Hire a professional writer/editor to transform
your ideas into polished, stand-out copy.
Lisa Drucker

Writer? Ghostwriter?

Book Doctor? Editor?

Which is which? It can be a bit confusing—especially for publishing newbies—but the distinctions are pretty clear once the terms have been deciphered.


Creates the text—or copy—from start to finish. Whether writing for a person or an organization, this is usually done after some type of preliminary discussion, with a sufficient amount of “raw” material or information supplied, predicated upon the project content. As a rule, a writer receives publication credit.


Does what a writer does, but usually without any publication credit (i.e., as a “ghost”).

Book Doctor

“Fixes” manuscripts that have significant structural and/or conceptual problems that are beyond the scope of developmental editing. (A book doctor might recommend that a writer or ghostwriter be hired to redo the project.)


Cleans up the finished writing, regardless of who did the writing. There are levels of editing:

Developmental Editing

Targets structure, concept, and scope; writing that is somewhat better executed than what a book doctor has to tackle.

Substantive Editing

Targets editing at a content level, meaning that the majority of sentences will need correcting. (This is sometimes referred to as “heavy copyediting.”)

Line Editing

Targets sentence mechanics—grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, etc.—line-by-line of the work as a whole, with more sentences than not needing correction. (This is sometimes referred to as “medium copyediting.”)


Targets sentence mechanics—grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, etc.—of the work as a whole; amount of sentences needing correction may vary. (This is sometimes referred to as “basic/light copyediting.”)

Some projects may be hybrids, so it’s best to let us do a preliminary review to assess your material, and then we can discuss our recommendations. We can provide whatever level of writing or editing service you need—and we proofread too. Contact us to discuss your objectives.

Sometimes writers just need some coaching or an evaluation of their manuscripts. We do that too! Contact us to learn more about our writing-coach and manuscript-evaluation programs.

 (For more about our philosophy: Finding the Right Words/Putting It in Writing.)