With the sale of Courier Corp. to R.R. Donnelley still on track to be completed within the next few months, the company has sold its self-publishing unit, FastPencil, back to company cofounder Steve Wilson. Courier acquired FastPencil in April 2013 but the self-publishing platform had trouble finding its niche as part of the printer/publisher.
In reporting earnings for the fiscal year ended September 27, 2014, Courier said FastPencil had an operating loss for the year and Courier took a $6 million writedown on the purchase. Courier paid $5 million for FastPencil and the deal included provisions for additional payouts if the company hit certain performance targets.
Terms of Wilson’s repurchase of FastPencil were not disclosed. Wilson told PW it "made sense to get the company back," after the Courier acquisition by Donnelley. He said Fast Pencil has recently partnered with Books-A-Million to launch BAM! Publishing, a BAM-branded self-publishing platform. Fast Pencil licenses its software platform and also has partnerships with B&N and EverNote, the note taking and archiving software service. Wilson said the FastPencil authoring, editing and self-publishing platform has a "few thousand" titles and about 125,000 authors.