Authors who pay to see their work in print can hold their heads up high: self-publishing has shed its shady past and is now a respectable business, an academic has claimed. Alison Baverstock, an author who leads Kingston University's MA in publishing, said the industry should be renamed "bespoke publishing" because it has moved so far from the image of "vanity" publishing. Ms Baverstock, who has published 16 books by traditional means, said self-publishing empowered authors previously reliant on agents and publishers. "I've got a memoir I've been sitting on for a while. It's a precious project and I feel very strongly about how I want it to look, which is why self-publishing is the best way to produce it," she said.