GIFs, texts, serials: new ebook frontiers

In the decade since publishing embraced ebooks in earnest, we've seen a cornucopia of exciting and innovative ways technology is being used to enhance reading. By utilizing all the tricks at our Internet- and device-savvy disposal, publishing companies are creating stories that are manifested in and influenced by the digital platform.

There are novels told entirely in gifs (Zac's Haunted House by Dennis Cooper), novels-as-apps that require user engagement to progress (Arcadia by Iain Pears), "twitter for fiction" stories (Hooked), audio-dramas turned into mobile games (Wonderland from Jim Munroe), and, of course, e-books impressively tricked out to all hell (The Pickle Index by Eli Horowitz).

New on this scene is my company Serial Box, which seeks to "bring everything that's awesome about TV (easily digestible episodes, team written, new content every week) to what was already cool about books (well-crafted stories, talented authors, enjoyable anywhere)."

We're currently offering two serials (Bookburners, a Da Vinci Code-meets-Supernatural urban fantasy; and Tremontaine, a prequel to Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint that we describe as House of Cards meets The Three Musketeers). Our service looks to bring the model popularized by Dickens and Dumas into the 21st century, and meet mobile-based readers on their home turf (via our site and iOS app) with fiction built to be enjoyed episodically like a TV show.

(Image: Zac's Haunted House)