12 Types of Editors and What They Do

by | Jun 26, 2018 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

12 Types of Editors and What They Do

by | Jun 26, 2018 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

When I’m spending hours at my computer coming up with an article topic, I’m often too tired to notice many of the minor mistakes in my writing. Because relying on spell check software can weaken writing, this is when it helps to have an extra set of eyes to look over my work. I could just call on a friend to help me out, but there are some types of content that need something more: an editor. Just like there are different types of editing, there are many different types of editors out there, so how do you know which one to hire?

What Are the Different Types of Editors?

Selecting the right editor for your project depends on your needs and, sometimes, your budget. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the different roles editors can play in getting an article or a book published.

1. Beta Reader

Beta readers are generally those people you let look over your writing to get their opinion. Many authors may ask for beta readers and create a questionnaire for the readers to get early feedback on a story. You want to find beta readers if you are an author looking for feedback from the general public for your work.

2. Proofreader

Proofreaders look over content after it has gone through other stages of editing. Proofreaders often only look for glaring mistakes in grammar and punctuation, and they may give little feedback as to quality or content development. You want to hire a proofreader if you are concerned about spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes, such as in articles or resumes.

3. Online Editor

The term “online editor” includes anyone you can find online to look over your content. These editors are most likely freelancers, and their skill sets may vary. If you plan on hiring an online editor, first make sure he or she is well-versed in the type of editing you are looking for.

4. Critique Partner

A critique partner tends to be a writer or published author who looks over a story and helps another writer or aspiring author to raise the quality of his or her work. A CP may act more as a coach than an editor. You want a critique partner when you need guidance on developing a story for publication.

5. Commissioning Editor

Also known as an acquisition editor, a commissioning editor is the one who looks for books or articles for publication. This is the person to talk to if you’re looking to get a book published or if you’re a freelance writer and want to pitch an article or blog to a particular site or company.

6. Developmental Editor

Developmental editors act as coaches for writers to get a story ready for publication. When you need guidance on moving your story forward, developmental editors should be able to help. They may also spend some of their time ghostwriting.

7. Content Editor

Content editors look at everything the writing encompasses. With books, they look over the story and make changes as necessary to the plot, characters, setting and so forth. In journalism or online publications, a content editor ensures the article scope is accurate for its audience and subject matter.

8. Copy Editor

Copy editors, also known as line editors and sometimes as content editors, usually look at everything from facts to grammar and formatting. These editors can do it all.

9. Associate Editor

Associate editors often work for newspapers or magazines. Another term for this position is “section editor.” An associate editor often has the same responsibilities as an acquisition editor; he or she is in charge of seeking out stories or content for publication.

10. Contributing Editor

Contributing editors tend to contribute their services to a magazine or newspaper and may also be referred to as a roving editor. In the journalism industry, a contributing editor is sometimes called an editor-at-large.

11. Chief Editor

Also known as an executive editor, the chief editor is the person overall in charge of an article, story or other content. The chief editor is the one who looks over the final product to ensure it meets company standards and approves it for release.

12. Editor-in-Chief

The editor-in-chief is generally the person who oversees the editing department and manages all of the other editors for the company. The EIC is also responsible for maintaining the voice of the company and upholding its philosophy and mission. Publishing companies sometimes refer to editors-in-chief as editors-at-large, which essentially means they can work on whatever project they choose to.

Make the Right Choice

Don’t underestimate the power of a good editor. There are excellent proofreading and editing tips for writers, but they’re no substitute for a fresh set of eyes. What other types of editors can you think of, and how can they help writers with their projects? Share your comments below!

Britainy Sorenson

Britainy Sorenson has been freelance writing since 2011 in between time spent with her best friend and husband and caring for three active and amazing little boys. She earned a BA in Japanese, an MA in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching, and a Graduate Certificate in TESOL from BYU. When her fingers aren't flying at the keys, she enjoys reading, video games, drawing and learning new crafts.
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