People ask all the time about the editing process and why it takes so long. There are many types of editing, including manuscript evaluation, developmental/project editing, substantive and structural editing, stylistic editing, copy editing, proofreading, rewriting and checking/reference checking.
Many of these overlap and are done simultaneously. The first round for my editor and I could be considered substantive/developmental/copy editing/checking as she goes through every line in detail, challenging facts, improving grammar, suggesting changes to remove redundancies or expand on descriptions… It’s a lengthy, time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process. We do it line by line and chapter by chapter.
After I agree or disagree and make changes, my editor reads it along with some other people, searching for typos that have crept in and to make sure the changes done in the first round have not introduced new problems. She may also challenge items that I have disagreed with in the first round.
The manuscript then goes for formatting to prepare it for publication. Different formats are required for paperback and e-book.
When the manuscript goes for publication and one copy of the finished product comes back, it’s time for proofreading. This could eliminate more typos and should ensure formatting is correct.
It’s a worthwhile process. After all that work writing the book, an author wants to ensure it’s as good as it can be.
A word of caution though, unfortunately, even after all that, glitches can and do show up from time to time. We sometimes see what we think should be there, not what is.