An Author’s Guide to Editing



An author’s work is often his or her baby, and in a way, it can do no wrong. This isn’t meant as a disparagement, but the story was in their heads before it was on paper, and many writers are blind to obvious gaps in logic or common spelling or grammar errors because the story is “perfect” in their heads. This is one reason you HAVE to use an editor. I will tell you outright, however, that editors are not cheap, and it would be best to read through your work a time or two and have an honest friend or family member go through it to catch as much as possible before hiring an editor. It will save you frustration and money.

There are four types of editing, and authors don’t always know the type they need prior to obtaining an editor:

Developmental Editing – Helps get your story in a format where it can be written down and make sense:

  • Creating an outline or timeline and the development of your characters.
  • Help you determine what audience your manuscript will be directed towards.
  • Check on your progress when you do start writing to make sure you stay on track.

Content Editing

  • Making sure your story flows properly.
  • That there are good transitions between chapters, sections, paragraphs.
  • Make sure you are hitting your intended audience and are not leaving them in the cold.
  • Identifying gaps in the story and areas that may need work.


  • Checking for consistency in the different parts of the story.
  • Editing for grammar and punctuation and making sure the words are in the right order.
  • Identifying areas that may need to be revised or clarified.

Proofreading – the final step.

  • Checking for errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling and typos.
  • Making sure the entire document is in the same font, has the same design and is all formatted the same way.

In my editing service, I attempt to handle as many of these issues as possible and can often do a copyedit and proofread together and this way save you money. Depending on the issues with the manuscript, I sometimes have to do a second read-through to catch everything.

If you would like a quote on your manuscript or have any questions about editing, contact me at, leave a note on my facebook page at or give me a shout at (208) 546-9257. I provide lots of ideas for free!




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