Penguin USA will provide the service through its genre-fiction online community, Book Country, which launched in May offering wannabe authors the opportunity to post their work online and receive feedback. With 500 works of romance, science fiction, fantasy, mystery and thriller now online from 4,000 members, and “a small number” of those members having secured literary agents, Penguin has decided to provide “a direct path to publication for those who choose to go the self-publishing route”.
“A growing number of authors simply want to go directly to readers with their books. We respect that new reality and the changed landscape that technology has brought to book publishing,” said Molly Barton, president of Book Country and Penguin’s global digital director. “Self publishing is a trend that isn’t going away.” Penguin’s announcement follows the news last week that Amanda Hocking had become the second self-published writer to sell over 1m ebooks on the Amazon Kindle, after John Locke.