Finding Errors

I hate finding errors in my writing -- particularly when the work is already published.

Yet it is amazing how many seem to survive multiple editing and proofreading passes, and end up in the "finished" manuscript.

I'm discovering that these "late discovered" errors really fall into three categories -- ones that readers tend to skip over (like a missing word), ones that some or all of the proofreaders don't agree on (I find this mostly with commas -- there being some disagreement among amateur grammarians as to when the comma is required and when it is optional), and new errors I introduced in some prior editing activity.

I'm reminded of an old boss who used to say that, "...with complex software programs, there comes a time when 'fixing' an error creates more danger of causing new problems than the offsetting value created by repairing the issue."  Since the parts of a novel aren't inter-woven in the same way as software, this observation is probably less true.  But when you've got a product with 100,000 elements (words) in it, it is pretty easy to screw something up by accident while trying to "fix" something else.

While I hate finding the errors, I appreciate that correcting them creates a better quality product, so in the end, I'm happy to do the work.

This weekend, a friend submitted seven pages of errors found in INCENTIVIZE.  Admittedly, INCENTIVIZE is possibly the least carefully proofread of the three published novels, but I was still shocked at the number of items present.  I spent a couple of hours making the changes this morning -- a tedious task, made more so by the fact that I need to change four different versions of the file (Paperback, Smashwords, Nook and Kindle).

Now that it is finished, and new versions have been submitted, however, I'm basking in the glow of an improved product, and wondering how other authors feel about this same thing...?