Barnes and Noble leapfrog Amazon with new ebook offering

Barnes and Noble has announced that it will go up against Amazon and its Kindle ebook with the launch of the Barnes and Noble eBookstore and a new ebook reader.

The new offering, which will bring some 700,000 titles to customers keen to read, will cost $9.99 per book and in the process leapfrog Amazon's ebook offering making it the world's biggest ebook retailer says the company.

Looking to appeal to a wider audience, the company will offer software for the iPhone, Blackberry handsets, PC and Mac as well as signing an exclusive deal with ebook maker Plastic Logic.

The new eReader device will measure 8.5 x 11 inches and offer wireless connectivity when it becomes available in early 2010.

Barnes and Noble hope the ebook tally within the new store will be over 1 million titles in the first year as it looks to try and reinvigorate its book business.

The book seller has also confirmed that more than a half-million public domain books from Google will be available to downloaded for free.