I’m in Italy and when I started writing I didn’t know that you can publish a book without to pay to the Publishing House. I never published before 2009 and I never payed anyone to publish a book of mine. I write from more than 20 years.
From the 2009 I started to look for a Publisher, but I understood that you have to afford too much compromises to be published. You have to know the Publisher personally, he/she has to be a your great friend, maybe your best friend, just so you can have a chance, or you have to pay 2000-3000 euros to a Big Literature Agency to be accepted from a Publisher.