If you’re close to being ready, just go for it. Google take a few days to crawl round most of the time nowadays (Bing are in teenager “later” mode) and then even longer before you start showing in results. If you’re not as close then do as Don suggests or discourage robots but if you do that, remember to set it back when you’re ready.
Autoresponder: there may be a test option for the whole series, that will depend on who you’re using. Or just sign up to your list yourself and check the emails as they arrive – you’ll be ahead of anyone else so there’ll be a chance to correct things.