Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HMH Places "Temporary" Halt on Acquistions

I don't know how long this will last or what it really means, but this rather public announcement from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a bit alarming. They've asked their editors to... well, to stop buying books. Considering that's what editors are there for, this is troubling. I know that buying freezes happen during tough times, but I don't think it's usually announced publicly like this.

Here's Publishers Weekly talking about it.

And here's a more in-depth piece just out from the New York Times.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard about this somewhere else today, and it's something I've been fearing for a bit. I'm just hoping no one panics. A little prudence, maybe, rather than stopping acquisitions outright. Wait six months. Economies go down, and economies go up. And Obama's on the way... A change in government just when you need it most. Three cheers for democracy?

My best, as always,
Bryan Russell

5:07 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Three cheers for democracy, indeed.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to have heard my parents describe the Depression, the soup kitchens (no food stamps, folks). Cuba survived the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. NO oil or gasoline anymore. No pesticides for their farms. Now, most of Cuba's agriculture is organic and permaculture.

If anyone can adapt, fantasy/science fiction writers can. I'm going to keep honing my skills but not give up my day job. If it goes (very likely) I'll continue writing. We are building a greenhouse, adding wood stove, solar panels next, gardens and considering chickens.

Ah! A whole new source of ideas for plots and characters.

If I have to, our share my stories around a campfire instead of on paper. The need to hear or read stories, especially during times of crisis, will not fade away so easily I think.

5:19 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


"A greenhouse, adding wood stove, solar panels next, gardens and considering chickens?"

You have indeed jump forward (or is that backward) from this publishing/economy story. Yikes!

Oh, not a big yikes, though. I love greenhouses. My family (in the UK) has several awful big ones.

Wood stove? Yep, in our house in Massachusetts, at least. Oh... love that woodstove. We did go a winter using no heat other than the stove. Toasty.

Solar panels? Again, my family in the UK is ahead of us. Yep, even with all those clouds and rain. Sun gets through.

Gardens? Check. Got that.

Chickens, you say? In our area of MA (I know, but you don't live in MA right now! Still, I own a house there!) having chickens is almost... yuppie.

I'm just saying... what you need is a goat.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! One goat leads to two goats...oh dear. That's called a farm I think. Sigh. Well it may come to that.

Our present financial challenges are likely to rearrange things a bit, but I think it will come out okay. I always wondered how the Star Trek commerce system worked so that everyone seemed to be fed and clothed and still had time to go explore the galaxy.

I once ran across a Wiki page on science fiction commerce and worldbuilding...which I can't find again at the moment. Rats.

Anyway, the page listed all the names for money used in science fiction stories. If anyone finds it, post it here maybe (if ok with David).

10:17 AM  
Blogger Corby Kennard said...

Well, that's not good.

2:10 AM  

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