Why a publisher packed his bags

Three days into his new life as a literary agent, Laurence Kirshbaum, the former chairman and chief executive of the Time Warner Book Group, admits he is not yet an expert on the agent business. He still has some things to say, however, about the problems facing the publishing industry. "I'm sure in a lot of publishing houses that there is a frustration that people feel, that they're not in control, that they are puppets and the corporate bosses are manipulating the strings," Kirshbaum said Wednesday in an interview at his new firm, LJK Literary Management, where boxes were yet to be unpacked and computers were still being wired together.

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