November 27 – December 4, 2008 Edition

HMH Temporarily
Stops Manuscript

NEW YORK, NY/Authorlink News/11/26/08—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, world’s largest publisher of educational materials for pre-K–12 schools, has confirmed that it has asked its editors to temporarily stop buying books. PW reported earlier this week that Josef Blumenfeld, vice president of communications, said the company has temporarily halted manuscript acquisitions across its trade and reference divisions. He said “We have turned off the spigot, but we have a very robust pipeline.” He added that the decision does not signal the end of literature, but rather a good business decision in the face of the economic downturn. He also added that the policy is not a permanent one.

Some speculated that HMH needs to cut costs in a tight credit market.

Earlier this month, HM H Chairman and CEO Tony Lucki said, “Since acquiring Harcourt, we have undertaken a great deal of integration activity to become one company. As we approach the one-year anniversary as a single company, we are now shifting from integration to transformation—transforming our business and processes to enable Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to drive highly strategic product development, marketing, and sales, and to better respond to the demands and opportunities of the global educational marketplace.”

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s K–12 division combines five former stand-alone divisions into a single, unified business that is able to provide unsurpassed educational materials across the continuum of education. “By combining those five former divisions—School Publishers, Holt McDougal, Supplemental Publishers, Heinemann, and International Publishers,” Mr. Lucki continued, “we make a major transformation into a product-driven, market-responsive company, while achieving substantial operating efficiencies.”

Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is a global education leader and the world’s largest publisher of educational materials for pre-K–12 schools. The Company, which originated back in 1832, publishes a comprehensive set of best-in-class educational solutions, ranging from research-based textbook programs to instructional technology to standards-based assessments for students and educators. The Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers.