Freddy Astorga sends in a question:
After you edit and publish a book, can you make a reivsion with improvements on your story, or are second editions just minor revisions?
The idea reminds me of the “director’s cuts” we often see on DVDs and even in cinemas, which for the most part are a trick to make you pay twice for about the same thing. Moviemakers have found a range of excuses for not making “their” movie from the start: studio pressure, budget limitations, tight deadlines… Excuses that a novelist cannot rely on.
The only second -and subsequent- revised editions that we find on print are reference works, but there is a reason for this. With the evolution of the world (its techonology, its laws, etc.), the text describing them needs to be updated to reflect those changes. This reasoning does not apply to fiction either.
The author is the only person responsible for their text. Therefore, correcting the finished piece would discredit their own work. A revised version can correct edition errors (like typos, or page numbering problems) but should leave the text and its universe intact. What would be the point of saying “things did not happen exactly that way, but a little more like this”? It would say very little about our capacity as narrators. Incidentally, this highlights the importance of a good editor, who should point out the flaws in you work and make sure that the published text is, from the beginning, final.