Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher. The term usually refers to written media, such as books and magazines, either as an ebook or as a physical copy using POD (print on demand) technology. It may also apply to albums, pamphlets, brochures, video content, and magazines.
In the traditional publishing model, the publisher bears all the costs and risks of publication, but retains most of the profit if the book is successful. In self-publishing, the author bears all the costs and risks, but earns a higher share of the profit per sale.
The $1 billion market of self-publishing has transformed in the past two decades with new technologies providing increasing alternatives to traditional publishing. Self-publishing is increasingly becoming the first choice for writers. Most self-published books sell very few copies. Those which sell large numbers are newsworthy because they are so rare. The quality of self-published works varies considerably, because there are no barriers to publication and no quality control.