As Waterstone’s gets ready to sell the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tables in its stores (starting in October, though without the new Paperwhite device until next year), more details of the deal are becoming clear. Waterstone’s CEO James Daunt has been outlining how these two unlikely bedfellows are working together, and the picture… well, remains a little hazy, to be honest.
Waterstone’s will make a profit on the hardware it sells, and will get a cut of any ebook sales that users make while they’re using the company’s in-store Wi-Fi network. On top of that, there will be Waterstone’s-specific screensavers and various special offers, including a Read For Free opportunity. Quite how the Read For Free system will work is unclear, but customers are likely to be able to read certain titles in-store for free for a limited period per day, week, or month.
James Daunt clearly thinks the arrangement is good for Waterstone’s, noting that they’ve managed to sign a deal that helps them avoid the most significant ‘bear traps’. The hope seems to be that the Amazon deal will help get people through the doors of Waterstone’s, and they might – might – pick up a few paperbacks while they’re there, and have some coffee in the store’s cafe.