- Digital printing. What a great use of technology! No more storing 10,000 books in our attic like we did in the 1980s. And it allows us to save paper by printing only the number of books we need.
- Lightning Source (LSI). I upload my pdf files and my books are available on Amazon and other online stores right away. Readers can order them easily and I don't have to mess with packing and shipping books. No more sticky tape, bubble wrap or trips to the post office!
- Adobe Creative Suite. (I have CS2) Gives me the tools to do professional layout, covers, bookmarks, postcards—whatever. I've gotten many compliments on the cover of my novel—even though the experts say, "never do your own cover."
- Amazon and other online stores. Puts self-publishers on an almost level playing field with the big guys. (Disclosure: I'm a stockholder.)
- The Yahoo Self-Publishing Group. (Sponsored by SPAN. List moderators: John Culleton, Marion Gropen, and JC Simonds) I've gotten tips on everything from margins to marketing on this well-run, fact-filled group.
- On-line reviewers. These unpaid readers write and post reviews because they love books and want to let other readers know about books they might enjoy. My special thanks to Reader Views, TCM Reviews, Armchair Interviews, BookPleasures, and Mainly Mysteries for reviewing Too Near The Edge.
Okay, it's time to go cook a turkey now and spend some good time with family. Best wishes to you all for a relaxing Thanksgiving break. And next week we'll get back to putting the pressure on the old guard to give all authors equal opportunity in the writing and publishing community.