Pearson, the corporate parent of Penguin Group publishers, announced plans to acquire self-publishing company Author Solutions, Inc (ASI) from Bertram Capital for $116 million in cash. According to the company, ASI earned $100 million in revenues last year, expanding by 12 percent the last three years.
Penguin has been getting into the self-publishing market for the past couple of years. The acquisition further solidifies Penguin’s push into the self-publishing market. According to a Pearson press release, “Penguin will gain access to ASI’s expertise in online marketing, consumer analytics, professional services and user-generated content. ASI will benefit from Penguin’s design, editorial and sales skills, and its strong international presence as it looks to expand outside the US.” Digital Book World has more about the terms of the acquisition: “Neither company will be laying off employees or executives. ‘We are looking at upsizing, not downsizing. There are no plans to alter the strategy, to lay off anyone. This is an opportunity for growth in our view,’ [Penguin CEO John] Makinson said.”
In November 2011, the publisher’s online writing community Book Country launched a self-publishing platform. Shortly thereafter, well-known self-published author J.A. Konrath criticized Penguin’s platform, claiming that the publisher kept too high of a royalty.
(Via Jeremy Greenfield).