Amazon Publishing boss departs a year into the job
Amazon says Daphne Durham is taking “time off” after 15 years at the company. Mikyla Bruder will assume most of Durham’s responsibilities.
Seattle Times business reporter
A little more than a year after taking the helm of Amazon Publishing, Daphne Durham is leaving the company.
Amazon confirmed Durham’s departure, which was first reported by Publishers Weekly. The company declined to make Durham or Mikyla Bruder, who will assume most of Durham’s responsibilities, available for comment.
“I can confirm that after more than 15 years with Amazon, Daphne Durham has decided to leave the company on January 16 to take some well-deserved time off,” Amazon spokeswoman Katie Finch said in an emailed statement.
Bruder, who is based in Seattle, currently runs global marketing for Amazon Publishing. She will become publisher for Amazon’s Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, Skyscape, Lake Union, 47North and Jet City Comics imprints.
Amazon named David Blum publisher and editor-in-chief of Amazon’s Little A and Two Lions. Blum, already editor of Kindle Singles, will remain in New York. He will also work to expand Amazon’s nonfiction publishing under Little A.
Durham, who worked for Amazon for 15 years, took over the publishing division after the departure of Larry Kirshbaum, the powerful literary agent and the former chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group. Kirshbaum landed some high-profile authors, including self-help guru Timothy Ferriss and former basketball coach Bobby Knight, but produced few blockbuster titles.
Durham focused less on big names and more on niche markets, such as mysteries, science fiction and religious titles. The company has mined the insights gathered from the data from its digital e-book business to find unsigned authors and push into untapped markets such as fan fiction.
Amazon recently resolved its very public dispute with the book publisher, Hachette, which competes with Amazon Publishing. The conflict was over e-book pricing for Hachette titles.