Note: not Facebook, but Bookface -smile-
This is one of those special edition, for which there aren't any covers or book pages. However, in order to chronicle the publication history of the Gorean eBooks, this page is absolutely necessary, but this is the first official digital publication of the first part of the Gor series.
For a short period of only eight month, between June 2000, and January 2001, the first ten Gor novels, from Tarnsman of Gor to Tribesmen of Gor, were online readable, in full, and totally for free.
On December 23, 2000, I discovered the first ten Gor volumes at www.bookface.com, online readable after a mere registration of email-address and country, and semingly reprinted by arrangement with E-Rights/E-Reads. Each volume started with a new foreword by Mr. Norman, which we later entitled A Political Statement from John Norman.
The site had the fifth volume of the Gor books, Assassin of Gor, listed by author John Lange and the other nine by John Norman, who was third in their top 10 of best ranking authors.
After some research, the following became clear. In June 2000, Bookface, Inc., founded by Lou Anders, an American editor, author and journalist, and Tammy Deuster, who had an engineering background, an MBA from Harvard Business School and technology expertise from Inktomi, an Internet infrastructure company; had launched the (now defunct) website www.bookface.com, a "Read on Demand" service delivering "whole books and excerpts to readers directly", with publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin Puttnam, Random House and Time Warner Trade Publishing providing them with content. Tammy Deuster described Bookface as: "..essentially providing an ever-present and convenient way to find a book without a special hardware device, without a download, and without even requiring a credit card. A user simply logs on to our website and starts to read." The idea behind Bookface.com was to provide books for free, "while paying authors and publishers for each page read", through revenue derived from advertising.
Unfortunately, Bookface's launch coincided with the bursting of the "dot-com bubble," and the company ceased to exist only eight month after it was founded. In January, 2001, Bookface announced the following on their website:
To our Friends, Readers, Writers, and Publishing Partners,
Unfortunately, we must inform you that Bookface has ceased operations. This decision has not been an easy one for us and we bring you this news with a great deal of sadness. Like many other Internet companies, Bookface has been directly affected by adverse economic conditions. The company has not been able to raise the additional financing required to continue as an ongoing concern.
The Bookface team and our partners have accomplished a great deal during one year of operation. Bookface built new technology for delivering secure content online and demonstrated the potential of advertising revenue and innovative online promotion to the book publishing industry.
Our destination website, Bookface.com, was launched in June 2000 with the involvement of many prominent publishers. During its six-months of operation, Bookface.com acquired the nonexclusive rights for free online display to over 2,000 titles, including many best-selling titles and new releases from dozens of publishers both in the US and internationally.
On several occasions, we were also privileged to work directly with noted authors to leverage the reach of the Internet and offer collections or exclusive material to readers. The Bookface model proved to be an effective way of connecting authors with their fans and of maximizing the power of the Internet for publicity and profit.
We would also like to acknowledge tens of thousands of dedicated readers who used the Bookface.com website to discover authors, search the collections, and read works of fiction. Thanks to you, Bookface.com was able to boast average user sessions of over 30 minutes and millions of pageviews each month. We also appreciated the supportive and enthusiastic feedback letters from users who shared our excitement for the potential of the website.
As a last tribute, Lou Anders, Bookface Executive Editor, has also arranged an anthology of short story fiction from the website to be released in the traditional paper and ink format. Outside the Box: The Best Short Fiction from Bookface.com will be released in March 2001 from Wildside Press.
Those who have been part of the Bookface team continue to believe that online reading and digital access to information and entertainment is the future. Bookface is proud of its role in bringing new possibilities to the publishing industry. Although the company and the Bookface.com website will no longer exist, we expect that the ideas and individuals that have driven Bookface will continue to be part of new initiatives in e-publishing.
This past year has been an incredible experience with both major triumphs and acute disappointment. The ride has been worthwhile, despite the outcome. Thank you to everyone who has come on this journey with us.
Best wishes for the future,
CEO and co-Founder
Here's an image from the CJN Exclusive Time Machine showing the Bookface webpage with their goodbye in January, 2001. Click on the image to see the full screen version.