As a result, it was difficult for an unknown author to get a publishing contract under these circumstances.
So-called vanity publishers offered an alternative: they would publish any book in exchange for an upfront payment by the author.
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Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture.
In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Nevertheless, part of the reason for the negative stigma is that many self-published books, particularly in past decades, were of dubious quality.
For example, in 1995, a retired TV repairman self-published his autobiography in which he described how he had been stepped on by a horse when he was a boy, how he had been almost murdered by his stepfather when he was a young man in Mexico, and how his ex-wife had clawed his face with her fingernails.
With this growth in activity, the book world has become flooded with titles, much of it of low quality, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for self-publishers to differentiate one's offerings from the stew of average offerings.
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Self-publishing is the publication of any book, album or other media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher.
Self-publishing is not limited to physical books, but includes pamphlets and brochures, as well as digital media such as e-books and websites.
In traditional publishing, the publisher bears the costs, such as editing, marketing, and paying advances, and reaps a substantial share of the profits; in contrast, in self-publishing, the author bears all of these costs but earns a higher share of the profits.