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News has come through a number of sources that Simon & Schuster is going to start a self-publishing business called Archway via Author Solutions (which is own by Penguin). For prices ranging from $1,999 to $14,999, S&S will print a book (including, presumably, its imprimature) and provide a variety of promotional and other services (depending on how much you're willing to pay).

According to an article in paidContent:

Archway is offering services like a “concierge” — “a dedicated publishing guide who will coordinate each step of the book production process” — and access to a speakers bureau. Archway titles will be included in the booksellers’ catalog Edelweiss. And Archway authors “will have the opportunity to create high-quality videos and book trailers for distribution” to the online video networks that Simon & Schuster works with, like Roku and Blinkx. Simon & Schuster is not hiring any staff; services like the “concierge” will be provided by Author Solutions.

Publishers are, of course, desperate to find new sources of income, especially for their print divisions; and self-publishing has become a more popular (and more accepted) way to go. According to the article, Archway will concentrate on print (as opposed to other online services like Smashwords, which offer ebook publishing for little or no cost to the author). It will be interesting to watch how well this does -- and how advocates of more traditional publishing will react. 

I spent a minute or two looking around the Author Solutions site, and did notice that, in its Author Services section -- and in its Author Learning Center, which offers advice to its customers -- nothing is said about editing services. Too bad.

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