Editing 101: Your Guide to the Different Types of Editing

Ready to publish your book? Here’s something you should keep in mind before handing in your manuscript: your book isn’t finished simply because you’re done writing it.

You still have to work toward transforming your book into the best version it can be by making sure it is error-free—and that means getting your work edited.

But what exactly do we mean by 'editing'?

Not all editing is alike. Depending on the kind of review your book needs, getting it edited can involve different processes: proofreading, copyediting, line editing, content editing, or developmental editing.

Here at AuthorHouse, we offer core and advanced editing services that can help you polish and tighten your prose.

Let’s first focus on copyediting, one of our core services.

What is copyediting?

copyedit

Pronunciation: /ˈkäpēˌedət/

[With Object]

Edit (text to be printed) by checking its consistency and accuracy.

How can our copyeditors help improve your book?

Using the Chicago Manual of Style as foremost reference, they will correct errors in:

Capitalisation

Original:

After the plane had taken off, it flew over Sydney, and they had one last look at the Opera House, Harbour Bridge (nicknamed Coat Hanger and iron lung in the old days), and beautiful Sydney Harbour.

Edited:

After the plane had taken off, it flew over Sydney, and they had one last look at the Opera House, Harbour Bridge (nicknamed Coat Hanger and Iron Lung in the old days), and beautiful Sydney Harbour.

Note: A descriptive or characterizing word or phrase used as part of, or instead of, a name is capitalized.

Grammar

Original:

Carole was a fifty eight year old divorced lady with two adult children who live in nearby suburbs with their own families. She used to smoke but is proud to have given it up and although she was overweight she tries to keep healthy otherwise.

Edited:

Carole was a fifty-eight-year-old divorced lady with two adult children who lived in nearby suburbs with their own families. She used to smoke but was proud to have given it up, and although she was overweight, she tried to keep healthy otherwise.

Note: We made the change in verb tense for consistency in this section. Please note that in instances where a term needs to be changed according to tense or form (noun, adjective, adverb, past, present, past participle, etc.), we proceeded to do so.

Punctuation

Original:

'Anyway,' Sam said, coughing to clear her throat from a dry tickly cough 'it also says that throughout many centuries, the Carnevale in Venice has continued transitioning and becoming much more prominent than just an annual event celebrating their victory against Ulrico.

Edited:

'Anyway,' Sam said, coughing to clear her throat from a dry tickly cough, 'it also says that throughout many centuries, the Carnevale in Venice has continued transitioning and becoming much more prominent than just an annual event celebrating their victory against Ulrico.

Note: When the dialogue is interrupted by an interpolation such as “he said”, the interpolation is usually separated from speech by a comma, and the continuation of the dialogue is set in lower case (except when it is a proper name).


Original:

'You said it!' Eve protested, 'I didn’t say anything.'

'It cannot be done,' he said, 'We must give up the task.'

Edited:

'You said it!' Eve protested. 'I didn’t say anything.'

'It cannot be done,” he said. 'We must give up the task.'

Note: When the dialogue is composed of two complete and separate sentences, the first sentence is attached to the tag by a comma (or other appropriate punctuation); the second is set off with a point and starts with a capital letter.

Spelling and Word Usage

Original:

A whisper from the creature spoke to Anaiya in tongues. The only thing Anaiya could hear clearly was, 'Your home!'

Edited:

A whisper from the creature spoke to Anaiya in tongues. The only thing Anaiya could hear clearly was, 'You’re home!'

Note: 'You’re' is the contraction of you are. 'Your' is the possessive form of you.

We will also be including suggestions where we think some sentences can be improved or recast for coherence, conciseness, and readability.

Sentence Structure

Original:

After reading the graphic novel series, the upcoming live action movie adaptation of it is certainly going to raise high expectations.

Edited:

After reading the graphic novel series, Bob thought that the upcoming live action movie adaptation of it is certainly going to raise high expectations.

Note: We made the change to avoid a dangling modifier. A misplaced, or dangling, modifier is a modifying clause or phrase placed so awkwardly as to create ambiguity or misunderstanding.

Coherence in Your Transition of Ideas

'What were you dreaming of? All we could hear were moaning and the occasional groan,' said Sam.

'Where have you been?' asked Allison, trying to divert the conversation to what really mattered.

'Who’s Jack?' Jake asked.

Clarification from your editors:

Please note that in chapter 6, it was mentioned that Jake already knew who Jack was. Please check.

[Extract from Chapter 6]

'He was a man of very few words and did not know what to say after the startling discovery that somehow Allison and he were connected to Anaiya and Jack.'

Consistency in Style

Original:

It was December 26, 1809, St. Stephen’s Day, and it was the 647th Great Grand Annual Prestigious Ball at St. Lucia.

Edited:

It was 26 December 1809, St. Stephen’s Day, and it was the 647th Great Grand Annual Prestigious Ball at St. Lucia.

Note: The month-date-year style of dates is the style most commonly used in the United States and hence, now recommended by Chicago.

What other editing services do we offer?

We understand that not all manuscripts will need copyediting. Others will only require a quick review, and some might benefit from a more in-depth check, which is why we offer two sets of editorial services for you to choose from:

Core Editorial Services

These services focus on the technical parts of your writing.

Advanced Editorial Service

This service will focus on improving your work's content, plot, and pace.

  • Developmental Editing

    Want your book vetted on a larger scale? A developmental editor will review your manuscript and identify the big-picture elements that need to be improved. A content editor will also be around to assist you in checking your manuscript for errors.

    Yes—I need another pair of eyes >

Still unsure what type of editing you should go for? Here at AuthorHouse, we can help you choose the right approach and put the finishing touches when you publish your book with us.

Call us at 0800 047 8203 today to learn more about how we can help you edit—and publish—your book.