5 Different Types of Editors: Which One is Right for You?

Posted on June 21, 2013


pen1When it comes time to edit a manuscript there are several editors that will look at your book to make sure it is ready for printing. Of course, you may not need several different editors, especially if you are on a budget.  Here are five types of editors and what each editor will handle for your work.

1.       Acquisitions

An acquisitions editor will search for and sign authors with publishable work. They may also read through proposals and manuscripts that are sent to their desk. They also search for writers to complete specific projects for their publishing house. They usually become a liaison between the author and the publisher. If you are ever personally contacted by an editor it is likely to be an acquisitions editor. Most authors will not seek out an acquisitions editor.

2.       Project

A project editor will oversee all the facets of book production. He will and make sure the project is following a schedule. Several editors, including copy editors, developmental editors and proofreaders often work under the project editor to keep the book moving through production in a timely manner. You are not likely to have much contact with a project editor but he will be keeping the project under control.

3.       Developmental

A developmental editor will take your work and help you turn it into something publishable. She may ask questions about your story or about your intentions for the book. She will help you find a way to structure your book to engage your reader. She can help develop plot points or make a boring topic for fun to read. She can also help you stay on track to meet deadlines.

Developmental editors may also be called content editors or consulting editors. Literary agents may also do developmental editing as well as acquisition editors.

4.       Copyeditor

A copyeditor will correct mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling and consistency. They will also look at the work as a whole and determine if the ideas flow nicely together and make sense to the reader. They may come to you for clarification of your ideas to better understand how to make your words flow.

Copyeditors may also be called line editors.

5.       Proofreader

A proofreader is typically one of the last people to edit a work. They are very similar to copyeditors in that they will check for typing errors, misspellings, improper punctuation or grammar. This is one of the most important editors because if there is a mistake in your work you will instantly be discredited and lose your reader’s trust.

If you choose to use a traditional publisher you will be able to find all these editors in the same place. If you choose to self-publish you will need to think about which editors will be most beneficial for your specific book. Sometimes a single editor may play the role of more than one of the above listed editors. Don’t forget that editing is important. It is the best way to make sure you are publishing the finest version possible of your work.

Stacey Selz, Editor and Writer, Asta Publications


Asta Publications has a long history of helping writers tell their stories and get published. Since 2004, Asta Publications has helped hundreds of authors bring their book concepts to life and we are ready to help you too! Our dedication to our authors is unmatched. We deliver first-class products and services that are accurate, high quality, and exceed our authors’ expectations.

Posted in: Publishing