- What is the difference between content editing and line editing?
I’m so glad you asked! The answer is really quite simple: line editing is surface-level, and content editing digs deep. When I’m line-editing, I correct typos, fix grammar problems, and ensure the text is as clean as can be. But when I’m content-editing, I do all that I just mentioned about line-editing, plus I look at plot development, characterization, and story structure. I smooth transitions, point out what is gold and suggest areas where text can be tightened or expanded for clarity. Content editing, obviously, is my favorite, because I get to polish each page until it shines.
- Are there other terms for these types of editing?
Yes! Line editing can also be referred to as copyediting or proofreading. Content editing can also be referred to as substantive editing or deep editing. There are probably many more terms, too, but most editing falls into these two basic categories.
- What should I look for when hiring a line editor?
Look for someone with a great eye for detail. You want someone able to spot an extra space between words, who can easily identify when two hyphens are masquerading as an em-dash—and someone who is vigilant about eradicating any and all typos from your work.
- What should I look for when hiring a content editor?
Look for someone with not only a great eye for detail but who also has a strong sense of story. You want someone able to strengthen your text without squashing your voice. When you receive your marked-up manuscript, you want to be able to recognize it as yours! So go with someone who comes highly recommended as someone who respects your writer voice.
- What things should I ask for when I want a content edit?
Be ruthless. I always appreciate when a client approaches me with a teachable attitude; they tell me they want their project to be the best it can possibly be so they give me permission to point out any and all areas that I feel could use improvement. This frees me to do my job and lets me know this writer is serious about making their words work!
- Why is it important to hire a line editor?
When doing a line edit, I ensure each page is polished and professional. This means that whether you are sending that query letter to an editor or uploading that manuscript straight to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can be confident it is clean and ready to go. The next reader after your line editor will expect perfection and be peeved by typos they find—they may even stop reading! Make sure this doesn’t happen by hiring a line editor.