Here’s an overview of the different types of editing. The first five are listed in chronological order:
Manuscript critique: The editor reads the manuscript and provides an assessment of the structure, the plot, the pacing, and other aspects of the work. This is a budget-conscious way to get editorial guidance. I currently do not offer this service.
Developmental editing (also called substantive editing): The editor provides a thorough assessment of the manuscript, including the structure, plot, pacing, narrative flow, character development, and dialogue. The editor highlights what is working and offers suggestions for what’s not. This is a useful service for authors with an early draft or a draft that seems weak. I currently do not offer this service.
Line editing (also called heavy copy editing): The editor rewrites tangled sentences, removes redundancies, and tightens wordy or awkward passages that might hinder the reader. She works on sentence structure and flow, diction, syntax, and consistency and corrects spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I will work to make your manuscript clear and readable. I may point out overall structural issues and problems with characters or pacing. I will create a style sheet showing the decisions I made regarding consistent styles and spellings. A rate estimate is $0.03-0.06 per word.
Copy editing (also called light copy editing): The editor corrects spelling, grammar, and punctuation. She points out any remaining redundancies, awkward passages, or instances of poor diction that might hinder the reader. I will create a style sheet showing the decisions I made regarding consistent styles and spellings. A rate estimate is $0.02-$0.03 per word.
Proofreading: The editor corrects spelling, grammar, and punctuation, using the style sheet created by the copy editor, if there is one. Ideally, proofreading happens after the manuscript text has been laid out in its final form, ready to be printed, because typographical errors can be introduced during the layout process. A rate estimate is $0.01 per word.
Editing of ESL papers: The editor smooths out the language, rewriting tangled sentences into clear, intelligible text. She makes overly wordy passages concise. She corrects spelling, grammar, diction, syntax, consistency, article and preposition use, and the inappropriate use of idioms. In my experience, papers written in or translated into English by non-native-English speakers often need a line edit by someone who understands the science to become readable English without inadvertently changing any meaning. This work can be slow and therefore might cost more. A rate estimate is $0.04-0.08 per word. I’d be happy to edit your journal submission cover letter as part of our agreement. Read more here.