At the glorious bookfair, I again mentioned to several conference attendees (whom I didn’t know) that I was suprised at how generous it was given the recession.
“It ought to be, the publishing companies have plenty of money,” was more or less the reply I got each time.
The thing you need to know, is that could not be further from the truth. Book publishing is really suffering, just like the rest of retail. Scholastic, in fact, was just bought out by another company. Magazines, too, are going out of business left and right (say goodbye to Mary Englebreit Home Companion, fans). There are several publishing companies hovering on the brink.
In fact, check out this tidbit I copied from Editorial Anonymous.
It’s been clear for months that it will be a not-so-merry holiday season for publishers, but at least one house has gone so far as to halt acquisitions. PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books.
Josef Blumenfeld, v-p of communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts.” The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change.”
I encourage you to do the same. Book publishing is NOT a huge profitmaking enterprise; the people who are in it are not in it for the money, but because they love books just as much as we do. So let’s show them. Feed an author, save a publishing company,
BUY BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!