Random UK signs to agency model

Random UK signs to agency model

Random House has become the latest publisher to sign up to the agency terms with Apple, saying it wants to makes its e-books available "to as many readers as possible". The move means that around 6,000 e-book titles, including those by the likes of Dan Brown, Jilly Cooper and Lee Child, can now be sold through the iBookstore.

A short statement issued this morning said: "The Random House Group (RHG) is to make its full UK catalogue of e-books available for the first time on Apple's iBookstore in the UK. The move is part of our mission to make our authors' books available to as many readers as possible in whichever format they prefer. RHG titles will be available from today (Tuesday, May 10th). iBookstore is included in the free iBooks app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch."

Random House US signed up to agency terms when Apple announced the launch of the iPad 2 in March. Many observers expected the Office of Fair Trading's investigation into e-book pricing, launched in February, to temporarily halt publishers' switch to agency pricing.

Price discrepancies between Random House titles still exist. The Lost Symbol e-book is available on Amazon for £5.03, while Apple is selling it for £5.49.

When asked whether the publisher will move to impose agency pricing across all retailers, a RHG spokesperson said: "We are continuing to evaluate all our options and are in continuing conversations with retailers as we continue to evolve our strategy in what we believe is the best interest of our authors and readers, and our ongoing strategy to make books as widely available as possible."

Random House joins the likes of Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Canongate in using the agency model.