Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts on new Spenser; Houghton and Hachette

This blog has been terrific of late. Forgive me, one and all, for not chipping in more often.

Just finished Robert Parker's latest Spenser novel ("Rough Weather"). I always like starting a new Spenser book. It's kind of like being among old acquaintances again, in some way -- Spenser, Hawk, Susan et al.

It's familiar ground but Parker avoids having it become predictable ground. Don't know how he manages to do that. (Hint: I think it's called talent!)

In case you missed it, I also include here the link to an article in last week's NY Times entitled "Publishing Displays Its Split Personality."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/books/26rich.html?scp=1&sq=Hachette%20Book%20Group&st=cse

The article contrasts two recent announcements from publishers:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has announced its editors "were temporarily not acquiring new books."

On the refreshing other hand, though, Hachette Book Group is giving bonuses equal to one week's pay to all its employees.

Analyzed somewhat in the article, but not fully answered, is how a publisher like Houghton Mifflin can stay in business, let alone profit, if it stops acquiring titles.

But it would be nice to work for Hachette these days, wouldn't it?

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