When Amazon Publishing launched its general trade imprint in New York in 2011, the goal was to go head-to-head with the big traditional publishers here. The company announced in May of that year that it had hired industry vet Larry Kirshbaum to run the new general publishing division. Kirshbaum said at the time that Amazon was “going to back [the imprint] significantly” and that he would run it “in the vein of a major publishing house.”
But agents, authors and booksellers didn’t play along. Industry newsletter Shelf Awareness reported Friday, citing unidentified sources, that Kirshbaum is leaving Amazon Publishing early next year.
Shelf Awareness also said that “In connection with [Kirshbaum’s] departure, the most ambitious part of Amazon’s publishing operations will be scaled back. Already several editorial people have left or been let go, and Amazon has not been a factor in bidding on major books the way it…
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