Back in 1998 when my first article was published in a magazine, I knew very little about book publishing. I believed there to be only two forms: publishers’ publishing (what is today known as traditional publishing) and vanity publishing. I realise now that self-publishers did exist back then, but I was a greenhorn and had limited knowledge.
Fast forward fifteen years and I can identify four ways a writer (or a book) can be published. Below are my definitions of these four methods according to what I’ve learned in the past decade and a half.
A traditionally published author is one who submitted their manuscript to a publishing company and was accepted. The company assumes all financial responsibility for the publication of the book. This means the writer pays nothing, not a penny to see their work in print.