. . . PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books.HMH is known as an educational publisher, releasing textbooks, fiction and non-fiction for young people.
Josef Blumenfeld, v-p of communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts” across its trade and reference divisions. The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change”. . .
The action by the highly leveraged HMH may also be as much about the company's need to cut costs in a tight credit market.as about the current economic slowdown.
While Blumenfeld dismissed the severity of the policy, a number of agents said they have never heard of a publisher going so far as to instruct its editors to stop acquiring. “I’ve been in the business a long time and at a couple of houses I worked at, when things were bad, we were asked to cut back,” said agent Jonathon Lazear. “But I’ve never heard of anything so public”. . .
Monday, November 24, 2008
A Publisher Stops Buying Books
Publishers Weekly issued an Alert this afternoon. Here is an excerpt: