The Potential of Ebooks: A Modest Proposal

A colleague of mine recently recommended the book Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. It looks like a perfect creepy read for Halloween! I’m looking forward to it.

You can preview the first three chapters (plus the Prologue) through the publisher’s website. So, I clicked the link to the PDF and started scrolling through.

I was actually a bit disappointed. Not with the book, it’s really good (the Prologue and first chapter are, anyway!)

No, I was disappointed because the images don’t move. Reading it online, I found that I really wanted the images to be animated gifs.

Peruse the search results for “creepy animated gifs” and tell me it wouldn’t be awesome if the images in the online & ebook versions of this novel were disturbingly animated! It would need to done carefully – with subtlety and art – but it would add a whole extra level of creep-factor to the experience!

A couple years ago, I had a vision for a new type of e-horror novel. There was a fad that went around teh internets a while back where people would try to scare each other by adding screaming zombie faces to all kinds of things where you don’t expect them – videos, images, slideshows, etc. For example (don’t watch if you’re easily startled… and you might want to turn the volume down):

And:

Consider the potential this has for horror ebooks! You’re reading along, the protagonist creeps up the stairs, reaches out to open the door, you turn the page and… SCREAMING ZOMBIE FACE!!!

It’s genius! Someone get Stephen King and Dean Koontz on the phone!

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