Head of publishing trade group, Tom Allen, stepping down

The head of the book publishing industry's trade group is stepping down.

The Association of American Publishers announced Monday that Tom Allen, a former Maine congressman, will leave early next year. He has served as CEO of the association since 2009, presiding during a time of rapid growth of electronic books and conflict between publishers and the leading seller of digital works, Amazon.com.

Allen, 71, said in a statement that after 20 years of commuting to Washington he looked forward to returning to Maine and focusing on part-time and "mostly voluntary activities" such as writing and environmental conservation.

No successor to Allen has been named, but the association said a search is underway.