Know Your Editing Choices

Each author has special editing needs. To save yourself time and money, look at the choices below and decide which kind of editing suits your needs.

Line editing.

Use this final professional edit after you have already revised your work three times.

Your first revision excludes all redundancies, reducing your copy by one-third.

In your second line edit, rework all the words and sentences so they are your finest. Reduce passive verb constructions (aim for 2-4%) and create relatively short sentences. A standard sentence length is 15-17 words. Longer sentences with multiple phrases and clauses make the reader slow down to understand. As the author, you want your reader to flow along with ease. In your final line edit look at your headings, paragraphs and transitions to make sure your message carries power through placement and is easy to read. Place your most dramatic words and phrases at the end of the sentence, the end of the paragraph and at the end of the chapter. While charges vary, you can expect to pay $50 to $70 for this service from a professional.

Developmental editing.

While you put your writing, ideas and sentences forth, a developmental editor will not just polish your syntax, but fill in gaps you don't want to take time for. It's practically like ghostwriting and you need to choose an editor who specializes in either fiction or non-fiction. You can expect to pay around $65-$75 an hour.

Ghost writing.

You give your topic, thesis or theme and chapter focuses to a person you want to finish the research, put it together in chapter form, and write it to sell well. Again, you need to hire a real professional who specializes in ghost writing for your kind of book, whether it is a novel, memoir, how-to, or history. Most ghostwriters don't write on speculation. Prices vary, but they are usually hourly at around $65 up.

If you want to write a salable book, you will need some professional editing. If you have contacted a book coaching partner for ongoing format and writing input, you will already be a professional writer and only need a bit of line editing when your book is ready to publish.

Don't waste your time and money choosing the path that doesn't serve your needs.


Judy Cullins �2004 All Rights Reserved.

Judy Cullins, 20-year Book and Internet Marketing Coach works with small business people who want to make a difference in people's lives, build their credibility and clients, and make a consistent life-long income. Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," "How to Market your Business on the Internet," and "Create your Web Site With Marketing Pizzazz," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, "The Book Coach Says..." and "Business Tip of the Month" at and over 155 free articles. Email her at mailto:[email protected].

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