Amazon has wasted little time in filling a position that will be vacated by Larry Kirshbaum on January 17 when he steps down from his role as publisher of Amazon Publishing.
Amazon Publishing editor-in-chief Daphne Durham has already assumed the responsibilities of publisher for Amazon’s adult trade and children’s publishing businesses, an Amazon spokesperson told Digital Book World. She will be based in Seattle.
Amid reported speculation that Kirshbaum’s departure might signal an end to Amazon’s trade publishing aspirations, the spokesperson said that quite the opposite was underway.
“Our New York office will continue to expand, as our overall publishing business grows,” she said. “In fact, we will be announcing new imprints to launch in New York soon.”
Of Kirshbaum’s departure, the company offered little detail while media speculated that it had something to do with the publisher’s inability to deliver hits for Amazon and due to allegations of sexual impropriety.
“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.”
Durham, who will be taking over for Kirshbaum at least in the short term, has been editor-in-chief at Amazon Publishing for a year. Prior to that role, she spent 30 months as editorial director at Amazon Publishing. In fact, according to her LinkedIn profile, she has spent her entire career at Amazon, starting in 1999 as an assistant buyer for books. She has also held a senior editor role at Amazon.com and, later, the title of senior manager, site merchandising and product management for books at Amazon.com. Durham has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in twentieth century literature from Ohio State University. She has not been able to be reached yet for comment.