The firm, which was owned by Betram Capital, allows any would-be writer to publish, market and sell both printed and electronic books and will bolster Pearson’s position in what chief executive John Makinson described as “perhaps the fastest-growing area of the publishing economy”.
For many years, traditional publishers were dismissive about self-published books, regarding them largely as vanity projects with little or no quality control. However, an increasing number of authors are bypassing established publishing houses with considerable success.
Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic novel which became the first book to sell more than one million copies on Amazon’s Kindle e-reading device, started life as a self-published title. Last year, the number of self-published books surged 60pc to 211,000 titles.
Since its formation in 2007, Author Solutions has enabled around 150,000 writers to publish their work.
“Self-publishing has moved into the mainstream of our industry over the past three years. It has provided new outlets for professional writers,» said Mr Makinson. He added that Author Solutions would help Penguin Books to “gain skills on customer acquisition and data analystics that will be vital to [its] future”.