Here are specifics on the different stages or types of editing. I can do any of these together or separately--or just read it and give you my opinin without editing at all. Also see the academic page
for details on that particular area.
I've found the editor's process to somewhat be the reverse of the writer's. I usually start with the copyediting, cleaning up, punctuating the dialog and the rest correctly, formatting the text and go from there. That requires going through it at least twice, highlighting more complex issues for later consideration.
After I've done that I have an idea of the overall flow of the work, the plot and characters' arc, and especially of the author's style. Then I can start to look more closely at the author's idiosyncratic syntax and style, the tenses and voice, continuity, character development, and other more macro issues.
Copyediting and Proofing
Grammar and punctuation. Cleaning up the text, checking and fixing the spelling, punctuation and the little stuff. Then reviewing the syntax, tense, voice, other issues. All the while keeping note of developmental issues. In fiction, making sure the dialogue is punctuated correctly; in academic, dealing with the cites and references.
Common general issues: Following the rules of syntax, such as the differences between American and British English. Making the punctuation of dialog consistent, either the stndard usage or the author's own preference.
There is no such thing as a perfect copy.
Line editing focuses on the prose, addressing syntax, paragraph and sentence structure, voice, tense, point of view, and generally making the writing flow well. Also dialogue, making sure that is realistic and matches the character.
Developmental editing addresses the basic story and the art of storytelling, involving such things as the development of plot, theme, character, and the many 'macro' issues underlying the structure of a book. It is the most difficult part of editing insofar as it involves revision, cutting or expansion, rewriting or rearrangement, addressing redundancy and other issues related to the book as a whole.
Once I've gone through a manuscript a couple of times (required for copyediting) and have read it twice or thrice I have a good idea of the developmental issues/problems, the overall flow of the work, does it have a beginning, middle and end (first, second and third act), are the characters consistent and does each one have a well constructed arc (none left hanging). Address the larger structural problems.
Line and copy editing are fairly straightforward but developmental editing can become a contentious can of worms. It requires reading the text several times, contemplating it, evaluating how it would appear to the likely reader and how they might respond to it, and finally, how it might appear to a likely publisher.
Tense and Voice
I take a very close look at tense and voice, so much so that I've come to consider it a separate stage of the editing, since it really combines both developmental and line editing, with a touch of copyediting too. You must decide what tense and voice a work is in, and then also make sure that this is carried out consistently in the work. These are the hardest part of writing, at least from an editing standpoint. Keeping them straight throughout a full-length work. More below
Finalizing the Word File
The advent of word processing has added another stage to the editor's work. Formatting graphics and tables, adjusting indentation, line spacing and such, didn't use to be part of the editor's bailiwick. But now people expect a properly formatted document, all details addressed and finalized, a Table of Contents compiled and so on. Usually not that difficult, but it is a final step that needs to be done.
Once the text is done then I could prepare a print-on-demand and/or ebook if you like, but that's a separate project, involving book design issues and much more. See the publishing
page for more details.