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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.’”

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