Fri 20 Jul 2012
Way back in April of 2010 – the early days of indie or self-publishing – I did a post likening the NY Publishing Empire to a Castle and indies to rebels, storming the gates. I predicted that the castle walls would fall. It took a little over 2 years, but now it’s happened.
This week, Penguin’s parent company bought the self-publishing company,’Author Solutions.
What did Penguin’s CEO say about the acquistion of the company that has helped 150,000 authors self-publish?
In a conference call from Author Solutions headquarters in Bloomington, Ind., Penguin CEO John Makinson and ASI CEO Kevin Weiss hailed the acquisition as the “mainstreaming” of self-publishing and outlined a plan to “ develop a global strategy and quickly identify new opportunities,” according to Makinson.
The corporate bigwigs acknowledge all the free self-publishing companies like Smashwords and Lulu, but say that “Every writer has different needs,” and Makinson agreed, noting that self-publishing is “causing more people to think about writing as a career. There’s a new category of professional author that will be more attracted to the Author Solutions model rather than the free model.”
Author Solutions now has contracts with 6 publishers which will allow client/publishers to offer self-publishing services under their own brands. Penguin/Pearson think the Author Solutions acquisition has created a “new trade book publishing business model.”
Big, huge, mega thank yous to Smashwords. Indies alone could never have taken down the castle. I believe that the article and the honchos’ statements about Mark Coker’s not-so-little company, prove that Smashwords led the charge in taking down the castle walls so that all authors could enter. Penguin/Pearson want to do what Smashwords does – except they want to get paid for it. (Think about that. Money should always flow to the author.) Still, the big publisher acknowledged that Smashwords is a force in the industry and that Smashwords (over 5 billion words published) has skin in the game. Just a couple of years ago, the NY majors thought they owned the game.
If anyone needs further proof that the castle walls disappeared this week, I point out that Publisher’s Weekly, the insider source for all things publishing, titled their article: “Self-publishing Goes Big Time.”