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Courier Acquires FastPencil

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

Advanced Content Management and Self-Publishing Platform

NORTH CHELMSFORD, Mass. -- Courier Corporation, one of America’s leading innovators in book manufacturing and content management, today announced that it has acquired FastPencil, Inc., a developer of end-to-end, cloud-based content management technology. A startup headquartered in Campbell, California, FastPencil serves authors and publishers with full-featured, open-platform solutions spanning content, workflow, marketing and distribution. It also provides simple automated systems to help self-publishers get to market quickly and effectively in both print and e-book form, including the technology behind Barnes & Noble’s new NOOK Press™, introduced earlier this month.

With its FastPencil acquisition, Courier builds on its leadership in content management and customization for educational publishers while bringing a comparable offering to a broader market. Since 2010, the combination of proprietary software and state-of-the-art digital printing technology has made Courier Digital Solutions a nationwide leader in the production of textbooks customized to the specific needs of individual professors, courses and institutions. The FastPencil platform brings a similar degree of flexibility and control to general trade publishers, established authors, and the rapidly expanding universe of self-publishers. At the time of its acquisition by Courier, FastPencil had relationships with more than 60,000 self-publishing content creators involving over 50,000 active projects.

“FastPencil is both a great fit for our existing customer base and a superb means of entry into one of the fastest-growing segments of our industry,” said Courier Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James F. Conway III. “Our current publishing customers will appreciate the extra options presented by FastPencil’s cloud-based collaborative platform, intuitive design and development tools for both print and e-books, and integrated use of social media at every stage from concept to distribution. And self-publishers, who are already taking advantage of FastPencil’s easy-to-use technology and licensing expertise, will gain tremendous added value on the print side through Courier’s ability to deliver top-quality books at attractive prices, on short order and in virtually any run length.”

For FastPencil, the agreement also means access to Courier’s nationwide publishing sales force and relationships with thousands of retailers, from major booksellers to museums, crafts shops and gift stores. “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Courier,” said FastPencil co-founder and CEOSteve Wilson. “In doing so, we are not only gaining a world-class print partner, but also enabling our authors to reach out to a far wider audience and increase their potential sales by an order of magnitude.

“We expect this combination to be attractive to more and more self-publishers, and Courier’s resources and perspective will be a vital asset as we scale up,” added Wilson. “In addition, by coupling FastPencil’s next-generation Silicon Valley technology to Courier’s long-standing presence and reputation in the major publishing centers in the eastern United States, we expect comparable synergies on behalf of the larger customers of both companies.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.


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