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Amazon makes play for small retailers with Kindle deal

The retailer will offer its Kindle to independent bookstores and small retailers at a discounted rate, or will give them 10 percent of book sales for two years.

Amazon Source could be coming to a local bookstore near you.
Amazon Source could be coming to a local bookstore near you. Amazon

Small retailers and independent bookstores might have a much better reason to partner with Amazon.

The e-retailer on Wednesday announced a new program called Amazon Source. The program, which launches today, will see Amazon sell its Kindle devices and accessories to the small shops for a discounted price. If that isn't suitable, the retailers can opt to receive 10 percent of the price on every Kindle title purchased by their customers for a period of two years after a device sale.

According to Amazon, Source has been in pilot testing for some time, but is now being rolled out to small bookstores and retailers that would like to sign up. The company's two offers cannot be combined, so retailers will need to choose whether they want to generate more profit on each device sale or test their luck with getting a piece of books purchased by their customers.

The move is a not-so-subtle attempt by Amazon to increase the availability of its Kindle e-reader and improve relations with small bookstores that might see e-readers and digital books as possible threats to their businesses. To entice them even more, Amazon says that it will even buy back Kindles purchased on the retailers' first order if they find "they no longer want to sell Kindle."