How many times should I edit my book?

If you are writing a book, we applaud you because it’s one of the hardest things to do. This is true because of the difficulties faced in the writing process and the editing process. Any writer worth the paper they are writing on will edit their book, which includes you.

Never attempt to publish anything – not even a jingle – without having it edited. The editing process is crucial to the end result. More often than not, when you write a book, you might mess up the order or timeline, your writing could be inconsistent, and there are always grammar and punctuation mistakes. No one says that you cannot edit your own book.

However, if you have trouble doing so, check out this AutoCrit review to see what this editing software has to offer. You may not realize that there are different types of editing, and you can do each of them multiple times. So, for the best result, how many times should you edit your book?

How Many Times to Edit?

As you are about to find out below, six different types of editing can be performed on a book. Professional editors might combine some to streamline the process.

However, if you plan to edit your own book, you should go through each of the six stages once.

If you do it right and you pay close attention, performing each type of editing once should be enough. You could technically say that you need to edit your book six times. It’s really all a matter of perspective.

The Six Types of Editing

Let’s take a look at the six types of editing and what they entail. How do you actually edit a book?

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is also referred to as conceptual editing, and this is all about the big picture. You will be focusing on the overall concept of the book, the so-called ‘big picture.’

You will be evaluating how well organized and structured the book is. This is all about making sure that the story or arguments flow correctly, that everything is in the right order, and that the book as a whole comes together to form one coherent piece of writing.

Evaluative Editing

Evaluative or evaluation editing is very similar to developmental editing, the next step away from the big picture.

This is still about the big picture per se, but it is more about the story’s overall quality and flow or arguments being presented. This is all about evaluating how well a book flows to provide a quality reading experience that actually makes sense.

Content Editing

Once you have completed the ‘big picture’ editing phases, developmental and evaluation editing, you can move on and focus more on the finer points, which most people refer to as content editing. This is where you start to look at the words on the page.

Instead of looking at the big picture, you start to look at individual paragraphs to see how they are constructed and how well they flow.

Not only do you look at the coherence and writing quality of individual paragraphs or even chapters, but you also need to star focus on the overall tone of voice. Is the tone of voice right for your target audience?

Line Editing

As you might guess by the name, you are transitioning from macro editing, so from the bigger picture to micro editing, the smaller image.

Focus on your book on a line-by-line basis to see if each sentence is worded correctly, how each sentence flows from one to the next, and if the sentences provide the required impact you are looking for.

This stage of the process is about looking for cliches, run-on sentences, fragments, and more, as well as clarifying the meaning, eliminate jargon, and other such things.

Copy Editing

Here we are really getting into the details. The No. 1  goal of copy editing is to find spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors.


Once you think that you have finished with the editing process, when you get a final version of your book done, you proofread it. Simply put, you are looking for any remaining errors before the book is finalized.


Considering that the editing process involves six distinct types of editing, you should only have to work through it once if you take your time and proceed carefully.