According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the substantive edit deals with the organization and presentation of existing content. It involves rephrasing for smoothness or eliminating ambiguity, reorganizing or tightening the writing. The manuscript is given a light editorial hand at this point, and the author's voice is respected.
Another phase of editing will follow this one, where the novel will be placed in the hands of the copy editor for style and punctuation.
A word of caution to writers offered a contract. Most vanity presses and pod publishers do not edit authors' books. The do not do a macro, substantive, or copy edit. Most only do a spell check. Avoid these publishers at all costs. If you must go this route, hire a reputable editor to edit your novel.
I must close, roll up my sleeves and get to work. But before I do, for those of you published, please comment on what your experience has been with editing your writing. _____________________________________________________________
Surrender the WindComing to a bookstore near you ~