Amazon has named former Time Warner Book Group CEO and current agent Larry Kirshbaum v-p and publishing for Amazon Publishing’s New York office. The appointment is effective immediately, although Kirshbaum’s first official day is not until July 5. Kirshbaum’s appointment ends an extensive search by the e-tailer to find a publishing veteran to head a New York office, as PW first reported two weeks ago.
According to a memo sent from Amazon Publishing head Jeff Belle, Kirshbaum will “build out” Amazon’s New York publishing team, launching new imprints under the Amazon Publishing umbrella, “with a focus on acquiring the highest quality books in literary and commercial fiction, business and general non-fiction.”
Kirshbaum retired from TWBG at the end of 2005, the year he was named PW Person of the Year for overseeing a record year for the company. Since leaving TWBG he has been head of LJK Literary Management. During his career at TWBG Kirshbaum was regarded as an innovator and a top marketer, particularly of genre fiction. He launched one of the industry’s first digital publishing divisions, iPublish, but closed the group after it failed to gain traction in a marketplace very different from today's digital market. Belle said Kirshbaum’s “experience, creativity and strong leadership will be critical to our mission--continually innovating on behalf of authors and readers.”