From The Bookseller:
Penguin Random House has sold its controversial self-publishing division Author Solutions.
Author Solutions, acquired by Pearson in 2012 for $116m (£74m), for integration into Penguin, was sold to an affiliate of Najafi Companies, an Arizona-based private investment firm, on 31st December. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In a note to staff, PRH c.e.o. Markus Dohle said: “We thank the entire Author Solutions team for their hard work and dedication during their time as part of Penguin Random House, and we wish them all the best and much success under the new ownership. With this sale, we reaffirm our focus on consumer book publishing through our 250 imprints worldwide, and our commitment to connecting our authors and their works to readers everywhere.”
The acquisition of Author Solutions by Pearson/Penguin was always controversial, with then Penguin c.e.o. John Makinson having to defend the company against accusations that the buy would muddy its brand image.
Makinson said at the time: “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.”
Link to the rest at The Bookseller
As PG and many others have observed, the decision to acquire Author Solutions in the first place disclosed a lot about Big Publishing and its attitude toward authors.