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As an author, to assume the financial risk involved in publishing a book, rather than receiving an advance from a traditional publisher.

In theory, self-publishing is a neutral term, whose only meaning is the one given above.

However, in practice, the term self-publishing is associated with vanity publishing, and the two are sometimes used interchangeably.

For this reason, and because of the rise of alternate funding methods, many independent authors now use the term independent publishing (or indie publishing) to emphasize their creative and business independence and avoid any association with the vanity publishing industry.

Also see: independent publishing, traditional publishing, vanity publishing.