As more authors publish their novels independently and work outside the world of traditional publishing companies, they have more control of and responsibility for their work. One of the most significant tasks facing any author planning to self-publish is finding high-quality, affordable book editors. While it's true you can find online articles questioning the need for editing, nearly every successful member of the publishing community says you need it. So, as you balance costs against needs, it's essential to understand different levels of editing services, and how they affect the price you'll pay.
One of the comprehensive services is known as developmental editing. It includes a thorough review of your manuscript that addresses characters, plot, pacing, style, and structure in the case of fiction books. It's also sometimes referred to as content or substantive editing and helps authors in the early stages who have incomplete manuscripts. It's an in-depth edit that also may suggest cutting, moving, and re-shaping the story. If you're feeling unsure about how to complete your book or feeling like you've hit a roadblock, a developmental edit may help get you moving ahead again.
Line editing is a suitable choice for someone with a well-developed manuscript that needs to be smoothed out and improved overall. It can include proofreading comments about typos, spelling errors, and punctuation mistakes, but also looks at improving the text. The end goal is to have a book that is enjoyable and easy to read, and this level of editing helps bring you to that point. Expect to do some rewriting based on the comments from a line edit, and when you’re finished, you’ll likely feel even better about how your book is turning out. Strongline editing helps books become more successful.
Proofreading is another level of book editing service and perhaps the most well-known among first-time authors or people from outside the publishing industry. It is the one that catches typos, spelling errors and corrects minor punctuation errors. At a minimum, every author needs proofreading because some readers will spot little mistakes, and if they are numerous, they affect people's opinions about the quality of the work. So, if you're publishing independently, the decision to make is which type of editing will benefit your project the most rather than whether or not any editing is needed at all.