In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Barnes & Noble announced the launch of the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, which it says will stock every available e-book from every publisher, as well as e-book originals. The 700,000 titles currently on offer are compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, and most personal computers, but will notably not work with the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader.
According to the press release, the eBookstore interface will support the ePub standard as part of what BN.com president William J. Lynch calls a strategy to allow readers “access to the books in their digital library from any device, from anywhere, at any time.” The Barnes & Noble e-book catalogue, which the company predicts will incorporate over a million titles within the next year, includes half a million public domain works available free of charge through a partnership with Google. By contrast, Amazon currently offers approximately 325,000 titles for its Kindle device. Barnes & Noble will also match Amazon’s $9.99 price for new releases and bestsellers.
The announcement from Barnes & Noble also included word that the retailer will become the exclusive e-book supplier for the Plastic Logic reading device, set to debut in early 2010. The eReader, capable of displaying Microsoft documents as well as e-books and periodicals, will be geared toward business travelers.