Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt update

While I could not get HMH to confirm or deny Jane Yolen's claim that the children's division was not bound by the no-submissions policy announced last week, I see from a Hillel Italie AP story that Joe-the-spokesman is apparently talking to someone. In a report of today's resignation of adult trade publisher Becky Saletan, Italie also wrote:

Blumenfeld has offered conflicting statements, saying the publisher of authors such as Philip Roth and Guenter Grass had "temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts," but later acknowledging the policy didn't apply to education and children's books and a mystery book imprint.
I don't know where or when this later acknowledgment was made.

4 comments:

JLH said...

And so our old beacons' lights are dimmed. In this world of corporate mayhem, I have been holding a candle for good old Houghton-Mifflin. What will be next? I will hear that F, Klaeber's edition of "Beowulfr" was a fraud? That baked beans and cod are no longer good to eat? At least I can have faith in the Horn Book: something's still good in the Back Bay.

Anonymous said...

I talked to HMH friends post-announcement, and they had already known it didn't apply to children's. They also said it wasn't super-binding for adult, either, but that they were trying to trim future lists after combining Houghton with Harcourt. Perhaps PW making the story a BIT bigger than it is.

janeyolen said...

It has to do with being massively overleveraged and needing to make a show of Doing Something.

However I would NOT be surprised if sometime down the road--months, a year or two maybe--HMH starts selling off pieces of itself. It simply gobbled too much stuff at once.

Jane

Melinda said...

Hey, did you see this just now?

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6619516.html

More fun for us all. Arrgh.