Different Types of Book Editors Plus Their Role and Cost

There are different types of book editors -including development editor, content editor, copy editor, and proofreader – for different phases of the publication process. You should be aware of what type of editing your manuscript needs and what’s involved in each type. So, continue reading to explore four different types of book editors, when to use which type and how much a book editor does cost.

1. Developmental Editor

he first stage after writing a book is development editing, also known as substantive editing.

As Stephen King said, “When writing a book, you spend day after day to scan and identify the trees. When you’re done, you need to step back and glance at the forest”. It’s that step back that’s vital – your book is your best friend and no one else will ever be as close to it as you’re.

That’s the reason you need to get some distance from the manuscript – and even need to call in someone else to take an objective glance at it.

That’s when the developmental editor role comes in.

Understanding the role of a developmental editor

A developmental editor’s job is to look at the big picture with your manuscript, focusing on structure and organization more than word choice, grammar, and punctuation. They help make sure that your arguments line up, that the stories are in the apt place, and that everything flows.

Are you missing out on any key details? Is there any unwanted material that should be cut? These are the kinds of questions that a developmental editor must answer for you, as well as helping you with fixing what’s not working and even amp what’s working well in your book.

A developmental editor doesn’t do any writing or even rewriting for you. They give suggestions and help you become a better writer by demonstrating how to organize your the content of your book and transition smoothly between concepts.

How much does a developmental editor cost?

Generally, a good developmental editor will charge:

  • $15 – $60 per page
  • $50 – $60 per hour
  • 6-10 cents per word

2. Content Editor

Whereas developmental edits look primarily at big picture errors, a content edit is a stage at which an editor also begins to dig into the words on the page.

Understanding the role of a content editor

A content editor offers you a paragraph-level set of markups on your work, offering corrections, highlighting incomplete sections, and giving suggestions on smoothing the flow and building of your chapters, sections, and subsections.

A key focus for a content edit is also the voice and tone of your manuscript. A content editor should know your target audience to make sure that the way your content comes off is an ideal fit for that target audience.

A content editor is not going to move your chapters around, but they will move paragraphs or even sections around within the chapters, move content to different chapters, or delete something entirely.

Think of it like – a developmental editor helps you construct the house – the book and determine out which rooms – chapters should go where. With those rooms in place, the job of a content editor is to assist you out with arranging the furniture – sections and paragraphs inside those placed rooms.

How much does a content editor cost?

In general, you can expect to pay:

  • $50 – $85 per hour

3. Copy (or Line) Editor

Copy and line editing are two tactics to refer to the same basic procedure. And this next part of the editorial procedure picks up where developmental and content editor’s role left off.

Understanding the role of a copy editor

A copy editor looks for mechanical instead of structural or stylistic issues.

Mechanical writing issues are – grammar problems, spelling glitches, capitalization errors, and word choice problems. That’s when the “line editing” role comes in – a copy editor goes line by line through your work looking for glitches.

A great copy editor will even hunt for the use of passive voice, too many italics use or other emphases, and other things that could detract your book.

How much does a copy editor cost?

You can expect to pay:

  • $3 – $5 per page
  • $30 – $50 per hour
  • 3-5 cents per word

4. Proofreader

Once getting your manuscript whipped into tip-top or finest shape, it is time to begin thinking about proofreading. Proofreading at the end of the editorial procedure helps you catch those glitches that may have survived while performing previous rounds of editing.

Understanding the role of a proofreader

A proofreader checks your manuscript for any and every error related to its final display. It means missing words, strange sentences, spelling errors, messed-up formatting, paragraph breaks, or other goofs.

It is like the general quality-control phase!! The heavy lifting of a structural, style, and content editing has been done, the grammar part has been fine-tuned and all is basically in fine shape. Now, you’re just ensuring that there are no scratches or chips on the final work. In essence, proofreaders focused exclusively on ensuring that your final work is as error-free as possible.

How much does a proofreader cost?

Proofreading is the most critical part of the editing procedure, as it’s the last check for glitches before you actually publish your book for sale. Consequently, it’s not something that you can skip. That being said, proofreading is even one place where you can consider using volunteers to assist you out. The more eyes you have on your work, the more likely you’re going to find all the glitches.

However, professional proofreading help is more likely to find those errors. You can expect to pay:

  • $1 – $2.50 per page
  • $20 – $35 per hour
  • 1 – 2 cents per word

Last Few Words:

Now that you’ve gone through the different types of book editors, you should have a better notion of which ones are apt for your book on the basis of your requirements as an author. At least, you should consider hiring a professional copy editor or proofreader to make sure that readers can enjoy the book you worked so hard to write without being sidetracked by dozens of typos.