"Soft" Editing Online
Self-Publishing Online changes the entire editing paradigm: "soft" editing is the rule.
Print is forever. Once those presses roll and ink hits paper, there's no going back, at least not without huge expense.
Oh, sure, there may be second printings for books, when a few changes can be made, and even second editions, when lots of changes and rewrites are possible. But what about being able to change anything at anytime?
"Well, that's convenient," you say. It certainly is. But there's a bigger meaning here.
Unlike paper-and-print, online is not forever. In fact, the very nature of online content is that it is ever-changing and improving.
So...why spend lots of time and money to make sure it's perfect?
Okay, I've hit a nerve there. What writer wants to publish work that is not personal best?
I, for one.
In most cases, no human reader will find the work until after the search engines have found it, catalogued it, and made it available. So the first entity to read my self-published work will be a machine.
I don't care if a machine reads my mistakes.
Although search engines may find your new pages within a matter of hours or days, the gigantic indexes that are central to the search engine's "brain" are only revised and updated every month or so.
So you can go back, change, correct and improve your work as you go along. This is in the nature of online publishing: your work is constantly being improved in any case, so why not take advantage of it?
I put pages online before they're done...on purpose! I want the search engines to find them ASAP. I go back and improve those pages, and indeed I continue to improve them every time I look at them.
Visitors to those pages from all over the world send me messages noting typos, inconsistencies and mistakes, and suggesting improvements. In effect, I have millions of editors.
We writers-of-a-certain-age aren't used to this. We were trained to think in terms of aiming for perfection before that all-important moment when we said goodbye to our manuscript and it was committed to print for good.
In effect, the moment of printing was the moment of death for our chance to change, correct or update our work.
Well, there is no death on the Internet, only eternal life!
Learn and accept "soft" editing! It's not a bug, it's a feature.