Line Editing Services for Writers

Streamline your story with an in-depth line edit.


Get the confidence that comes from having a professional book editor provide feedback on your book’s plot, structure, characterization, tone, organization, and more.

Whether you’re a new writer or a bestselling author, your manuscript will benefit tremendously from a professional line edit. A good line editor, like a good developmental editor, will help you tighten up your story, from the way you structure your paragraphs to the way you handle your story’s timeline. A line editor will also ensure your story flows well, moves forward at the right pace, maintains a consistent point of view, and connects with readers from the first word to the last. And while the purpose of a line edit isn’t to look for and catch mechanical errors, your line editor will correct obvious grammatical or punctuation issues while making sentence-level adjustments.

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What is line editing?

Line editing addresses paragraph structure, sentence flow, word choice, consistency issues, and overall presentation of the story. While a developmental editor will focus almost exclusively on the content of your manuscript, a line editor will also double-check and correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and sentence structure.

Line editing vs. copyediting

While line editing does include edits for typos, misspelled words, and grammar issues, line editors are likely to make changes that require you to do some rework, and revisions often introduce new typos or grammatical errors. This is why we recommend multiple rounds of editing. For an edit that focuses exclusively on improving the grammar, spelling, and punctuation of your work, check out our copyediting services.

Line editing vs. content editing

Content editing refers to the type of editing that focuses on the content of a manuscript. It’s roughly synonymous with substantive editing, another catch-all term for edits that handle the substance of a manuscript, either in addition to or instead of the mechanics. Line editing, like developmental editing, is a type of content or substantive editing in that a line editor strives to improve the content of your manuscript by examining your plot structure, character development, pacing, and other high-level elements. A line edit will also address sentence-level concerns such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Preparing for a line edit

Before you submit your manuscript for a line edit, you should be certain that you’re mostly happy with the plot, flow, and overall feel of your book. A line edit is most effective at fine-tuning an already strong structure. Your line editor might suggest making a few minor changes throughout the manuscript or recommend reworking a few paragraphs here or there, but that’s typically as far as it goes. If you think your book is at an earlier stage of its growth, you might prefer a developmental edit, which can help you clearly map out a less structured book or identify where fresh content is needed.

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    Greg Redlin

    I found the staff at Elite Authors well-informed, professional, and patient. Throughout the process they provided sound advice, skilled editors and experienced technical personnel. Moreover, they answered all my frequently panicked emails, often in a matter of minutes!

    Line Editing Services

    What should line editors do?

    Line editors should leave corrections and suggestions that improve the line-by-line flow of your text, but they should also identify inconsistencies in your story, recommend ways to strengthen your plot, ensure that there are no continuity errors, and make sure that you’re writing your story exactly the way you want to write it. Line editors at Elite Authors do all of the above—plus, they write detailed editorial letters that both explain the most common edits and offer suggestions for how to improve your manuscript as a whole. These editorial letters give you valuable insights into your strengths as a writer, as well as ways you can become even better.

    Will you edit my PDF?

    Our line editors use the Track Changes feature of MS Word to leave editorial recommendations and comments throughout your manuscript, so you need Microsoft Word, and you’ll need to send us your manuscript as a Word document. We use PDF files when proofreading, but it’s extremely hard to offer you the kind of detailed editorial feedback we pride ourselves on when working on PDF files.

    I purposefully use a lot of slang and sentence fragments in my book. Will your editors change that?

    If you’re using slang, sentence fragments, or nonstandard spellings, you might be worried that an editor will change all that, but that simply isn’t the case. Line editors should preserve your unique writer’s voice, finding ways to support and maintain your personal style throughout your manuscript, whether you are fond of short, sharp sentences or languid, flowing prose. A line edit is about making sure your book is becoming everything you, the author, want it to be.

    What are the different types of editing?

    There are several different types of editing. Elite Authors offers copyediting, line editing, developmental editing, and proofreading services. Copyediting addresses mechanical issues such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Line editing and developmental editing tackle to different degrees substantive issues such as plot, characterization, pacing, and point of view. Proofreading is a cold-reading process that hunts down and eliminates last-minute typos—sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph—before a book goes to press.

    How much do you charge for line editing?

    Some editors charge by the hour—which sounds great until you realize that this means you’ll only have a rough idea about your total costs until editing is actually complete. Elite Authors charges by the word, so you know before we even start working exactly what your project costs will be. Our rates are based on how intensive the editing process needs to be—and thus how much time an editor will invest in your writing project. Thus, a copyedit is less expensive than a line edit, which is less expensive than a developmental edit. You can find our rates for line editing and all our other editorial services here.

    Why do authors get multiple rounds of editing?

    We highly recommend our authors going through numerous rounds of editing to ensure the manuscript is as clean and well written as possible. Most traditionally published books are edited six to eight times before publication, so we have rolled out some editorial packages to encompass multiple rounds of editing at a discount to our authors.

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