Of course you have. I don’t think there is ANY book that is 100% error free. There are just too many possible ways to screw something up, and even with an army of people going over a book, they won’t all be found.
Yep, multiple eyes help. The more the better.
Beta readers are fabulous. Each book I publish has between 20 and 50. Some are people who have beta’d multiple books for me, but there are always new people added to the group. A well run beta can provide an incredible amount of valuable feedback, but all of it has to be weighed carefully. Any book is the cumulation of a thousand individual decision, and your choices won’t resonate with all the people all of the time. I’ve had people who “tore my book apart” but in those cases it was because they wanted a “different” book than what I was writing. Telling when something is “on point” or would derail the entire story is a skill that can take years to master. Being 57 (and starting to write when I was 13) has really helped me with that.
Hey, if it worked, it worked. I advise A LOT of authors, and that makes me have to speak in generalities from time to time. My comments are exactly that…guidelines for a large swatch of authors, but that doesn’t mean on an individual basis, I’d suggest otherwise.
You are absolutely correct, and I’d add another to your list - line editors. Sometimes they are overlooked because many copy editors will also do line editing at the same time, but they require very different skill sets.
One thing I have…and it’s the single biggest contributor to my final product is a fabulous ALPHA editor. In my case, this is my wife, and it works out well for us because after 40 years we have a level of communication that is difficult to replicate. I can take criticism from her, because I know she’s (a) brilliant and (b) has the best interest of the me AND my readers. We can “fight” over an issue without either party becoming upset when they don’t get their way (well, most of the time) but more than anything, she knows where my strengths are and my weaknesses lie and I’m willing to LISTEN and LEARN from her comments.
Can every author find that very special alpha reader? I don’t know. It takes an unprecedented level of trust and mutual respect. But for those that do, they’ll be very fortunate indeed.