French publisher La Martinière joins the iBookstore.

French publisher La Martinière joins the iBookstore.

La Martinière is the latest French publisher to sign up to sell e-books through Apple’s iBookstore.

About 150 La Martinière and Seuil titles are available so far, with another 300 expected to follow by the end of the summer, said chief executive Hervé de la Martinière. The group prices its e-books at 25% below than print versions.

The latest agreement follows the adoption in May of a French law that allows publishers to fix prices of all e-books sold in France and "guarantees equal treatment for all booksellers," the group said in a statement. The pact covers other publishers whose output is marketed and distributed by La Martinière subsidiary Volumen, and will enable them "to take a decisive step in promoting their works," the company added.

La Martinière also sells e-books through the site of the FNAC chain of cultural product stores and distributes to other booksellers through the Eden Livres platform, which it set up with Gallimard and Flammarion in October 2009. Last year, the three launched the Eden Reader application to sell e-books through online bookseller ePagine for the iPad so as to be present on that new market without handing over files to Apple.

Hachette Livre, Albin Michel and Eyrolles were the only publishers to sign up with Apple when the French iBookstore was launched in May 2010. Others have joined since then, and Editis is about to follow, the website Actualitté reported. Managing director Pierre Dutilleul said that this would "certainly happen one day", but that it was not on the table now. "We are in discussions with Apple and also with the other major players," he added.