Thursday, March 3, 2011

Random House titles now available via iBookstore

In the week Apple pulled out all the stops to announces their iPad 2, (including hauling their marquee man Steve Jobs in from his sick leave), they also secured a major coup by ensuring the entire back catalogue of publisher’s Random House will be available to buy via their iBookstore. The news that all 17,000 of their titles would soon be readily accessible via iPhones, Pods and Pads followed the announcement that they would be adopting the agency model for e-book sales in the US.

Under this model, publishers set retail prices for their digital titles, giving them 70 per cent of each sale, with a 30 per cent commission to retailers. Random House is the last of the so-called ‘big six’ publishers in the US, (the others being Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin Group), to adopt the method, which was championed by Apple when they released their first iPad last year.

“Going forward, Random House will set consumer prices for the e-books we publish, and we will provide retailers with a commission for each sale. There are no changes to our terms of sale for physical books,” the publisher said in a statement.

“The agency model guarantees a higher margin for retailers than did our previous sales terms. We are making this change both as an investment in the successful digital transition of our existing partners and in order to give us the opportunity to forge new retail relationships.”

Annoyingly for consumers, the model removes the option for discounting, meaning fans intending on investing in The Da Vinci Code might be left frustrated and disappointed twice over.--Dean Van Nguyen

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