I have four published books.
I published the four books in what is considered a Vanity Press. This is simply a publisher that asks for the payments upfront, instead of offering you a contract or publishing deal. There are pros and cons to this.
Pros: I got four books published with real ISBN numbers and out in real books stores, online, ebook format, etc.
Cons: A lot of publishers don’t consider this “publishing”. It is very expensive. You have to do your own marketing for the most part. They accept pretty much anything, even if it’s not that great.
Do I regret doing it? No, not at all. It gave me the confidence to take up writing seriously and to think of it as something I am good at. I still want a publishing deal. I did realize after publishing and then trying to go through an agent for a publishing deal, that my books had some flaws that I wish someone had pointed out to me. Nothing can be done now. I don’t think I will ever make all that money back but I can say I am a published author!