Ebooks from publisher Random House have begun to show up in Apple's iBookstore, ahead of what's likely to be a name-check at the iPad 2 event in just a few hours time. The publisher had announced a switch to so-called Agency Pricing - in which publishers not retailers set the consumer prices for each electronic title, and then provide the retailers with a commission for the sale - earlier in the week.
Random House had previously declined to comment on talk that they'd be throwing in with Apple, but it seems that the publisher is indeed broadening availability of titles beyond Amazon's Kindle. We're expecting to hear more at the Apple event later today; check back at 10AM PST for the full SlashGear liveblog!
Random House, Inc. is adopting the agency model for e-book sales in the United States effective March 1, 2011. 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 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.
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.
[via 9 to 5 Mac]