January 9, 2009 Article in the Wall Street Journal
Author Solutions Inc., one of the country's biggest print-on-demand publishers, has agreed to acquire rival Xlibris, further consolidating the self-publishing niche. The purchase price wasn't disclosed. Author Solutions, of Bloomington, Ind., operates AuthorHouse and iUniverse and is owned by Bertram Capital Management LLC, a private-equity firm in San Mateo, Calif. Author Solutions estimates that the three publishers together put out 19,000 titles in 2008.
And the bit of news on Lulu isn't promising either, since their quality of product and customer service has been slipping over the last 6 months:
Other rivals in the print-on-demand space include closely held Lulu Enterprises Inc.'s Lulu.com, based in Raleigh, N.C. Last October, Lulu laid off 24 employees, including its president, which equates to nearly 25% of its work force. "It was less about the state of Lulu and more about the economy," said Gail Jordan, a company spokeswoman. "We pared back to ride out the storm. Our company is actually doing well."