Different Editor’s Roles

Writers need to understand that there are different types of editing, and other people may be in charge of these areas of editing. Some writers may think that their piece needs a lot of structural editing; however, their publishing package may only include a proofread edit. Below are the different types of editing so that you know what to expect when finding a publisher for your novel.


1. Structural Editor

Some consider this the most complex editing job of all. Structural editors break down the structure and order of your story and rearrange different plot points if need be. They may swap sentences around or argue that the second chapter’s events be moved three-quarters through the book. They may even go so far as to argue for a point of view shift, which would require the author to go back and do this. A structural editor looks at language, content, structure, and presentation, and they also look at the readability of the work. Structural editors aren’t concerned with the little things.

2. Copy Editor/ Line Level Editor

A copy editor has a narrow focus and will electronically edit your work, line by line, looking at the writing mechanics and making necessary changes before typesetting. A copy editor edits grammar, punctuation, terminology, vocabulary, spelling, semantics and is not concerned with the bigger picture issues. A copy editor is interested in language details and assesses the work style to see if it is effective and consistent.

A copy editor also serves as the fact-checker, which is pretty self-explanatory. In a story set in the 12th Century, and the main character has an iPhone, the copy editor will ask for this to be removed.

3. Proofreader

The proofread is the last stage in editing a text. A proofreader checks the document for typographical errors and correct layout and formatting to ensure that the novel is ready for print. At this point, you should have already found most of the mistakes. Now is not the time for significant changes to the novel.

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