Back in the time before my retirement when I was busy in the manufacturing arena, we had a phrase related to our quality programs that indicated that we weren’t perfect, but we were always trying to move in that direction. That phrase was ‘Continuous Improvement’, and it meant simply that our purpose was to improve our processes in exactly that manner over time.
When I wrote my first novel, I was woefully unaware of what the editing process entailed, or that it was even a basic necessity. This ignorance of the basic rules of my new occupation brought me some very poor reviews for editing mixed in with a majority of great reviews for content, so I decided to utilize my old pre-retirement training to continually improve in my new found occupation.
The first step was to solicit the help of beta readers that would read the manuscript before publication, and I installed grammar and spell check software for help in reviewing my manuscripts. While this certainly helped with the elusive typo errors, some still slipped past and were discovered after each book was published and already in the marketplace. As quickly as I’m able now with five titles in both print and eBook versions, I am correcting the errors that we’ve found and uploading the revisions to the printer. Does this make the book easier to read? Probably not, since most of the errors that I now find are not recognized by my readers once they are engrossed in the storyline. I can’t even see them when I read through the first few times looking for them. What this does for me is tune up my ability to edit my own work, and to pursue that perfectly crafted masterpiece that all authors dream about. It also lets my readers know that I do pay attention to their critiques in an effort to continuously improve my craft and make their reading experience more enjoyable.