Content edits look at the overall flow, pacing, and structure of a manuscript.
While copyediting focuses on fine-tuning a manuscript that is essentially finished, a content edit (also called a substantive edit or developmental edit, depending on the type of content edit) is done earlier in the editing process. A content edit ignores grammar, word choice, and sentence structure because if you are still working on the structure of your book, the words and sentences currently in the manuscript are likely to change.
Fiction content editing focuses on story and character. It looks at issues such as plot holes, continuity, and consistency of character. Non-fiction content editing focuses on aspects like logic, factual consistency, order of content, and whether the level of information presented is appropriate for the intended audience.
I address larger reoccurring issues in an editorial letter, but the majority of my notes are made with comments throughout the text. Rather than just giving you a general list of potential issues, I highlight exactly where those issues occur and provide suggestions for addressing them.
Content edits are .035 cents a word.