Welcome To The E-Team: A Simple Guide To The Different Kinds Of Editors

Emily Sinclair Montague
21 min readSep 21, 2023
Image by Pressphoto on Freepik

From proofreaders to developmental editors, editors-in-chief to indexers to beta readers, there are many ways to edit a piece of content.

How do all of these different roles contribute to the final product? What kinds of editors do writers need to work with in order to succeed? How do you decide who to hire, and what can you expect to pay for each kind of edit?

This article will help you navigate the editorial world and make sense of all the different forms editing can take.

Whether you’re a writer preparing a manuscript, a new editor looking to define your niche, or someone who simply wants to learn more about the industry, this is the guide for you!

Let’s dig in.

An Editorial Overview — Basic Terms, Industry Definitions, & More!

I’ll get right into it. Here’s a quick list of the different types of editors you’re likely to encounter out “in the wild.”

  • Developmental Editor
  • Proofreader
  • Copyeditor
  • Editor-In-Chief
  • Line Editor
  • Managing Editor
  • Associate Editor
  • Beta Reader
  • Sensitivity Reader
  • Writing Coach
  • Mentor

Within each of these editorial categories, you might find various subcategories. There can be multiple names or titles for the same kind of editor as well, and I’ll go over that later in this guide. It’s also important to remember that there are two “veins” of editors, and they have very different roles.

Editors that literally edit written content are one type, whereas the other type describes more of a managerial or administrative role. Both types of editors are worth getting familiar with, but understanding these two veins will make the whole industry a lot easier to understand.

For clarity’s sake, I like to divide content editors into three categories: Preliminary Editors, Draft Editors, And Finalizers. These are the editors a writer or author will work with throughout their…

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Emily Sinclair Montague

Author & Full-Time Writer. Embracing life’s chaos one word at a time. Get in touch at emsinclair@wordsofafeather.net (or don’t, but I love the attention)!