Book & eBook Writing

The Different Methods of Book Editing

Fiverr Team
September 8, 2022
book editing

Every great book starts as a first draft. When a writer begins the book writing process, the easy part is the first task of getting their ideas on paper. Then, the real challenge begins: taking a loosely organized story and turning it into a grammatically sound, sensible publication. Book editing takes your content and refines it to its final version, ready for public distribution.

There are various types of book editing to choose from, and each type serves a particular function. What are the different kinds of book editing, and how can hiring a book editor specialist help you? You may require just one book editor or may need several types to fine-tune your book. Here's how freelance book editors at Fiverr can help you perfect your book.

What are the different types of book editing?

There are different types of book editing that serve different needs. For the best results, hire a book editor that addresses your book's most significant weaknesses. A freelance book editor from Fiverr can strengthen your writing to its final product.

Developmental/Substantive Editing

When writing a book, it's essential to know what to say. Many first-time book writers don't know this and want to jump straight to a grammar editor, but it's best to consult a developmental editor to figure out the big picture. This editor will ask the tough questions to make a book make sense. They may also suggest adding or removing different sections to strengthen your message.

Structural Editing

After you know what to say, you need to find out when and where. A structural editor will put pieces of content together so the book is laid out in a logical sequence. At times, structural editing can happen hand-in-hand with developmental editing since they are the two earliest stages of editing. During this process, your book editor will examine your writing's overall quality, structure, logical flow, style, and tone.

Copy Editing

Now that you know what to say and when to say it, you can fix punctuation and spelling errors. Copy editors review your book and make these corrections, heavily focusing on word choice, spelling, and grammar. Your copy editor will also double-check that the tone is consistent throughout the book.

Line Editing

Line editing is what most people think of when it comes to editing. It is essentially a more intense version of copy editing. This is when the book editor combs through your book, line by line, to consider every word and phrasing choice. With line editing, your book editor will point out and fix typical grammatical errors like run-on sentences, fragments, or cliches.

Mechanical Editing/Proofreading

After finding out what to say, when to say it, and how to say it, you need a proofreader to gloss over your work again. This final step ensures that every word is spelled correctly, the grammar is on point, the punctuation is perfect, and the format makes sense throughout the book. This editor will also double-check that your book adheres to the format of your choice, such as MLA or APA. Sometimes, this process is shared during the copy editing stage.

Why do book editors tend to specialize in certain types of editing?

Book editors tend to specialize in certain types of editing because each focuses on a specific editing need. Trying to do everything at once can be daunting and makes it easy to miss important aspects. For example, the book may need heavy grammar editing and structural support. Focusing on these two different needs can cause some elements to fall by the wayside and ultimately downgrade the book's value.

If you want to become a book editor, should you specialize in a certain type of editing?

Yes, anyone who wants to become a book editor should specialize in certain types of editing. Every stage offers a specific benefit, making it difficult to provide comprehensive editing services for the entire book. Different books have unique needs as well. For example, the writer may be strong in grammar and spelling and need a structural editor because they have weaknesses in organizing their content. By specializing, you can hone in a niche audience — a great way to start your freelancing career!

Find (or become) a Freelance Book Editor at Fiverr

Do you need help polishing your book, or do you have a knack for making sense of semi-final drafts? Whether you are looking to hire a book editor or join our team of excellent freelance book editors, Fiverr is here for you. For more insights, check out the Fiverr blog!

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