Monday, December 1, 2008

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Not Acquiring Manuscripts

1st\NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

By Leon Neyfakh\The New York Observor

Publishers Weekly reports that editors at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have been instructed to stop acquiring books until further notice ... the freeze is not permanent, though no date has been set for when it might lift.

"In this case it’s a symbol of doing things smarter; it’s not an indicator of the end of literature," he is quoted as saying in the PW item.

Whether or not the policy extends to books written by authors who already publish with HMH— or whether they're all going to have to find new publishers once they finish the books they've already been paid for—is unclear.

Reached for comment, Mr. Blumenfeld said he wants to stress that HMH will continue acquiring "some" manuscripts, but that projects will be subject to more scrutiny than before. "We still have an acquisitions committee," he said. "They're still considering manuscripts." Mr. Blumenfeld nevertheless referred to the new policy as a "freeze."

He said that "anything that's already in the pipeline that's already been contracted for or paid for will be published," he said.

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