Self-publishing used to be a paper-&-ink enterprise, and the up-front costs of creating a physical book were usually borne by the author. Plus, before the Interwebs matured self-published authors had a limited customer base.

The growing popularity of online book-selling made distribution easier, and opened the door to a "print on demand" business model that eliminated the risk of paying for copies that might not sell. But the game didn't really change until the arrival of e-readers. Not...
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