Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

QUICK TAKES

No 'freeze' at publishing firm

November 27, 2008|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reports of a buying freeze at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is news to the publisher of one its imprints.

"I don't work at the Harcourt offices so I called to find out if the story was true," Otto Penzler, whose Otto Penzler Books specializes in mystery books and releases six to eight titles per year, said Wednesday.

Penzler was referring to media stories alleging that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) had temporarily stopped acquiring new books.

"I was told that it had been blown out of proportion and that there was simply some belt-tightening going on. I asked, 'Does this mean I can keep buying books?' 'Absolutely,' I was told."

The book world was stunned Monday by a posting on the website of Publishers Weekly that HMH had "temporarily stopped" buying books, the latest shock resulting from the economic crisis. HMH is the publisher of Philip Roth and Nobel laureate Gunter Grass.

HMH spokesman Josef Rosenfeld confirmed Wednesday that education and children's books were still being acquired, did not dispute Penzler's assertions and added that the "right" book, of any kind, would still be considered. He said talk of a freeze had been taken out of context.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|