Ever since Penguin bought purchased the self-publishing company Author Solutions, the industry has been abuzz talking about what it means for self-published authors.
Author Carla King examined the acquisition and and compared the service to other tools out there in the industry. She wrote about her findings on PBS:
Should you consider purchasing ASI’s iUniverse, Author House, Xlibris, or another package? Besides the ISBN issue, it is very difficult for a committed do-it-yourselfer like myself to be convinced. I’ve never taken a hands-off approach to publishing, and I like to work directly with editors, designers, and formatters, instead of throwing it into a mill and seeing which cubicle it lands in. I may get lucky with a riffed senior editor from Random House, but I might also be working with a recent college graduate. But the bigger question may be, will Penguin provide a much-needed publisher’s touch to organize the confusing array of products and soften ASI’s hard-sell approach?
Smashwords founder Mark Coker criticized the acquisition in a recent essay. He argued that Author Solutions earns most of its money selling author services to writers instead of helping writers find readers.