Amazon wants to expand retail availability of its Kindle line beyond major retailers like Best Buy and put them in your local indie bookstore. The company today announced a new program called Amazon Source, which allows small businesses to purchase Kindle hardware (and accessories) for resale at a discounted rate. As an added incentive, Amazon will also send 10 percent of every ebook purchase a customer makes back to the retailer where the Kindle was originally sold. That bonus perk runs for two years from the original purchase date.
It's a bit of a tough choice, however, since indie stores can also choose to receive an even greater discount on Kindles if they sacrifice the 10 percent ebook kick-in. Amazon also realizes it may take some convincing before small bookstores warm up to the program. After all, the very premise seems to be in direct conflict with their primary goal: selling paper books to remain in business. If a retailer has second thoughts and no longer wants to sell Kindle products, Amazon will buy back their inventory for up to six months after their initial order with "no questions asked" according to the company.
Amazon has an obvious interest in expanding its retail presence. Walmart and Target have each stopped carrying Kindles over the last few years, significantly lessening in-store availability of the popular e-readers. Making them more affordable for small businesses won't necessarily make up for that loss, but it's a step in the right direction.