Effortless is probably just as apropriate or misleading as self-working. It doesn't mean that these tricks don't require any effort on your side. You have to read the descriptions, remember the sequence of actions and perform the act - entertain, which in my book is neither self-working nor effortless. But what these terms try to convey is that you will not need to master difficult moves or finger breaking sleights to perform these effects. And they are very good effects. Often an 'effortless' trick can be performed to greater effect because the performer can pay more attention to audience managment, patter, presentation a.s.o.
This is a great book, originally published by Richard Kaufman, now available as searchable and hyperlinked ebook.
1st edition 1997; 163 pages.
word count: 66890 which is equivalent to 267 standard pages of text