Of the three core levels of editing – Manuscript, Substantive, and Developmental – I offer only Substantive and Developmental Editing. The descriptions below are from the authoritative The Chicago Manual of Style, but the overall editing process is too complex for rigid boundaries and in practice they are quite permeable: although I no longer provide stand-alone copy-editing, there is often an element of this included in Substantive editing projects, and sometimes Developmental projects require a Substantive input.
Under each description from the CSM is a representative example of my work at that level with a major publisher.
“Substantive editing deals with the organization and presentation of content. It involves rewriting to improve style or to eliminate ambiguity, reorganizing or tightening, recasting tables, and other remedial activities.”
Example: The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, with Nick Bunnin (Blackwell Publishing, 1st edition 1996, 2nd enlarged edition 2002)
Examples which combine some manuscript editing with large elements of substantive editing for the non-native English contributors to the volume: International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, with K.V. Wilkes (Routledge 1987); Popper in China, with W.H. Newton-Smith and Jiang Tianji (Routledge 1992 ).
Developmental Editing and Project Management
“… developmental editing …more directly shapes the content of a work, the way material should be presented, the need for more or less documentation and how it should be handled, and so on … editing of this kind may involve total rewriting or reorganization of a work …”
Example: I approached the American mastering engineer Bob Katz, with the proposal that he use his previously published articles as the basis for a book. We consulted, he wrote and I edited. The result was Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science (Focal Press, 1st edition 2002, 2nd enlarged edition 2007) which is now a standard text for music technology courses.