To pick up on something Tricia said about when those books first arrive, and being afraid of typos… I know what you mean! You proof it, your people proof it, and you think it must be perfect, and I’m here to tell you, it probably isn’t. But that’s ok, because probably all books have the odd typo, and it doesn’t wreck the book. Unless it’s something like “pubic” instead of “public”. Actually, I have a few editor friends, and one told me a funny story about mixing it up the other way—it was a book about puberty and the typo was “public” for “pubic,” so there you go. One of those copyediting friends found a couple of typos in my book, and yes, part of the reason I’d love to go into reprints is to fix those typos!
One funny thing that happened when my books arrived—a very exciting moment, savour it!—was that my six-year-old daughter picked out the first one, saw the dedication page (it was dedicated to my husband) and pulled out book after book, checking them all and bursting into tears because none of them were dedicated to her! You can probably imagine to whom I will dedicate my next book.
And yes, it’s unsettling at first, to see your words go out and actually get read. Especially if you don’t have a history of publishing short stories, which I don’t, so you don’t have the chance to get used to it gradually. You work for years and then you send out your book and it’s a bit like opening your raincoat to strangers when you’re buck naked underneath. And then you get used to it, and if the response to the book is good, you kind of get to like it, and find you actually want to open your raincoat to strangers…
Of course, we all Google ourselves all the time, it’s like an illness. There should be a name for it. Why don’t we think of one? Authorgooglitis? Obsessive Compulsive Googling Disorder? Wait till you start tracking your numbers on Amazon…that way madness lies.