- Developmental editors look at the big picture, working with content and structure to ensure the work gives the readers what they need in an easily comprehensible format.
- Line editors correct grammar, streamline wordy prose, and ensure that what you say is what you meant. They smooth out rough patches and reduce redundancies. They make clunky sentences elegant.
- Copy editors make sure sentences are grammatical, and if they're not, that there’s a good reason for it. They often check facts and always ensure stylistic consistency.
- Proofreaders correct spelling errors, misplaced punctuation, and typographical inconsistencies.
If you are self-publishing and looking to contain costs, you can combine line editing with either the developmental edit or the copy edit, if you find an editor who is trained in both disciplines. Under no circumstances skip proofreading. And don't try to do it yourself. No one can proofread their own work. Not even those of us who edit for a living.