Self-publishing and vanity publishers have existed in various forms for a very long time. Despite the contrasting views about the pros and cons of this approach, the market for vanity publishing has grown within the writing community, especially for first time authors.
And there’s a reason for that. The traditional publishing model makes it very difficult for new writers to break into the industry. In comparison self-publishing allows anyone who wants to be known as a published author an equal shot at the game.