It's not that hard anymore, at least if you approach it from a self publishing route. If you write what you want to publish, there's nothing to stop you publishing it without any financial outlay, though there are plenty of options for spending money, even if it's just on proofs, editing or cover art. I went through Createspace, and published a book of poetry and fantasy short stories as a paperback, then through there as a Kindle book. The only thing I paid for was a colour proof of my book to make sure the images were printing okay and the Photoshop brushes I used in my illustrations. Then once published, copies I bought for myself and others. I'm working on editing the next one which is the first book in a fantasy series. If you have the writing and you're sure it's fine to publish, you can do it.