It’s the little three-digit number that people obsess over as if it’s the final grade in the school of life. It affects the interest rate of loans you may get - or even if you qualify for a loan in the first place. Nowadays, it can even affect things not normally associated with “credit” such as insurance and utilities.
As recently as twenty years ago, if people wanted to publish a book, they would either have to convince a traditional publisher to publish their book, or shell out hundreds or thousands of dollars in order for a self-publisher to print their book for them. Some of these old self-publishing companies still exist - such as Morris Publishing, who, according to their website, charge around $5 a book for a 40-page book with a 25-book minimum. Others, such as the infamous Vantage Press, went out of business a few years ago and were even sued by the authors they were supposed to be supporting in 1990.