Consolidation continues in the self-publishing sector: the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Author Solutions (which already owns AuthorHouse, iUniverse, and Xlibris) has acquired Trafford Publishing. As with its January 2009 acquisition of Xlibris, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As with Xlibris and iUniverse prior to their acquisition, Trafford appears to suffer from relatively few consumer issues. Writer Beware has received no substantive complaints about Trafford over the past few years, and there's not much complaint to be found on the Internet either. Not so for AuthorHouse--something that, post-acquisition, seems also to have become true for iUniverse. Which prompts the question: whither Xlibris and Trafford?
In blogging about the Xlibris acquistion, I wrote the following. It's even more true now:
This new merger is not good news for authors in another sense: it reduces the field of choice. As choices decrease, so does the pressure to compete, and decreased competition does not benefit consumers. While Writer Beware doesn't generally recommend the use of POD self-publishing services, except in certain specific circumstances (see our Print on Demand Self-Publishing Services page for a discussion), we feel that writers who do choose to self-publish are best-served by having the widest possible range of options, in a robustly competitive environment.