Random House to adopt agency model, join iBookstore?

Random House has announced that it is switching to the agency pricing model for e-book sales beginning today, opening the door for an arrival on Apple’s iBookstore. “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,” a Random House spokesperson told Publishers Weekly. “We are looking forward to continuing to work with all our retail partners—both digital and physical—on our joint mission to connect our authors with as many readers as possible, in whatever format they prefer.” Under the agency model, which Apple has used since launching the store last year, publishers set the price and designate an agent—in this case the bookseller—who will sell the book and receive a commission.

“We have believed from the beginning that the agency model is in the best interest of not only the book industry, but the consuming public as well,” said Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association. “We appreciate the careful and thoughtful deliberation Random House has brought to this issue, and applaud their decision to adopt agency pricing.” [via LA Times]