In a light edit, an editor will check spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, consistency, syntax, and format. This is the best option if you want the editor to take a very "hands-off" approach and only focus on correcting technical details.
The big difference here is the level of judgment and rewriting involved. In a "heavy" edit an editor may rewrite portions of text to improve flow and enforce a uniform level, tone, and focus..
|Manuscript Critique (fiction)
In a manuscript critique, the editor will look at the work as a complete whole and offer advice and criticism around structure, plot, character development, and the overall story. She will also look critically at the structure and mechanics but not provide significant grammar and spelling corrections at this point. This effort is more about the "big picture" and not the little details.
|Proofreading/Editing – Web Content
|Proofreading/Editing – Books
Another option is to take a very collaborative approach and hire the editor on an hourly basis. This typically comes after a heavy edit when you're looking to put finishing touches on rewrites or want to work through challenging adjustments.
Note: A standard page is defined as 250 words.