Penguin’s Book Country Makes Changes, Adds Features, More to Come

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Responding to a changing self-publishing landscape, including Pearson’s acquisition of leading self-publishing services provider Author Solutions, Penguin’s Book Country workshopping and self-publishing community has made some changes and added new features, including a free ebook creation, publication and distribution tool. It has also raised the royalty rate that it offers authors to 85% of net sales, up from 70%.

Book Country had taken criticism from self-published authors for charging authors for publishing services and for the percent of revenues that it takes after the book goes on sale. Author Solutions, now a sister company to Book Country, has also faced similar criticism.

The writer community and self-publishing platform will also now offer an online editor service that will help authors with their ebook formatting issues. The self-publishing tool will now also be open to all kinds of writers, not just writers of genre fiction, which the tool was focused on before. The writing community, however, will still be limited to genre work. Book Country will now distribute to more retailers and also be abandoning its print self-publishing capabilities.

Developers from Author Solutions helped with changes, said Molly Barton, Book Country president and Penguin global digital director. They were uniquely positioned in the Pearson empire to develop a self-publishing platform due to their experience working on ASI’s tools.

Book Country will continue to evolve throughout the year, Barton told Digital Book World, “We have big plans for the community.”

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