The Difference Between Copyediting And Developmental Editing

Hiring a book editing service is becoming relatively standard these days. Furthermore, enough has been said and written on the importance, challenges, and achievements of manuscript editing.

But how many individuals understand and can distinguish between different types of editing? Editing is a far more involved procedure than merely addressing minor grammar mistakes. There are various types and levels of editing, all of which differ slightly from one another.

So, why should this be vital to you? Isn’t it true that all you have to do if you have a manuscript that needs editing and proofreading is to employ a book editing service?

No, your task isn’t simply to place your manuscript on the desk of an editor. It’s because not all editors provide the services you require, and you could end up overpaying.

As a result, it’s critical to grasp the various types of editing and be sure that you know exactly what you need for your work. So, before you begin, make sure you understand the differences between editing and proofreading.


Editing is a broad phrase that refers to the process of correcting grammatical and linguistic mistakes in any work. For example, a book editing service would often review any given manuscript for flaws such as punctuation, spelling, repetitions, and run-on sentences, as well as grammar and language.

However, as is the case with most lengthy manuscripts, a cursory revision is not possible. As a result, the editing process is broken down into numerous stages to make it easier to complete while still checking all boxes.

So, let’s pretend that the first level of editing is called copyediting or line editing for the sake of clarity.


Copyediting is the process of correcting mechanical glitches in spelling, grammar, and punctuation in a manuscript. It is essentially a comprehensive evaluation of your manuscript and is the most affordable type of editing.

For the sake of convenience or accuracy, some editors divide copyediting and line editing into two procedures. In such circumstances, copyediting recommends looking over the manuscript for errors like:

  • Inconsistencies
  • Incorrect Grammar
  • Style and Structure

Most copy editors keep style sheets, which typically overlap with the proofreading process. As a result, it’s preferable to focus on proofreading at the end and line editing in the middle.

Between copyediting and developmental editing, line editing serves as a link. It’s a line-by-line examination of the complete manuscript for grammatical and structural errors. It aims to improve the manuscript’s readability by examining the writing style, creativity, and content. In most cases, line editing looks for:

  • Redundancies
  • Bland Language
  • Words and Sentences Overuse
  • Run-on Lines
  • Inconsistent Voice and Tone

So, when you are ready to move forward, here comes the developmental editing. It is the last phase in the editing process before proofreading.

Developmental Editing

As the name implies, developmental editing is a more in-depth examination of a manuscript as a whole. At this point, editors not only examine for clarity and structure, but they also assess the content within your manuscript.

As a result, what distinguishes this from copyediting or line editing is that editors may propose that you revise or altogether remove particular areas. At this point, the policies of your editor or book editing service will imply. They do, however, provide helpful input for your work, and the editors at this point are usually specialists in the topic.

Developmental or substantive editing is costly and should only be explored by those who want content-level comments.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have learned about the many degrees of editing, you may begin to envision the level of talent, time, and work required to polish your manuscript. After that, there is proofreading to be done, which is an entirely separate domain.

So, what do you need to do at this point? Submit your work to a book editing service with a knowledgeable staff of professional editors who are experts in their fields and can polish your manuscript to make it the next best-seller.

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