Free Galleys For Reading and Review. I've just added a new site where you can download free reading & review copies (ARCs or Galleys). Visit Galley City in my webplex (over 30 linked websites owned and operated by yours truly). No fuss, no muss, no obligation. No cookies, no cupcakes, not even a free breath mint. Happy reading, and please do be kind and leave a nice review (or else nothing) at Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, and other sites online. Merci beaucoup!
History's First Real E-Books
First: Neon Blue by John Argo (1996)
Neon Blue is a romantic suspense novel published online in 1996, before e-commerce and before modern commercial e-book and digital publishing.
Neon Blue was and is the first real ebook ever published, according to the following criteria (1-5) with disclaimers (6) and (7):
(1) proprietary, not public domain, which eliminates Project Gutenberg and any other public domain sites from this category;
(2) published entirely online, not sample chapters or teasers;
(3) published online in HTML to be read online, not downloaded, nor on portable media (e.g., floppies, CD-ROM, tape, or the like);
(4) part of the innovative first weekly series (Neon Blue Fiction for Suspense; The Haunted Village for SFFH) online with regular sequential chapter releases, each Sunday evening PST;
(5) had a global readership of avid fans on every continent, whose fan e-mails have been preserved.
(6) repeating: all public domain sites (e.g., Project Gutenberg) are excluded. This was the first instance of a commercially intended, full length novel (Neon Blue) that was and is proprietary (author owns all the rights) rather than public domain (typically, statutory time limits on rights expired).
(7) disclaimer: specifically refers to industry standard novels rather than short stories*; this means a length of at least 30,000 words, well exceeded by Neon Blue (over 90,000 words; This Shoal of Space (145,000 words); and CON2: The Generals of October (140,000 words).
*NOTE: shorter stories*: One true pioneering site that preceded us, publishing SFFH short stories, was Andy McCann's original Planet Magazine, online since 1994, and its offshot (still online and going strong) Planet Magazine Blog.
More info at Spyglass Journal (Nonfiction) and at the Clocktower Books Museum.