by Alec Clayton
There are many types of editing with a lot of overlap between types. If you search online you’ll discover that every professional editor has his or her own definition of developmental or substantive editing, simple copy editing, or proofreading. And then there are sub-categories of these such as heavy and light copy editing and fact-checking.
Generally speaking, developmental editing leans more toward structure and helping the writer find the right tone and the best possible flow of words, and copy-editing focuses more on grammar and spelling.
Your editing needs may also vary depending on whether you are doing a self-published book or preparing a manuscript to submit to an agent or publisher and on what type of publication you’re writing for. For example, many online publications are more lax in style requirements and more casual in tone than print publications or academic journals. Most newspapers insist on using the AP Stylebook, while books and magazines often prefer using the Chicago Manual of Style. We are experienced in all of these, and we like to tailor our editing services to the writer’s needs. We suggest a consultation before getting started so that we know exactly what you need from us.
We learned writing and editing through on-the-job training. I started out editing an alternative weekly newspaper in New York City from 1973 to 1977. Gabi wrote and did proofreading for the same newspaper. In ’77 we moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi where we published first a weekly newspaper and then a monthly city magazine and finally a statewide literary, arts and entertainment magazine from 1977 to 1985.
I was an arts writer and editor for Swarner Communications, publishers of the Weekly Volcano and the Ranger starting in 1995 to 2021. I worked as an assistant features editor for The News Tribune and wrote a regular column for them. I have self-published ten novels and two books about art, all of which Gabi edited, and together we have edited books for Jack Butler, Ricker Winsor, Morrison Phelps, and others through Mud Flat Press.
We will edit your project using the “track changes” function in Microsoft Word, which allows the writer to accept or reject our suggested changes.
Our rates are here (PDF format).
Contact us if you have any questions.