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.