The company plans to offer 700,000 titles initially and up to 1 million within a year. That includes the more than half-million books Google recently made available for free. It will sell all other trade and traditional titles for $9.99 each.
Barnes and Noble said it sees the market for e-books growing over the next several years. Sales have plummeted in recent years as competition has intensified from discounters like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target. Shoppers cutting back on discretionary spending during the recession has added to the problem.
The e-reader can be accessed on the company website. Just go to www.barnesandnoble.com and click on "e-books."
The Associated Press contributed to this article.