Amazon's Source program invites indie stores to sell Kindles
Amazon's new program invites indies to sell Kindles and receive a commission from e-books bought by their customers (if the store is eligible). Many stores are unimpressed, with one bookstore worker likening the program to 'being complicit in your execution.'
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The company says it created the program to “empower” indies to sell the company’s e-devices. Stores that are interested can choose to either purchase Kindles from Amazon and receive a 6 percent discount on the devices (and a 30 percent discount on accessories), then receive 10 percent of the money from sales of Kindle e-books and single-issue magazines for two years. (Video content, subscriptions to magazines, and other options don’t qualify for the commission.) This is called the Bookseller Program. In Amazon’s other option, titled the Retailer Program, stores can buy Kindles for a 9 percent discount and a 35 percent discount on accessories.
“Customers don’t have to choose between e-books and their favorite neighborhood bookstore – they can have both,” Amazon vice-president for Kindle Russ Grandinetti said in a statement.
Only stores in certain states can choose which plan they want, however. According to the Amazon website, a list of states including Colorado, Louisiana, and Vermont – 26 in total – are ineligible for the Bookseller Program.
There is also a trial period offered in which stores can return an order they place within six months.
“If you decide that e-readers and tablets aren’t the right fit for your store, we’ll buy back any tablet, e-reader or accessory that was on your first order, no questions asked,” the Amazon website reads.
Locations who wish to participate must have a brick-and-mortar store out of which they operate – no online booksellers allowed – and store staff must be able to offer state resale exemption certificates.
Stores that participate are still allowed to sell other e-readers or electronic devices.
The Amazon Source website includes a “Testimonials” section which currently contains two quotes from stores in Washington, including one from JJ Books co-owner Jason Bailey. According to Publishers Weekly, the two stores quoted were part of a pilot program in which Amazon tested the idea.
“JJ Books is excited to expand our selection to now include Kindle devices for our customers,” Bailey said. “We feel that Amazon is the leader for e-readers, and working with them to bridge the move to electronic books and find a way to create a new model is the means to longer-term viability for independent bookstores. Kindle will help us bridge the evolution of the bookstore into the Internet age.”