Proofreading & Editing
One of the things clouding people's understanding of what proofreading entails is the fact that the word is used differently in different fields. Asking "What is proofreading?" to someone in the publishing profession, for example, will likely garner a very different reply than asking someone at a university.
Someone in the publishing industry would view proofreading as the last possible opportunity to revise a manuscript before it is printed and published. The proofreader compares the proofs—printed versions of the manuscript, which include all the formatting, page numbers, headers, etc. that will be included in the final edition—with the edited copy to make sure that no errors have been introduced by the formatting or printing.
PROOFREADING $.025 a word
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Line editing involves editing a book sentence by sentence (or line by line) to upgrade the prose, always keeping the craft in mind. A line edit ensures that your book's content is consistent while its language is creative and concise. Basically, line editing perfects your manuscript's clarity and style — hence why it's also known as "stylistic editing."
Why is line editing necessary? Well, your goal as an author is to pull off the premise of your book as effectively as possible, and a line editor helps make that happen. Have you ever been super excited about a book's concept, only to be disappointed by its poor execution? That author probably never got a decent line edit... a mistake that you'll surely avoid now that you know how important it is!
This is especially important in historical fiction to avoid those anachronisms everyone hates!
LINE EDITING $.045 a word
Developmental editing is a thorough and in-depth review of your entire manuscript. It examines all the elements of your writing, from individual words and sentences to overall structure and style. In fiction, this edit will also address any issues related to plot and characterization. Good developmental editing will bear your target audience in mind and assess your work in relation to industry standards and expectations. Only once your manuscript has been revised, reshaped, and developed will it be ready for edit and proofread.