Developmental editing is used mostly for larger volumes of text, e.g. a manuscript for a book or other publication, and is a collaboration between the editor and author.
In this process, the editor will discuss the overall concept and direction, genre and target audience with the author, rather than punctuation marks or grammar within sentences.
After completion and review is satisfactory the work can then be copy edited and proofread.
Editorial content is commissioned material prepared for publication on behalf of [a company]. Interpretational editorial content is informative and describes actions that have taken place or other important details, based on facts and figures available, and usually involves consultation with the client.
A copy editor looks at the grammar within the text, whether the author has been consistent or uses too many repetitive words (e.g. is there another way to describe something without repeating the same word over and over?). This part of the process may involve restructuring paragraphs or sentences, or deleting unnecessary text.
Especially in non-fiction, copy editing also involves checking that facts are, in fact, correct, and may need to be researched. E.g. does the date with a photograph match the date in the text? Is a statement subjective but has it been portrayed as fact?
It can be easy to make a mistake and overlook typos, no matter how often you have read a piece of text, regardless of how short your text is. Our brain is so conditioned and automatically corrects things in our mind, tricking you to think it’s all perfect. An editor will look at your work with fresh eyes and pick up on things that you completely missed.
Once your text has been copy edited, it is ready to be proofread.
Proofreading prepares your text to be publish-ready. Everything done prior to this point will be double checked to make sure there are absolutely no mistakes before going to print or digital publication. A proofreader will even consider the visual aspect of your work, in terms of spacing text or layout.