6 Types of Book Editing Every Author Should Know About



Writing a book is an incredible accomplishment, but the journey doesn’t end there! To ensure your book reaches its full potential and resonates with readers, professional editing is crucial. 

The editing process plays a vital role in refining your manuscript, enhancing its readability, and ensuring its overall quality. 

Read on to learn about the various types of book editing and their significance in the publishing industry.

Developmental Editing


Developmental editing, also known as substantive editing or structural editing, focuses on the overall structure, organization, and content of your manuscript. This type of editing involves analyzing the book’s concept, plot, characters, pacing, and style. Developmental editors provide valuable feedback on the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses — helping authors improve their storytelling, plot progression, character development, and overall narrative coherence.

Want to work one-on-one with an editor to develop your manuscript? Get in touch with us.

Copy Editing


Copy editing involves fine-tuning the language, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure of your manuscript. A copy editor meticulously reviews your work to eliminate errors, inconsistencies, and awkward phrasing. They ensure clarity, coherence, and readability while maintaining your unique writing style. Copy editing enhances the flow of your manuscript, making it more engaging and accessible to readers.

Line Editing


Line editing delves deeper into the stylistic aspects of your writing. Line editors focus on improving the language flow, word choice, sentence structure, and tone. They work at the sentence and paragraph level, refining your prose to create a more polished and engaging reading experience. Line editing aims to enhance the rhythm, clarity, and impact of your writing without altering the overall content.


Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process and focuses on eliminating any remaining errors or inconsistencies in the manuscript. Proofreaders carefully examine the text for typos, spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and formatting issues. They ensure that your book is error-free and ready for publication.

Sensitivity Editing


Sensitivity editing, also known as diversity editing or cultural editing, involves ensuring that your manuscript respectfully represents diverse cultures, identities, and experiences. Sensitivity editors help authors avoid stereotypes, cultural appropriation, and insensitive portrayals. They provide valuable guidance and feedback to create authentic and inclusive narratives.

Technical Editing


Technical editing is specific to non-fiction books that require accuracy, precision, and clarity in conveying technical information. Technical editors ensure that the content is well-structured, coherent, and understandable to the target audience. They verify facts, check references, and ensure that technical jargon is appropriately used and explained.



Professional book editing is a crucial step in the publishing process. Each type of editing plays a unique role in refining and improving your manuscript. From developmental editing to proofreading, these editing stages work together to enhance your book’s readability, coherence, and overall quality. By investing in the right type of editing, you can ensure that your book captivates readers, leaving a lasting impression. Remember, a well-edited book has the power to resonate deeply with its audience and elevate your writing career to new heights.

Find out more about Bound’s book editing services here.

Written by Rheea Mukherjee

Rheea Rodrigues Mukherjee is the author of The Body Myth (Unnamed Press /Penguin India 2019) which was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live First Book Award. Her work has been published and featured in Scroll.in, Southern Humanities Review, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Vogue India, Out of Print, TBLM, and Bengal Lights, among others. She co-founded Bangalore Writers Workshop in 2012 and currently co-runs Write Leela Write, a Design and Content Laboratory in Bangalore, India. Rheea has an MFA in creative writing from California College of the Arts.