Amazon Offers Independent Bookstores Opportunity to Sell Kindle Readers, Ebooks

A new program from Amazon offers independent bookstores the opportunity to retail Kindle devices and reap the benefits of ebooks sold through them in the future.

The program, dubbed Amazon Source, seems much like a deal that Canadian e-reading company Kobo struck with indie bookstores about a year ago to do much the same with its own devices and ebooks.

With Source, retailers can choose between two programs: Sell Kindle devices with a small discount (read: small profit margin) and get 10% of the purchase price of any ebook bought on the device; or, sell Kindle devices with a larger discount (larger profit margin) but get nothing from subsequent ebook sales.

The Kobo program is similar to the first option. Based on reporting from Digital Book World earlier in the year, indie bookstores get 5% of the purchase price of Kobo devices as profit and make between 8% and 18% of the ebook price for subsequent ebook purchases.

Indie bookstores have traditionally been hostile toward Amazon, complaining that it has put some of them out of business and pointing toward an unbalanced playing field because Amazon costumers generally don’t have to pay sales tax. Yet, at least one has signed on in a pilot program to work with Source, JJ Books in Bothell, Wash.

Kobo’s initiative, which replaced one from Google to sell ebooks at many indie bookstores, was much more effective than its predecessor, selling more ebooks in the first month than Google did in two years of its program.

[Press Release]

Independent Bookstores Can Now Sell Kindles and Earn 10% from Future Kindle Books Sold

Amazon Source makes it easy for independent bookstores and small retailers to earn additional revenue by selling Kindles

Booksellers can receive 10% of the price of Kindle books purchased from the devices they sell

The first order is worry-free for retailers—Amazon will buy back the inventory for up to six months after the first order, no questions and no penalties
November 06, 2013 08:32 AM Eastern Standard Time

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ:AMZN)— today introduced Amazon Source, a new program that enables independent bookstores and other retailers to sell Kindle devices and accessories, and earn money while doing so. In addition to a discount on purchasing Kindles and Kindle accessories for resale, retailers will have the option of receiving 10% of every Kindle book purchased on Kindle devices sold by the bookstore for the first two years after a customer buys a device. Learn more at

“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, 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 e-books and their favorite neighborhood bookstore—they can have both.”

Amazon Source builds on the technology and sales integration launched with Waterstones in 2012.

“We are committed to offering the best possible book buying experience. It is a truly exciting prospect to harness the respective strengths of Waterstones and Amazon to provide a dramatically better digital reading experience for our customers. Alongside Amazon, we have married the best digital readers, the Kindle family, to the singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop. With the combination of our talents we are on our way to offering the exceptional customer proposition to which we both aspire,” said James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones.

Several bookstores have already been using Amazon Source in a pilot program.

“This is a natural fit. Amazon and University of Puget Sound both offer educational resources to students, and it’s always better to work together. Being a small store sometimes hinders our options to sell technology devices, but Amazon Source made it very easy to sign up and place our first order. We think our students will be really happy to be able to touch and try Kindle tablets and e-readers in their campus store. Having the products right in front of them makes buying decisions easier and more convenient,” said Barbara Racine, Bookstore Manager at the University of Puget Sound Campus Bookstore, Tacoma, WA.

“JJ Books is excited to expand our selection to now include Kindle devices for our customers. We are selling Kindle e-readers, tablets, and accessories in our store to expand our customer base and build toward the future bookstore model. We feel that Amazon is the leader for e-readers. 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. Kindle will help us bridge the evolution of the bookstore into the Internet age,” said Jason Bailey, Co-Owner of JJ Books, Bothell, WA.

Retailers that are part of the program can use Amazon Source ( to purchase Kindle devices and accessories for resale. Retailers can choose between two programs:

1) Bookseller Program: Earn 10% of the price of every Kindle book purchased by their customers from their Kindle devices for two years from device purchase. This is in addition to the discount the bookseller receives when purchasing the devices and accessories from Amazon.

2) General Retail Program: Receive a larger discount when purchasing the devices from Amazon, but do not receive revenue from their customers’ Kindle book purchases.

The first order from Amazon Source is worry-free for retailers—if a retailer decides they no longer want to sell Kindle, Amazon will buy back the inventory for up to six months after their first order, with no questions asked.

To learn more about Amazon Source visit, or contact Amazon Source at:

About, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including,,,,,,,,,,, and As used herein, “,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect’s financial results is included in’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.


10 thoughts on “Amazon Offers Independent Bookstores Opportunity to Sell Kindle Readers, Ebooks

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  2. Michael W. Perry

    Mary Howitt’s 1829 poem, “The Spider and the Fly” says it best. It opens with these words:

    “Will you step into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
    “’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
    “O no, no,” said the little fly, “to ask me is in vain,
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

    And closes with these sad words:

    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
    Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
    With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew
    Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
    Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
    He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
    Within his little parlor; but she ne’er came out again!

    And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
    To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed;
    Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
    And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

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  4. rotsegal

    This is Amazon’s smart move towards indie stores. Hope they won’t utilize this to enhance their monopoly in the market.
    Rotem Segal- Project Manager-

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