"I bought your book."
It may seem strange that I find those words frightening, but they are a little scary to the first time author. Maybe they're scary to all authors, I can only speak for myself.
It's not that I don't believe in the stories in "Shorts". If I didn't like them, if I had not gotten positive responses from my few beta readers, I never would have put them out there for the world to see. I worked on those stories for a long time, worked with my wonderful editor to make them even better. Fiddled and played and changed the order of the book and the format of the book and the cover of the book, till I got it to a place where I felt I could be proud.
But there's still this frisson of anxiety that goes through me when someone tells me they bought the book. Because I really want that person to like the book. I hope they will like all of the stories, but I want them to put the book down with a sense of satisfaction. Even better, to think "So and so should read this too".
Maybe someday that goes away (any authors with multiple books out there want to chime in?), but I don't think so. In fact, I'm not sure I want that to happen. I want every book to be an adventure for us both.
Here's the other thing - whether you like the book or not, I would love to hear from you. Tell me the stories you liked, the ones you didn't care for. And yes, even if you put the book down and thought "What rubbish!", I would love to talk with you about what didn't work for you.
In the meantime, I hope lots of people keep scaring me!