AuthorHouse, the Bloomington, Ind-based self-publisher backed by the private equity firm Bertram Capital, has acquired competitor iUniverse. iUniverse president Susan Driscoll said she and Bryan Smith, president and CEO of AuthorHouse and parent company Author Solutions, had been talking about working together for several years and that with the changes in the market felt the time was now right. Both companies were launched in the late 1990s (iUniverse’s original backers included Barnes & Noble), and since that time new competitors such as Lulu.com and Amazon’s CreateSpace have emerged.
"We’ve both seen our core businesses mature, but there remain lots of opportunities in related areas," Driscoll said. The two companies also are aimed at different parts of the self publishing market, with iUniverse fostering the concept of a "farm team" for authors by offering lots of editorial services, while AuthorHouse has been dedicated to giving authors more control over their works. "Our customers don’t overlap," Driscoll said. She said the two companies are still looking for ways to work together, but was confident that offering a broader array of services to more authors was the best route to growth.
AuthorHouse and iUniverse both have three offices, and there are no plans to close any locations, including iUniverse’s New York site where most of the editorial services are located. At present there are no plans to trim either company’s title output; iUniverse publishes about 400 books a month and AuthorHouse does between 500 and 600.