring authors and writers, take today’s blog post as a tool, not another overwhelming thing to consider in the book-writing/book-publishing. If anything, these knowledge is intended to make these processes less overwhelming. It’s important to know the different editing types, so you’ll know what to ask for and what to expect from your editors.

*If you need help editing your book, don’t be afraid to reach out to me. I offer all four editing types as a service. Read more by clicking here.

Happy writing and happy editing!