Pearson, owner of the Penguin group, has announced that it is buying self-publishing company Author Solutions for $116m. The deal is being touted by Pearson as an opportunity for Penguin to become a central player in the burgeoning self-publishing industry.
Founded in 2007, Author Solutions has enabled more than 150,000 authors to get their books to market. The potential for user-generated content to propel the company to further growth is clearly seen by Pearson and Penguin as a chance for them to gain a foothold in a part of the publishing industry that is seen by many as a challenge to traditional publishers.
Author Solutions has been one of the most successful self-publishing companies, with growth rates of around 12% per year. The company reportedly generated revenues of around $100m in 2011, thanks to its three main areas of interest: publishing, marketing and distribution.