On Friday afternoon, I posted about a Los Angeles independent bookseller who claimed to get a call from a sales person from Amazon.com. The call was an inquiry about selling Kindles in their store. It didn't go well for the sales person.
I called Amazon.com's PR "hotline" and left a message, but they famously don't respond to inquiries from journalists. Over the weekend, I heard from a few other booksellers who confirmed that they also received calls from people who claimed to be from Amazon.com. One of the booksellers provided me with the e-mail address they were given over the phone. The e-mail address ends with an "@amazon.com" suffix. I wrote the e-mail address asking about the program and received this auto-reply:
Thank you for your interest in Kindle. In order to help us facilitate your request, please provide the following information:
1)Business legal name 2)Business address (main address if multiple businesses) 3)Account Managers name 4)Account Managers email address and phone number 5)Copy of Tax Certificate 6)Total estimated initial Kindle order (units) requested 7)Total estimated annual Kindle orders (units) 8)What is your intention for purchasing Kindle product? Choose from the following: Reseller, Corporate Incentive Program, or Other (if other, please explain)
Thank you, Amazon Kindle Wholesale Team
Besides this form e-mail, I still haven't heard back from Amazon, though they also have posted a number of Kindle-centric "Field Sales Representative" job listings on their site to promote local retail sales of Kindles. If this really is a new initiative of Amazon's, and it increasingly looks like it is a real thing, I don't expect it to go very well. I've never met an independent bookseller who has even ambivalent feelings about Amazon. They all hate Amazon, with a passion that they never could manage to muster for Barnes & Noble. I almost feel sorry for these Kindle telemarketers.