Mark Coker of Smashwords.com, the new web site for self published e-books, got tired of dealing with the submission process for mainstream publication. His service reformats Word or RTF files for all of the various e-book formats, including iPhone, which is now generally agreed to be the dominant platform in the future for e-books (based on the installed base of units in readers' hands). Moreover, he allows you to set your own price and returns 85% of the net to the author. The upload process is easy to manage. You can also give away the work or allow customers to set their own price. This looks like a good place to beta-test fiction and get audience reaction (the link above is to my e-book BUYING RETAIL: A DIFFERENT KIND OF DETECTIVE STORY). This site is highly recommended.
I have also become a contributor for a new blog--Self Publishing Review. This was created by Henry Baum, another guy who got tired of dealing with the process. It's a very professional Web site with lots of good information mostly oriented towards the print side of self-publishing. The goal here is to create more professional products and diminish the prejudice against self-published work. My novel, THE SHENANDOAH SPY, is still selling well, despite the recession.
We're off the book tour for the moment, trying to get the second book ready for publication later this year. We'll start up again in March or April.