Editing – Part IV – Proofreading and other types of editing

In Part I we covered the basics of editing. Parts II and III then went on to talk about the most common types of editing: Developmental Editing and Copy or Line Editing.

Part IV will wrap up the basics of the editing process most authors will need and cover two other types of editing primarily used to help new authors get off the ground with their first manuscript.


By now, you and your editor have pored over your manuscript. You’ve gone back and forth with ideas, screamed at each other, hugged each other, tweaked things till they’re perfect or as close to perfect as you can get them, and there are no more post it notes hanging everywhere!

The really good news? You’ve learned to trust yourself!

You’re also one step away from being ready to publish. Uh, actually, make that several steps; but that’s the subject of another blog.

So, what’s next?


Proofreading is the final review on your completely edited manuscript. You know, the one you’ve hashed over, revised and tweaked on just about every page.

And, because of the changes, we need to go back and check for:

  • Typographical errors
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Spacing
  • Print quality and font consistency
  • Sufficient white space – margins, paragraph spacing, indenting.

In short, we need to make sure it’s completely error free and print ready.

Other types of edits

But what if you’re still not sure and somehow, someway, things are still just not working for you?

Well, this calls for a Substantive or Content Edit

A substantive or content edit is a complete assessment of an author’s final manuscript for:

  • Style
  • Structure
  • Logic
  • Tone
  • Accuracy


This is in addition to, and in our case, after or during a full copy edit.

Often, any good editor will throw in some or all of these as part of their copy edit. Why? Well because they, like you, have now lived with your characters and your story from beginning to end. They have built a picture in their head and when the structure or tone isn’t working, it jumps out at them. Likewise, when the style of your story changes or the logic or accuracy drifts and doesn’t make sense they quickly pick up on that too.


The final type of edit in our editing chest is a Production Edit.

A production edit coordinates all of the manuscript processes from a Developmental Edit through publication, including:

  • Copy edit
  • Internal content and cover design
  • Printing
  • Binding
  • Distribution
  • Coordination with the publisher

Think of a production editor as a project manager, and the womb-to-tomb writing and publication of your manuscript as the project.

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