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Definitions for the types of editing change depending on the source. For clarity, please find below the common forms of editing and the definitions I use in my service. These definitions are consistent with the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Editorial Assessment

This is an overview of your book to see which types of editing would be most beneficial to help you achieve your goals. In an editorial assessment, you should receive a letter detailing the highs and lows of your writing style and recommendations for the type of editing to pursue (developmental, line, content, etc). 

The PLS Editorial Assessment service offers a discounted rate for a second pass.

Alpha Reading

An alpha reader reads the rough, sometimes incomplete, draft of your manuscript and provides general feedback similar to, but less intense than, an editorial assessment. Most (but not all) quality alpha readers are developmental editors.  

PLS provides alpha reading by special request at $0.01/word.

Beta Reading

A beta reader reads the completed, edited, polished manuscript and provides feedback on the reader experience. Beta readers are fluent in their genre and serve as a test panel for the target market. 

PLS does not offer beta reading services.


A writing coach is a source of motivation and assistance throughout your writing process. Coaches help facilitate an organized and cohesive narrative, keep you on-track mentally and emotionally throughout your draft, hold you accountable to your goals, and provide objective guidance.  

PLS does not offer coaching services outside the developmental editing package.

Developmental Editing

This is a structural review of the plot, story and character arcs, dynamic descriptions, and all the major aspects of your project. Developmental editing often requires a new draft to fix core problems, improve marketability, and encourage readers to leave positive reviews. It's called "developmental" or "structural" because it examines the big picture; notes address the way the piece comes together as a whole.

The PLS Developmental Editing service offers discounts for line editing and formatting add-ons.

Line Editing 

This is a surface review of the language usage as well as character, setting, and description consistencies throughout your manuscript. Line editing often leads to minor revisions rather than a new draft but does not fix plot holes and other structural problems. It's called a "line edit" because it focuses on the use of language line by line. 

The PLS Line Editing service offers discounts for a second pass and formatting add-ons.


This is a surface polishing of spelling, number, capitalization, and grammar usage throughout your manuscript. Many copyeditors make these changes for you. Copyediting is a once-over prior to final formatting. 

PLS does not offer copyediting services. 


This is a surface polishing of spelling, number, capitalization, and grammar usage throughout your formatted manuscript, plus layout checks for the visual feel of your finished book.

Proofreading is not a type of editing but rather, the final cleanup to make your formatted project shine. 

PLS does not offer proofreading services outside the formatting package. 


This is the industry term for "unsolicited submissions". I'm hesitant to accept slush without discussing goals, rates, and a timeline first so you know what to expect from me. If you're interested in working with me, contact me and take advantage of my free 1,000-word assessment offer. If we've worked together before and you have a new project, send me the details via email and enjoy a discount for returning clients.

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