I know we're living in one of the worst economies in U.S. history (money is tight for just about everyone), and that's the main reason I decided to launch the $199 publishing option via MindStir Media. Writers with very little income should be able to publish too! Did you happen to see the announcement on Yahoo! News? Here it is. The full $199 is required upfront in order to have your book published, but think of it this way: You'd only need to set aside about $17 per month ... Now that's mind-stirring.
(Keep in mind that the $199 publishing option doesn't include design, editing, e-book, audio book (etc.) services, so make sure you spend lots of time creating the most eye-catching cover you can (packaging, remember?) and revise, revise, revise and get an English professor or journalist or literary friend to edit your entire manuscript (avoid the second biggest self-publishing mistake, remember?))