So you’re no longer confused, and to prevent editor-to-author miscommunication, I’m here to explain the different types of edits: line, copy, and proof.


First, you want a line edit, the most important in my opinion. Whenever a friend reads a section from your book and gives you feedback, this is considered a very minor form of line editing. A line editor’s job is to tell you where there are plot holes and offer ideas on how to fix them. They’re most likely to tell you that eight of your chapters are unnecessary and that you should discard them. In other words, if you find a good line editor, they’ll get your plot in shape so no reader will want to put your book down. For good results, a moderate to intense line edit is needed while your book is in its early draft state.


Second, you want a copy edit. Once your plot is the best it can be, you’ll want someone to check your sentence structures, a.k.a. your syntax, your grammar, spelling, etc., which is a copy editor’s job. There’s no minor, moderate, or intense form of copy editing, unless you count the instances where an editor points out a problem, such as the way you use the word there, once and never again. They’ll say something like, “I see that you use ‘there’ incorrectly many times in this chapter. Since there are so many, I wanted to make sure you were aware, but I don’t want to point all of them out.” This might be a moderate to minor copy edit if they do this for a lot of mistakes.


Lastly, you want a proofread. Sometimes referred to as a proof editor, a proofreader reads the final stage of your draft to make sure everything sounds right. They are not expected to do hard editing of any kind. They’re basically beta readers, so don’t spend a ton of money on them when you can get fans or friends to read your manuscript for free.

Thanks for reading. I’ve wanted to make this kind of post for so long, but I never really knew the differences myself until recently.

Hope this helped,