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Penguin invests in self-publishing with Author Solutions acquisition

Penguin is set to take a big step forward in what it describes as “perhaps the fastest-growing area of the publishing economy” with the acquisition of U.S.-based Author Solutions, one of the world’s largest self-publishing service providers.

Penguin’s owner, Pearson, acquired the self-publishing company, which had revenues of about $100 million in 2011, for $116 million in cash. According to a press release, Author Solutions will “continue to be run as a separate business” and will be “integrated into Penguin’s back office and technology infrastructure.”

In a press release, Penguin CEO John Makinson says: Self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry over the past three years. It has provided new outlets for professional writers, a huge increase in the range of books available to readers, and an exciting source of content for publishers such as Penguin.”

Makinson adds: “This acquisition will allow Penguin to participate fully in perhaps the fastest-growing area of the publishing economy and gain skills in customer acquisition and data analytics that will be vital to our future.

Author Solutions has enabled 150,000 authors to release 190,000 titles since it was formed in 2007. The company has about 1,600 employees, most of whom are located in Bloomington, Indiana, and the Philippines.