Pearson pays $116m for self-publishing firm ASI
PUBLISHING group Pearson, which owns the 'Financial Times', said it has bought a US company that specialises in self-publishing.
The cash deal will see Pearson, which also controls Penguin publishers, pay $116m (€94m) to a private equity group for Author Solutions (ASI).
ASI specialises in self-publishing, one of the more prosperous areas of publishing, boosted by the rise of ebooks.
In a statement, Pearson said ASI had "enabled 150,000 authors to publish, market and distribute more than 190,000 books in print and electronic formats and benefits from several powerful growth trends including user-generated content, ebooks and digital publishing and marketing technologies.
"Self-publishing is a rapidly-growing segment of the consumer books market. According to Bowker, 211,000 titles were self-published in 2011 in either print or digital form, an increase of almost 60pc on 2010.
"The self-publishing sector has also become an important source of talent and content for the publishing industry, producing several bestselling authors including Lisa Genova, John Locke, Darcie Chan, Amanda Hocking, Bronnie Ware and E L James," the firm added.
"The acquisition gives Penguin a leading position in this fast-growing segment of the publishing industry and brings significant opportunity for the two companies to collaborate."
Penguin chief executive John Makinson said self-publishing had moved into the mainstream in recent years.
"Self-publishing has provided new outlets for professional writers, a huge increase in the range of books available and an exciting source of content for publishers such as Penguin."