Wordclay.com, an online, bare-bones Do-it-Yourself service for print book publishing owned by Author Solutions, Inc. announced that it will close its virtual doors on December 31.

Like a simplified version of Amazon’s print-on-demand self-publishing company CreateSpace.com or its rival Lulu.com, Wordclay provided “free publishing services for writers who want to take advantage of the DIY authorship approach,” according to its Web site, adding “Wordclay is…focused on providing a simple and independent Internet publishing experience for authors.” Like CreateSpace and Lulu, Wordclay also offered aspiring writers a number of add-on services for various fees.

In its closure statement, the company told writers “The book publishing industry changed since you first registered with Wordclay, and we adapted with it. From 2007 to 2011, e-book sales have at least doubled every year. e-Books are more than a fad; they're here to stay… we invite you to publish for free with Booktango, the DIY e-book publisher from Author Solutions, the makers of Wordclay.

ASI was recently acquired by Penguin for $116 million. The closure of Wordclay is unrelated to the recent acquisition of ASI by Penguin, according to Keith Ogorek, senior v-p of marketing for ASI. Instead, Ogorek told PW that ASI has recognized that among DIY author-publishers, e-publishing is now preferred over print. The decision to migrate its POD self-publishers to DIY self-publishing via Booktango is simply a reflection of today’s DIY market realities.