From the press release;
The popularity of 'self-publishing' programs and tools is exploding (by accounts Lulu.com is the market leader) and the market spans providers of book publishing tools for the individual like Blurb.com through publishing services companies to quasi-traditional publishing operations.
“There’s no question that publishing is increasingly becoming more author-centric,” said Susan Driscoll, president and CEO of iUniverse. “We have always been focused on providing authors with the publishing expertise required for professional results. Now, through Author Solutions, we have a terrific opportunity to provide all authors—both self-published and traditionally published—with the broadest range of services to help them achieve their individual goals for success.”
“At AuthorHouse, we have built our brand by making service to the author our first priority,” said Bryan Smith, president and CEO of Author Solutions and AuthorHouse, “and iUniverse has done a great job leveraging their traditional publishing experience to make authors successful. By bringing the two biggest forces in self-publishing together, we will draw on the unique strengths of both brands and offer an even better suite of publishing services for authors.”
Amazon.com has added print on demand and self-publishing capabilities over the past two years to become a real player and competitive threat to the incumbant companies. A deal like this was expected and there may be more consolidations on the way. By some estimates the 'self-publishing' market is estimated to be over $1.obillion. Besides Amazon other big companies such as Hewlett Packard, Xerox, Microsoft and Kodak are potential and likely competitors.
In my view, this is the area where fundamental change will come in publishing industry not at the top of the pile: There is too much in-bred desire to maintain the status quo at those heady heights for real change to happen with any great alacrity.