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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Waterstones taking a dip in the Amazon

Waterstones boss James Duant who recently called on-line giant, Amazon a ruthless money making devil had shocked the book world by signing a deal with Amazon. The news has been doubly shocking since Duant claimed Waterstones were developing their own eReader which would be better than the Kindle and offer an even better shopping experience. However it now looks as if Waterstones, the UK's biggest book chain, have conceded defeat in the eBook war.

The high street book chain  has agreed to start selling Amazon's Kindle in its stores, and Kindle's e-books, too.
Publishers, authors, agents and independent bookshops were aghast. Daunt is, supposedly, one of them – a much admired bookseller who had set up a small chain of independent and upmarket shops in wealthy areas of London. He was brought in by Waterstones' new owner last year to inject some life and authenticity into the struggling chain, promptly denouncing Amazon as a "ruthless devil". And then suddenly last week he was getting into bed with the company.

He is completely tight-lipped about how much money Waterstones will make from the Amazon deal, saying that he has been forced to sign strict confidentiality agreements.However, it is understood that part of the agreement was that Amazon would help pay for digital areas in Waterstones' stores – including, in the mould of Apple Stores, special tables for the devices to be displayed, which allow customers to pick up and play with the devices.

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