To err is human, but to err on the side of editing is divine.

One of the first processes a written manuscript must undergo is extensive editing to prepare itself for publication. Editing is barely half as fun as writing, but it’s 100 percent necessary for eliminating unwanted errors. Making sloppy copies and content mistakes is likely to turn readers off immediately.

As you read, you shall realize how the editing focus shifts from chapters to paragraphs, sentences, and words:

Developmental Editing

Also known as manuscript appraisal or content editing, developmental edits are often the first step to novel editing. It interrogates the overall structure of the manuscript. For this reason, this type of editing need not be restricted to after the author has finished writing.

Post-reading, the editor provides an editorial report, i.e., a summary of whether or not the manuscript makes sense. They report plot holes, unclear motivations, flat characters, and confusing scenes for the writer to make corrections.

When Will You Need It?

This is the highest level of editing; hence, all new writers must verify their writing techniques using developmental editing. All in all, it’s helpful for anyone who isn’t confident in their story’s clarity, character development, or overall plot.

Structural Editing

Much like developmental editing, structural edits also take a broader look at the structure of the written text. This goes hand in hand with the flow of the text for providing information or entertaining the readership. Without it, it would be impossible to pull the readers along the rest of the manuscript. You should receive a marked manuscript from the editor with a summary of suggested changes.

When Will You Need It?

Structural editing is particularly useful for weighing in on the text’s structure, flow, and clarity. It’s recommended for manuscripts to utilize flashbacks, jumping back and forth in time, or include several points of view.

Editorial Assessment

Running an editorial assessment is possibly the easiest way to determine whether you require editing. If yes, it may suggest what book editing services could benefit your manuscript most. For example, you could use line or copy editing services if there are grammatical mistakes. However, you may benefit most from a developmental or structural edit if it’s related to the bigger picture.

When Will You Need It?

An author’s first and second books are the prime candidates for undergoing an editorial assessment. It improves the visibility of your blind spots. This, in turn, may also clean up your writing skills for the future. Consider an editorial assessment when unaware of what book editing services you need.

Line Editing

Also known as stylistic editing, line editing is largely concerned with the style of your manuscript. A line editor dives deep into the prose to analyze the writing’s description, tense, and flow. Note that this differs from structural editing since it takes a deeper look at the manuscript. A line editor scans line-by-line to identify stylistic choices that could make or break the reading experience.

When Will You Need It?

Line editors read between the lines to get to the meat of each paragraph. They inquire what the author’s trying to convey and judge whether they’ve done the best possible job. All authors who aren’t sure of their stylistic choices should avail of line editing services. 

Copy Editing

This segment is concerned with improving the mechanics of your story. Here, copy refers to the words on a page. A copy editor reviews the paragraph and sentence structures to comprehend their readability. In addition, they comb through the details to ensure the written word complies with the standards of correctness.

Copy editors report grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes and make suitable word suggestions. More importantly, they’re concerned with capitalization, consistency, dialogue tags, and subject-verb agreement.

When Will You Need It?

Ideally, all books must undergo copy editing even when the authors believe they leave no room for error. This form of editing comes in handy for anyone hoping to receive some feedback on their content.


Last but not least, the proofreading edit guarantees that no mistakes have slipped into the final draft. A proofreader investigates all the little things that make up the manuscript before it reaches publication. They look into each word, space, period, comma, and page number to report things that turn readers off. In addition, footnotes, captions, and formatting errors also come under the editor’s purview.

When Will You Need It?

Proofreading is considered an author’s last line of defense; hence, everyone should acquire it. As the manuscript writer, you’re likely to be an objective judge. Thus, this job’s best conducted by a professional proofreader.

Substantive Editing

Also referred to as the content edit, this is an overall editing process concerned with those mentioned above. It deals with word usage, content, grammar, sentence structure, and writing style. This book editing service touches on all manuscript editing bases, ranging from sentence level to overall structure critique.

When Will You Need It?

Select substantive editing when you don’t want to undergo the hassle of choosing a certain type of editing. Or when you think you require multiple editing services, you might as well choose one editor that does it all!

Book Editing Services in the USA

Lincoln Writes is one of the best book editing services to work with today in the USA. Our team of over 350 American writers and editors thrives on creativity, perfection, and innovation. We never compromise on secrecy, customer satisfaction, timely delivery of content, and plagiarism-free content. Anything to help you escape the horrors of copyright issues.

This ghostwriting company offers ghostwriting, book marketing and editing, eBook publishing, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, biography, and autobiography services. Consult an expert to get started.

The way Lincoln Writes sees it; it’s your story, originality, and brilliance; we’re simply editing your words.