Self-publishing is a booming multibillion-dollar market. In 2015, author-published books accounted for 18% of the entire book market in the U.S., and Amazon published 85% of them.
So I wasn’t surprised when Quartz reported, “Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the world, is chopping off its self-publishing arm. The company said Jan. 5 that it has sold Author Solutions—the self-publishing author-tools platform that it bought in 2012—to an unnamed affiliate of US private equity firm Najafi Companies for an undisclosed sum.”
From The Financial Times: “Self-publishing has been growing rapidly, with more authors designing and selling their books without the backing of a traditional publishing house. Author Solutions has sought to capitalise by offering a variety of services to independent authors, including ‘web-optimised’ press releases for $1,299 each.”
In other words, they were accused of trying to make money off of their authors rather than for their authors, and the company was subject to frequent complaints as well as a couple of lawsuits.
Whether due to tanking market share or negative publicity, Quartz notes “Penguin Random House’s exit from self-publishing is also an admission of defeat: The giant self-publishing market essentially now falls largely to Amazon.”
Contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation to discuss how our media relations services can help with your self-published book’s publicity needs.