Amazon has launched a new program
that aims to bring independent bookstores into the Kindle ecosystem. The online retailer promises to share 10 percent of e-book revenue for purchases made on Kindle devices sold through participating bookstores. A retailer's first order of Kindle readers or tablets is also covered by a buy-back guarantee, enabling any unsold devices to be repurchased by Amazon without penalty for up to six months.
Kindle devices themselves will be provided to qualified booksellers at a six-percent discount compared to the MSRP, while accessories are discounted by 35 percent. Amazon has also invited general retailers to participate in the program, however the e-book revenue cut is omitted in favor of a slightly higher discount on Kindle devices.
"Teaming up with Amazon to bridge the move to electronic books will help us find a means of long-term viability for our independent bookstore," said Jason Bailey, co-owner of JJ Books in Bothell, Washington, as quoted in Amazon's announcement. "Kindle will help us bridge the evolution of the bookstore into the Internet age."
Kobo last year established a partnership
with the American Booksellers Association, giving retailers a cut of e-book sales and an opportunity to make profit on devices. The partnership was said to bring Kobo offerings to nearly 2,000 independent bookstores in the US, though the company is a small player overshadowed by Amazon's dominance in the e-book market.
Both the Kobo and Kindle programs offer retailers meager earnings compared to the potential margins from traditional books, however the partnerships are viewed more as opportunities for independent booksellers to retain customers amid the ongoing rise in e-book popularity.