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Rumor: World's Largest English-Language Publishing House Might Finally Join the iBookstore

It's only speculation at this point, but it seems that Random House might finally be joining the iBookstore in the near future. Random House is the world's largest English-language publisher and the only one of the six major publishing houses to not be offering its titles in Apple's iBookstore.

Thanks to the publisher deciding to adopt the agency model for ebook sales—a model in which a publisher sets the price for ebooks and allots a certain percentage for retailers—that might change soon:

Under the agency model, publishers set the price for e-book titles with 30 percent of the cost going to the retailer. Sound familiar? That's the same cut Apple takes of music and apps via its iTunes and App Stores. So, it was perhaps not a surprise that Apple's iBookstore, launched alongside the iPad last year, also operates under the agency model. Previously, publishers sold titles to retailers for a wholesale price, with the retailers adding a markup of their own.

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See where the speculation regarding the iBookstore comes from? Adopting a model similar to the one used by Apple simply leaves the publisher with little of an excuse to keep its titles from that particular online outlet. [Random House (Warning: PDF) via PC World]

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DISCUSSION

It really bothers me that Apple (a) feels they are entitled to, and (b) companies give in to... their "most favored nation" attitude. No such thing as "free market" (odd - that is what Republicans use to object to many things).

They did not invent the eBook. True, I do not agree with Publishers getting a sometimes HIGH percentage and leaving actually-embarrassingly-little to the original author... but Apple comes along and demands a flat 30% on TOP of all that for nothing other than owing the walled garden.

No, this is no different from PC's. Apple does not deserve 30% more to run an app on their iFone than Microsoft deserves an automatic 30% for you to install & run Adobe Acrobat Creator on your Windows-based machine.

I applaud the writer, Amanda Hocking (Giz article today), who is self-publishing directly to Amazon Kindle. Yes, in this case, Amazon deserves their 30% fee... because her book is *only* available to Kindle owners via Amazon. She personally pockets the other 70%. No middle-man.

I have a 6-year-old kid (1st grade) who is reading at 3rd grade level - no picture books, just "chapter books". We run back & forth to the library so much that I'd love to pick up books for her on a Kindle.

Honestly, it seems cheap — but if the books were $1-ish each, I'd buy entire series of authors (she checks out 20 books at a time from the library) and buy a 2nd Kindle so I'd share one with her (my wife keep her own). This would translate to $hundreds per year for kids books that we'd otherwise get from the library...

Eliminate the "middle-man" (publisher), and it would put far more money into the AUTHOR's pockets than today's model.