Amazon offers Kindle kickbacks to indie bookstores

Amazon Source programme will give smaller retailers a 10% slice of ebooks sold on Kindles bought from their stores

Nicole Kobie
6 Nov 2013

Amazon plans to give independent booksellers a percentage of the takings from ebooks bought on Kindles they sell, the online giant has revealed.

The new Amazon Source programme aims to encourage independent bookstores and small retailers to sell Kindle readers by offering commission, representing 10% of the price of ebooks purchased from the devices they sell during the first two years.

"We believe that retailers, online or offline, small or large, should be striving to offer customers what they want — and many customers want to read both digital and print books," said Russ Grandinetti, vice-president of Amazon Kindle. "For many years, bookstores have successfully sold print books on Amazon — now Amazon Source extends this opportunity to digital."

"With Amazon Source, customers don’t have to choose between ebooks and their favourite neighbourhood bookstore — they can have both."

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The programme will kick off in selected US states. When asked if it would eventually extend to the UK, an Amazon spokesperson said: "We hope to expand the programme over time."

The move follows UK bookseller Waterstones cutting a deal with Amazon last year to sell Kindles and ebooks in-store.

As an alternative to the 10% kickback from book sales, retailers opting into the Amazon Source programme can choose instead to receive a larger discount up front when buying the devices for resale.

Under the 10% arrangement, Amazon will give retailers a 6% discount off the manufacturer's suggested retail price on Kindles, and 35% off accessories. Retailers who choose to forgo their ongoing slice of sales revenue will get 9% off Kindles, and 35% off accessories.

To make the programme risk-free, Amazon will buy back any unsold Kindle devices after six months if the store has trouble shifting them.

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