News

Waterstones signs Kindle deal with Amazon

Waterstones has signed a commercial agreement with Amazon to launch new "e-reading services and offer Kindle digital devices" through its UK shops. Details of the deal, and how it will work in practice, have not been revealed. The announcement is huge surprise, as the chain had been thought to be negotiating with US bookseller Barnes & Noble over using its Nook device.

In a YouTube vide posted about the deal, James Daunt, Waterstones m.d., said the deal would allow Waterstones to sell Kindle books and Kindle e-books in the Waterstone's shops and through the Waterstones' website. "We needed to solve the digital question," said Daunt. "It makes the Kindle experience better," he added.

According to Waterstones, the digital initiatives will build on the UK group’s on-going investment plan to upgrade its 30-year-old retail chain. This incorporates a major refurbishment programme and other innovations including dedicated digital areas, free wi-fi access  and new coffee shops, all planned for 2012.
 
In a statement Daunt said: "At Waterstones, we are committed to improving our bookshops quite radically to offer the best possible book buying experience. It is a truly exciting prospect to harness also the respective strengths of Waterstones and Amazon to provide a dramatically better digital reading experience for our customers."

He added: "The best digital readers, the Kindle family, will be married to the singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop. With the combination of our talents we can offer the exceptional customer proposition to which we both aspire.”
 
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and c.e.o., said: “Waterstones is the premier high street bookseller and is passionate about books and readers – a dedication that we share deeply. We could never hope for a better partner to bring together digital reading and the physical bookstore."
 

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So having said that lending eBooks puts Bookshops at risk he now signs up with Amazon to sell Kindle in our stores. He described Amazon as the devil a few weeks ago - he was wrong. Amazon are clearly muggers as they have completely mugged Daunt.

It will be interesting to see what he does with the web site, if we can sell Kindles in our store and thus promote Amazon its only a small step to giving them the whole online setup.

If I were a publisher I would be alarmed. Waterstone's could have been the bridge for Nook in the UK and thus a viable alternative to Kindle, instead its just more Kindle.

We waited a year for this news - I'm gutted.

If this isn't the death knell of high street bookselling in the UK I don't know what is

Surprise, surprise! Waterstones gets into bed with Kindle because they know Amazon refuses to allow lending of its Kindle-compatible ebooks in the UK. Presumably this means Waterstones assume Kindle owners will flock through their doors and buy from them.

How long before Amazon buys out Waterstones?

As an individual, I love reading books (not ebooks) and have no desire to change, but as a librarian I know this means diversification for libraries, not the death of the book, or of lending. There is room for online and physical booksellers and libraries. The sky will not cave in because we have a new, additional format.

This sounds like desperation, this is the guy who just over 6 months ago described Amazon as "dispiriting" and "utterly utterly ruthless".

Well, the Nook presumably slipped out of reach when B&N did the deal with Microsoft (and let's face it, they need the money). Apple does its own thing, Kobo, Sony and all the other devices look a bit 8-track, so short of developing a ground breaking device of their own Kindle was the only remaining option if Waterstones wanted to stay in the ebook game and sell a reading device. Rock & hard place

The Bat Says: Can't wait for all those Bookshops that are Marketplace sellers on Amazon, and who use Amazon - or Amazon-owned Abe Books or The Book Depository - as the third wholesaler, and also rely on other useful Amazon tools like Bookfinder, can't wait for them all to start criticising James Daunt for getting into bed with Amazon...

I can't see what the problem is.

A major book chain is harnessing Amazon's digital strengths for the benefit of book lovers. It doesn't really matter that the last time someone tried a digital partnership (Borders) it ended badly, but you can hardly blame Amazon for that.

It will surely be to the benefit of book lovers who will appreciate being granted exclusive access to all their book purchases on their Kindle reader and Kindle reader only, and I can't see how giving Amazon prime space in UK's biggest books showroom would be in any way damaging to the interests of readers, the book industry and (most importantly) the business of Waterstones (no apostrophe) itself.

Yes there have been critics ("Amazon is a ruthless, money-making devil"), but I hope Mr Daunt does not let these shrill, dissenting voices deviate from his pragmatic mission to ensure we are all in this together and not trying to be so "competitive" all the time.

Waterstone's was first in the UK eBook market with the Sony Partnership and Waterstone's eBook store. Dominic did nothing with it when he was in charge and JD just threw it out. They both had an opportunity to build the Waterstone's eBook position but failed.

So, definitely no Nook? No-one said anything about an "exclusive deal" with the Kindle... which was a genuine surprise - well done HO for keeping deathly quiet about that.

Simple:
Find the book you like in Waterstones and order it from Amazon- waterstones can be the new bookselling Argos!

I have some sympathy with Daunt as presumably he felt that any offer other than the Kindle (assuming the iPad wasn't an option) would fall flat as the Kindle is so dominant.

However it is clearly a missed opportunity for publishers to get another ebook competitor established.

Waterstone's already uses Amazon to sell old sale stock, so this latest alliance is hardly surprising.

To SELL its old stock!

Why has my comment about Waterstone's using Amazon to sell its old stock disappeared?!

Hi Linkslave, it's now reinstated

The Bat says: Everyone sells their old stock through Amazon....

So having said that lending eBooks puts Bookshops at risk he now signs up with Amazon to sell Kindle in our stores. He described Amazon as the devil a few weeks ago - he was wrong. Amazon are clearly muggers as they have completely mugged Daunt.

It will be interesting to see what he does with the web site, if we can sell Kindles in our store and thus promote Amazon its only a small step to giving them the whole online setup.

If I were a publisher I would be alarmed. Waterstone's could have been the bridge for Nook in the UK and thus a viable alternative to Kindle, instead its just more Kindle.

We waited a year for this news - I'm gutted.

If this isn't the death knell of high street bookselling in the UK I don't know what is

Surprise, surprise! Waterstones gets into bed with Kindle because they know Amazon refuses to allow lending of its Kindle-compatible ebooks in the UK. Presumably this means Waterstones assume Kindle owners will flock through their doors and buy from them.

How long before Amazon buys out Waterstones?

As an individual, I love reading books (not ebooks) and have no desire to change, but as a librarian I know this means diversification for libraries, not the death of the book, or of lending. There is room for online and physical booksellers and libraries. The sky will not cave in because we have a new, additional format.

This sounds like desperation, this is the guy who just over 6 months ago described Amazon as "dispiriting" and "utterly utterly ruthless".

Well, the Nook presumably slipped out of reach when B&N did the deal with Microsoft (and let's face it, they need the money). Apple does its own thing, Kobo, Sony and all the other devices look a bit 8-track, so short of developing a ground breaking device of their own Kindle was the only remaining option if Waterstones wanted to stay in the ebook game and sell a reading device. Rock & hard place

The Bat Says: Can't wait for all those Bookshops that are Marketplace sellers on Amazon, and who use Amazon - or Amazon-owned Abe Books or The Book Depository - as the third wholesaler, and also rely on other useful Amazon tools like Bookfinder, can't wait for them all to start criticising James Daunt for getting into bed with Amazon...

I can't see what the problem is.

A major book chain is harnessing Amazon's digital strengths for the benefit of book lovers. It doesn't really matter that the last time someone tried a digital partnership (Borders) it ended badly, but you can hardly blame Amazon for that.

It will surely be to the benefit of book lovers who will appreciate being granted exclusive access to all their book purchases on their Kindle reader and Kindle reader only, and I can't see how giving Amazon prime space in UK's biggest books showroom would be in any way damaging to the interests of readers, the book industry and (most importantly) the business of Waterstones (no apostrophe) itself.

Yes there have been critics ("Amazon is a ruthless, money-making devil"), but I hope Mr Daunt does not let these shrill, dissenting voices deviate from his pragmatic mission to ensure we are all in this together and not trying to be so "competitive" all the time.

Waterstone's was first in the UK eBook market with the Sony Partnership and Waterstone's eBook store. Dominic did nothing with it when he was in charge and JD just threw it out. They both had an opportunity to build the Waterstone's eBook position but failed.

So, definitely no Nook? No-one said anything about an "exclusive deal" with the Kindle... which was a genuine surprise - well done HO for keeping deathly quiet about that.

Simple:
Find the book you like in Waterstones and order it from Amazon- waterstones can be the new bookselling Argos!

I have some sympathy with Daunt as presumably he felt that any offer other than the Kindle (assuming the iPad wasn't an option) would fall flat as the Kindle is so dominant.

However it is clearly a missed opportunity for publishers to get another ebook competitor established.

Waterstone's already uses Amazon to sell old sale stock, so this latest alliance is hardly surprising.

To SELL its old stock!

Why has my comment about Waterstone's using Amazon to sell its old stock disappeared?!

Hi Linkslave, it's now reinstated

The Bat says: Everyone sells their old stock through Amazon....