- Associated Press - Thursday, July 19, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - One of the world’s biggest publishers, Pearson, has purchased one of the biggest self-publishers.

Pearson announced Thursday that it had acquired Author Solutions Inc. for $116 million. Author Solutions, a Bloomington, Ind.-based company that has released self-published works by some 150,000 authors, will become part of the Pearson-owned Penguin Group (USA).

The success of such self-published writers as E.L. James and Amanda Hocking has encouraged traditional publishers and the online retailer Amazon.com to seek out authors who can build word-of-mouth followings. Penguin chief executive John Makinson said in statement that buying Author Solutions “will allow Penguin to participate fully in perhaps the fastest-growing area of the publishing economy.”