It is always painful to submit a book manuscript. It's like a baby: you have had it inside you for a long, long time, and then it comes out of the printer and starts living a life of its own. (Yes, I do mean printer. Some people don't want their computers invaded by other people's manuscripts and request a hard copy; I cannot blaim them). I have been pregnant with this particular book for an exceptionally long time, for a number of reasons, and frankly, I am quite bored by it. But a stillborn book is worse, and then there are all kinds of academic pressure (bibliometric assessment is the fancy lable for it), and friends and colleagues have been wondering when a new book is coming and what it is about. It's part of academic games.
It is a solemn moment when you realize that a book is finished. Of course, a book, or even an article, can ever be finished and you can go on and on, but at some point it is imperative to stop. I arrived at this point today just before lunch. I deleted a good portion of a chapter to fit the word count; I added a missing reference; I changed the subheadings to bold and back. Then I could not put it off any longer. I assembled the separate chapters into a file. The book was finished.
I returned from lunch, printed out the text, squeezed it into an envelope and took a walk to the other building to put the envelope in the mail. No way back.
From previous experience I know that page proofs always come when you least expect them.