When online book retailer Amazon decided to venture into traditional publishing more than two years ago, it staged a coup of sorts by winning over long-time industry professional Larry Kirshbaum to head up their operations. Now, with eleven distinct imprints and a staff of editors nearly thirty-strong, Kirshbaum is leaving Amazon Publishing and returning to his former role as a literary agent.
In an official statement, Amazon wrote, “Larry joined us two and a half years ago and has been instrumental in launching our New York office, including our New Harvest partnership, and establishing our children’s book business. We’re sorry to see him go, and wish him the best of luck as he returns to life as a literary agent.”
Some sources don’t see this as a cause for alarm where Amazon’s different imprints, each based on a specific genre or market, are concerned, as the established market for niche-specific titles continues to flourish. What remains to be seen will be Amazon Publishing’s success with a still-elusive market, brick-and-mortar bookstores.
To fill Kirshbaum’s esteemed shoes, Amazon will pass a large portion of the responsibilities to Daphne Durham, who began with Amazon Publishing in 1999 and has already taken some of the responsibilities within the company from Kirshbaum.