The 4 Types of Book Editor

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Weekday Wisdom Episode 61

What kind of editing does your book need? In today’s Weekday Wisdom, I’m going to talk about the four levels of editing and the different types of editor that do these kinds of editing.

The 4 Types of Book Editor

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to go into a little more detail about the different kinds of editor. I was kind of doing it off the top of my head. I have since done a little bit of research to make sure that the information I’m giving you is accurate. And it turns out that there are four levels of editing that a book can go through. Here they are:

1. Developmental Editor. 2. Stylistic Editor. 3. Copy Editor. 4. Proofreader.

1. Developmental Editor

Developmental editor slide A lot of people do this on their own, but sometimes they need an outside pair of eyes to verify and hone their book’s structure. Enter teh Developmental Editor, which is also called a Structural Editor or a Substantive Editor. This kind of editor looks at the big picture of your book and makes sure that the structure fits your vision and makes sense to a reader.

This kind of editor is the person who might say, “Chapter 1 should really be Chapter 3.” “You’re really starting here.” “In order for it to flow you need to rearrange your chapters this way.”

If you your book is fiction, they might say, “The battle needs to come here.” “The boy meets girl needs to go over here.” “You need to change these around.”

I more often than not do this on my own, because I usually start with an outline or roadmap for my book first. That said, I might be hiring one for my next book because I’m not 100 percent sure my initial outline is working the way I want it to.

2. Stylistic Editor

Stylistic Editor Slide This type of editor is also called a Line Editor, and they’re taking a look at the paragraph level of your work. That means:

  • Are you using jargon that the readers won’t understand?
  • Are you being too flowery with your adjectives?
  • Do your transitions make sense?

This is a great kind of editor. I love working with these types of editors because they help me talk to the reader at the level that the reader is going to be. Because I know my content so well, sometimes write too high or too low for my audience. That said, when I can get my mind clear, I often will do this type of editing on my own, as well.

However, when it comes to transitions, it’s always nice to have a second pair of eyes take a look and make sure they are working. I don’t always make good transitions.

3. Copy Editor

Copy Editor Slide This person does sentence-level editing and that means that they’re looking at grammar, usage, and consistency. This person is going through and making sure that you are conjugating your verbs correctly, and that you are using the right words, and that you are consistent in verb tense and use of terms. I often will use a copy editor because I get so into my content that sometimes I use words that don’t make any sense. But, again, I will often do this kind of editing on my own, too.

4. Proofreader

Proofreader slide This final editor is what everyone needs. The Proofreader looks at the word level editing. They are looking for typos, repeated words, spelling errors, punctuation errors. It’s a really good idea to have a Proofreader look at your copy before it goes into design so that your copy is as clean as possible. And then again after it comes out of design.

During the design phase, words and sentences can be broken in awkward and unfortunate ways. The Proofreader can find these design-made typos, orphans and widows and other assorted weirdness that can happen in the laying out phase. A Proofreader is definitely needed after it’s been laid out.

Summary: Types of Editor

I hope this quick video of the four types of editors has helped you. Again those are:

  1. Development Editor – big picture
  2. Stylistic – paragraph level
  3. Copy Editor – sentence level
  4. Proofreader – word level (a.k.a. nitpicker

Remember this:
Think outside the box, because that box keeps you hemmed in.
Spread your wings and fly,
because you — yes you — are capable of more than you know.

Please post a comment below If you liked this video, please like it on YouTube, and leave me a comment below. Let me know what you think. Was this helpful? If you have further questions about this topic, or other book-related, product-related or mindset-related topics, please let me know in a comment below. I’ll answer your questions in a future video. I want the Weekday Wisdom to be something that you value and look forward to watching.

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Awesome and turning it into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

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