Editing: Four Levels Explained

Except in rare cases, books accepted for publication with Deeper Revelation Books and its divisions are required to first pass through the editing stage. This is very important. Even accomplished writers, and editors who write books themselves, recognize the immense value of having another set of eyes inspect what they have written.

When your submitted manuscript is initially reviewed, the acquisition committee will determine the level of editing they feel your book requires. Your book mentor will discuss this with you before the contract is signed.

Here are the four basic levels of editing:

Copyediting—This level of editing checks for spelling errors, punctuation errors, grammatical errors, inconsistences in spelling, punctuation, layout and style. The manuscripts of advanced writers usually only require copyediting.

Substantive editing—This level of editing is more intense grammatically, and is focused on shaping the structure and content of your book. Chapter titles, chapter divisions, paragraph breaks, subheadings, logical sequencing of ideas, sentence structure, effectiveness in communication, development of highlighted concepts, balance, consistency in writing, spelling and punctuation—all of these and more are a part of what a substantive editor seeks to accomplish. If your book requires a substantive editor, copyediting is included and usually performed by the same person. 

Comprehensive editing—This level requires a more transformational involvement in a manuscript.  If English is not the first language of the author, and the book is in English, comprehensive editing is usually needed. Transcribed messages require a comprehensive editor. First-time authors may require this level.

Concept Creation—The highest level of editing involves research, information gathering, concept and outline development.



Except with small books, the editing stage can take from two to six months, depending on the complexity of the project and the amount of changes that need to be implemented.


The charges listed above cover the initial editing of your manuscript and one round of responses and corrections, between you and your editor.

If the author makes excessive changes to the manuscript after this, making it necessary for the editor to redo his/her work, another evaluation and charge may be implemented.

Very important—All changes in a manuscript need to take place during the editing stage. Making major changes to a book during the graphic layout stage can become very costly, especially if it shifts the book after it has been laid out. The graphic artist should only receive your book when you and your editor come to the mutual conclusion that your manuscript is ready as it is to be laid out.