FastPencil Back in the Hands of Founder Steve Wilson



Courier Corporation, a large US book manufacturer and content management provider, has agreed a deal to sell its self-publishing service provider and writing community FastPencil back to former owner Steve Wilson. Wilson and Michael Ashley founded FastPencil in 2007, but sold it to Courier six years later for $5 million. While outwardly FastPencil has grown — providing the publishing engine and software to power Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, On Demand Books’ SelfEspress, Books-A-Million’s BAM Publishing , and a link up partnership with Evernote — its financial status has been very uncertain. Courier had to absorb losses a year after it purchased FastPencil (a $6 million writedown for the 2014 fiscal year) and the pair have always been curious bedfellows.

With R. R. Donnelley’s takeover of Courier due to be completed later this year in a $261 million deal, Courier never quite seemed to know what to do with its newly acquired self-publishing division, FastPencil.

Certainly one man happy is FastPencil’s founder Steve Wilson who told Publisher’s Weekly that it “made sense to get the company back” when it was clear the R. R. Donnelley acquisition of Courier was going ahead.

FastPencil has published several thousand titles and its writing community numbers about 125,000 authors.


One Comment;

  1. Susan Barringer Wells said:

    Infinity, which has cheated me and others repeatedly has now joined with Fast Pencil , and nothing has changed. Infinity’s Marc Hisland over the years gave excuse after excuse for not sending Royalty statements on time – -or for many months. There were times when he didn’t send a royalty payment for many months, and the latest excuse is that Infinity was merging with FastPencil and we wouldn’t get a statement until March 15 — the last statement WITH A ROYALTY BAL. – received last December. Well March 15 came and went. It’s bad enough that we authors never really know how many books these publishers print and sell – that we are held back 3 months on the measly royalty payments they own up to as being owed, but to just completely disregard the contract and lie again and again, I would advise ANY AUTHOR not to trust a company that has this man working for them or anyone from Infinity for that matter. I have written Mr. Histland, and I have filed a complaint with the BBB – Histland lied that nothing was owed to me despite the fact that II have a statement from December showing a balance due, and I know I have sold at least some books since last September (where the Dec Statement ended). There should be audits of these companies and oversight. Authors BEWARE. Lawsuits are a hassle. Prevention is easier.