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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Kirshbaum’

Larry Kirshbaum to Leave Amazon, Daphne Durham to Take Over

amazonpublishingLarry Kirshbaum, the publisher of Amazon Publishing, is leaving his post on January 17, 2014 and will be replaced by Editor-in-Chief Daphne Durham, according to reports.

Digital Book World has more:

“We can confirm that Larry Kirshbaum is leaving Amazon on January 17,” the spokesperson said. “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

GigaOM has also reported that Amazon Publishing is closing its NYC office. While Amazon denied that they were shutting their offices in New York in a statement, the blog pointed out that Durham will be based on the company’s Seattle office. Amazon opened the office in 2011 to be in the same town as other major publishers and literary agencies.

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E L James Is Publishers Weekly’s Person of the Year

Today E L James became the first author ever named Publishers Weekly‘s Person of the Year, an annual award given to publishing leaders “shaping and, sometimes, transforming, the publishing industry.”

As part of the award, James will get a cover story and interview in the magazine. She joins a list of winners that includes David Shanks, Larry Kirshbaum, Jeff Bezos and Len Riggio.

Co-editorial director Jim Milliot explained the choice: “From boosting sales of print books through bookstores to putting a spotlight on a genre that had received little publicity, E.L. James’ impact on various parts of the book business cannot be overstated … She is well deserving of our Person of the Year award.”

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Amazon Publishing Hysteria: Fact or Fiction?

Journalists love to write about how Amazon Publishing will destroy the book business, but a Nation story about “The Amazon Effect” offered a more measured perspective.

In the essay, Yale University Press executive editor-at-large Steve Wasserman looked at the ways Amazon has already succeeded, as well as the places where it has yet to prove itself. The essay noted some publishers “professed little anxiety” about the bookseller’s publishing arm, headed by Larry Kirshbaum. Check it out:

It remains to be seen, however, whether spending a reported $800,000 to acquire Penny Marshall’s Hollywood memoirs is ultimately profitable; a number of the publishers I spoke with thought not and professed little anxiety at Amazon’s big-foot approach. They are not inclined to join the hysteria that largely greeted Kirshbaum’s defection, feeling that a recent Bloomberg Businessweek cover story depicting a book enveloped by flames had exaggerated by several orders of magnitude the actual threat posed by Amazon’s new venture. If Amazon wants to burn the book business, as the magazine’s headline blared, publishing books the old-fashioned way struck them as a peculiar way of going about it. Was there really a “secret plot to destroy literature,” as the magazine alleged? It seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

Why Literary Agents Like Amazon Publishing

Bloomberg Businessweek unveiled a cover story about Larry Kirshbaum today, studying the former literary agent and publisher at Amazon Publishing. The front cover will feature flaming imagery and the headline: “Amazon Wants to Burn the Book Business.”

The article called Kirshbaum “Amazon’s hit man,” running anonymous quotes from spooked traditional publishing executives. These provocative elements aside, the article offered some insight into Amazon’s influence in the world of literary agents.

Here’s an excerpt: “As [Kirshbaum] began to work on Amazon’s behalf last summer, agents, at least, were excited, because getting deep-pocketed Amazon into the game of bidding for books could translate into larger advances. ‘I want to do business with Larry wherever he is,’ says agent Scott Waxman, who sold Amazon the Bob Knight book. ‘Do I think this is something that would make the Big Six publishers uncomfortable? Yes, with a big capital Y.’”

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Distribute Amazon Books

Amazon has struck a new deal to distribute its books outside of its popular online store. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s brand new New Harvest imprint will now publish “all of Amazon Publishing’s New York-based imprint’s adult titles in print and distribute them in North America outside of the Amazon.com platform.”

When Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group launches its inaugural list next fall, it will include books by Tim Ferriss, Penny Marshall, Deepak Chopra and James Franco. Last year Houghton Mifflin Harcourt mounted a major restructuring.

Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group publisher Larry Kirshbaum had this statement: “Our goal has been, and remains, to introduce authors to as many readers as possible … This new agreement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt enables us to broaden our distribution and get our books into more readers’ hands.”

Deepak Chopra & Sanjiv Chopra Land Major Deal with Amazon

Deepak Chopra and his brother Sanjiv Chopra have sold their memoir to Amazon’s New York City publishing imprint in a major ($500,000 or higher) deal. Brotherhood: A Tale of Faith, Big Dreams, and the Power of Persistence.

Trident Media Group chairman Robert Gottlieb negotiated the deal with Amazon’s Larry Kirshbaum and David Moldawer. Gottlieb added: “I am delighted that Amazon, Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra are in business together in a major book deal that is a game-changer for the publishing industry.”

This is Trident’s second major deal with Amazon. Last month, Amazon reportedly paid $800,000 for a memoir from Penny Marshall, the Laverne & Shirley star and director.

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Timothy Ferriss Signs with Amazon Publishing

Bestselling author Timothy Ferriss has signed with Amazon Publishing, the first big deal for the new Amazon imprint led by former agent Larry Kirshbaum.

The 4-Hour Chef is scheduled for April 2012, applying Ferriss’ strategies from The 4-Hour Body to food in a “a practical but unusual guide to mastering food and cooking.” Stephen Hanselman of LevelFiveMedia negotiated the deal. If you want to use Ferriss’ promotional techniques, check out our interview: How Timothy Ferriss Hit the Amazon Bestseller List.

Ferriss explained his move in the release: “My decision to collaborate with Amazon Publishing wasn’t just a question of which publisher to work with … It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace. My readers are migrating irreversibly into digital, and it made perfect sense to work with Amazon to try and redefine what is possible.  This is a chance to really show what the future of books looks like, and to deliver a beautiful experience to my readers, who always come first.”

Julia Cheiffetz Named Editorial Director at Amazon’s New York Office

Julia Cheiffetz has been named editorial director of Amazon’s brand new New York City-based publishing imprint. She will start on August 1st.

In a memo to staff, publisher Larry Kirshbaum explained the hire: “Julia’s sharp editorial sensibility and devotion to her authors, combined with her passion for new technology, makes her the perfect choice. She offers a unique blend of an entrepreneurial mind-set built upon a strong belief in the bedrock values of traditional literary and commercial publishing.”

Previously, Cheiffetz worked as a senior editor at Harper, working on titles that included 5th Avenue, 5 AM by Sam Wasson, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, and How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fish. She spent six years at Random House and also worked at HarperStudio.

Larry Kirshbaum Named Publisher at Amazon General-Interest Imprint

Agent Larry Kirshbaum has been named publisher of Amazon’s newly formed general-interest imprint. Kirshbaum will begin his new role on July 5th at the imprint’s New York City offices.

According to ereads.com, Kirshbaum’s imprint will publish business, general nonfiction, literary, commercial, and young-adult fiction in both print and digital formats. Earlier this year, Amazon announced the launch of its fourth and fifth imprints, Montlake Romance and Thomas & Mercer for mysteries and thrillers.

Kirshbaum served as the head of Time Warner Book Group until 2005 and more recently operated LKJ Literary Management. The Wall Street Journal had this quote from Kirshbaum: “I was trying to find a way to do some publishing as an agent, and I was talking to various people to learn how an agent could best be a publisher as well. In the end, I realized it was cleaner to do this working for a company totally committed to digital publishing and that has the resources and structure to make this successful.” (via Sarah Weinman)

How Publishers Will Cope with Amazon’s Monopoly

Mike_Shatzkin_selfphoto_iPhone_090214.JPGAt Digital Book World this morning, Mike Shatzkin quizzed his panel of publishing thinkers about the Amazon (AMZN) hold over the industry. “Amazon has 80 or 90 percent of the book buying [market] online and 80 or 90 percent of the ebooks [market]. Those are the only parts of the business that are growing. Every other part of the business is shrinking … Will we see a change in this hegemony?” he asked.

Ken Brooks from Cengage Learning had these thoughts: “The share that Amazon has almost has to fall. There are good alternatives that are being introduced every day … I think eventually it will be an open platform.”

Next, Evan Schnittman from Black Plastic Glasses had these thoughts: “I think Google Editions will be a major balancer in the world of eBooks. Search, find, buy in one fluid package [in online marketplaces] will help re-balance the world we live in now … Amazon is our biggest customers in this industry, there will be some serious thinking before we work around them.”

Larry Kirshbaum–a literary agent and former TimeWarner Books CEO–had a different perspective: “Let’s look at this from the consumer’s point of view, the consumer is getting a fabulous book in a really readable format … Even milliseconds can matter in transmission. The idea that the consumer is being forced to adapt to other formats is a tremendous waste … Long term I would like to see a non-proprietary world where the content competes across platforms.”

Michael Cader from Publishers Lunch concluded: “We should take to heart very seriously how much price has driven the eBook market thus far…We’re really focused on the things we think are reading devices. But the explosion that’s about to happen is with devices where reading isn’t the primary function, or even the secondary or tertiary function.”

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