Myth busting time. “The only legitimate publishing deal is one where an author is paid an advance and royalties.” Ipso facto, it’s only legitimate publishers paying advances and royalties.
Authors should be aware that they always pay for their book to be produced, whether in the lead up to publication (as is the case with us) or post-publication (as is the case with traditional deals).
Authors, by the time your advance is earned out your publisher has made a crazy amount of money. Which is as it should be because with the risk goes the reward.
But whatever the case don’t think for one minute that you’re not paying!