Barnes & Noble made its long awaited entrance into the e-book market with an announcement late Monday afternoon of the launch of the Barnes & Noble eBookstore ( In direct contrast to the closed Kindle system from Amazon, B&N’s e-bookstore will carry e-books that can be read on a wide variety of platforms. B&N will offer 700,000 titles at launch, with “many” new releases and bestsellers priced at $9.99, according to William Lynch, president of The total includes 500,000 public domain titles from Google which can be downloaded for free. B&N added that it expects to have more than 1 million titles available within the next year, “inclusive of every available eBook from every book publisher and every available eBook original.”

The eBookstore will support the ePub standard in what Lynch called an "every device strategy." (In addition to the Kindle, the store will not be compatible with the Sony eReader). The eBookstore will feature Fictionwise's eReader application which supports both wireless and wired access to the store for such devices as the iPhone and iPod Touch. B&N acquired Fictionwise earlier this year.

B&N will augment the eBookstore with a partnership with Plastic Logic, whose wireless reading device is expected to debut in early 2010. B&N will power the bookstore for the Plastic Logic device, although Lynch declined to say whether B&N will sell the reader.

Publishers have been anxious for a serious competitor for Amazon to emerge and Lynch said B&N has had a "great reception" from publishers. He added more news from B&N in the digital arena will be coming soon.