Frank Fiore is a best selling author of over 50,000 copies of his non-fiction books that include: Launching Your Yahoo! Business, Succeeding at Your Yahoo! Business, Write a Business Plan in No Time, The 2005 Online Shopping Directory for Dummies, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting an Online Business, eMarketing Strategies (translated into other languages), Successful Affiliate Marketing for Merchants , TechTV’s Starting an Online Business and Dr. Livingston’s Online Shopping Safari Guidebook. With such a wealth of experience in technology, it isn’t surprising that Frank has seized the opportunity to test out the latest in digital book technology: enhanced digital books.
Please tell us a little about yourself, Frank.
Frank: I live in Paradise Valley, AZ. I have a B.A. in Liberal Arts and General Systems Theory from Stockton State College and a Master Degree in Education at the University of Phoenix. During my college years, I started, wrote and edited the New Times newspaper which is now a multi-state operation.
My writing experience includes guest columns on social commentary and future trends published in the Arizona Republic and the Tribune papers in the metro Phoenix area. Through my writings, I explain in a simplified manner, complex issues and trends.
My interests in future patterns and trends range over many years and many projects. I co-wrote the Terran Project, a self-published book on community futures design processes, and worked as a researcher for Alvin Toffler on a series of high school texts on the future. I’ve designed and taught courses and seminars on the future of society, technology and business and was appointed by the Mayor of Phoenix to serve on the Phoenix Futures Forum as co-chairperson and served on several vital committees.
Tell us about your novel CyberKill and the latest development.
Frank: Fans of Tom Clancy, James Patterson and Clive Cussler, will enjoy this twist on the Frankenstein myth. A brilliant programmer, Travis Cole, inadvertently creates “Dorian,” an artificial intelligence that lives on the Internet. After Cole attempts to terminate his creation, Dorian stalks his young daughter through cyberspace in an attempt to reach Cole to seek revenge.
When a top secret government anti-terrorist, nano-technology program, SIRUS, gets deployed for testing, Dorian discovers the perfect vehicle for his retribution. Cyber-terrorism events threaten the United States, as the forsaken and bitter Dorian zeroes in on his target. In the final conflict, Dorian seeks to kill his creator – even if it has to destroy all of humanity to do it.
Cyberkill has recently been turned into an enhanced digital book.
That sounds interesting. What is an enhanced book?
Frank: Basically, enhanced books are the process of rethinking what a book is. They’re e-books enhanced with video, author interviews and social-networking applications.
What enhanced digital book features does CyberKill have?
Frank: The new features available in the enhanced digital app version of Cyberkill, many of which have never been seen in a digital book before, include seamless switching between the text version and a full audio version of the story, evolving synopsis, character lookup and biography, dynamic links to incorporate the power of the web into the book, sharing through social media and email, bookmarking, recorded annotations, author videos and commentaries, and author interaction.
You said it was an app?
Frank: Yes. The app will run on the iPhone 3G and later; iPad (all); iPod 2 and later. Basically, any Apple device running iOS 4.2 or higher. You can download the app a in the Apple App store.
You can also run the app on all Android smart phones and tablets running version 2.2 or later of the Android operating system, including the Kindle Fire and NOOK.
And since it is an app, I can change the book, add new features or expand on the ones there, at ay time.
Why did you want to have CyberKill turned into an enhanced digital book?
Frank: I wanted to share a story with as wide an audience as possible, using whatever narrative tools were at my disposal. I was really excited about releasing the Cyberkill enhanced digital app because it allowed me to add elements to the story that would have been impossible in a traditional e-book. This new technology creates a new way for authors and readers to approach books that enrich and extend storytelling, and I’m hoping readers will like what we’ve created.
In short, readers now can ‘experience’ a book and not just read it.
What else is unique about the enhanced version of CyberKill?
Frank: It’s free. You see, it’s advertising supported so you can download the entire app for free. You can turn off the ads at anytime through the main menu to purchase the enhanced e-book application for $4.99. The ads will disappear, and your eyeballs will thank you.
What is an evolving synopsis?
Frank: Ever forget what has happened in a book? How about that character you just can’t quite remember? Your enhanced e-book has both an evolving book synopsis and an evolving character synopsis. As you read along in the book, the evolving synopses are populated with simple plot points to remind you of the action. We’ll never spoil the plot by revealing what is going to happen next!
How can a person share the Trapdoor Enhanced e-book experience with friends?
Frank: Contrary to traditional belief, reading is not a solitary endeavor. We make it easy to share your thoughts with friends, book review sites and the author!
To share a passage using your favorite social media site, double tap and drag the blue dots to highlight the entire passage. Select Share from the pop-up menu. Depending on which Social Media sites you have installed on your device, options for sharing will appear – including the most popular such as Twitter and FaceBook. Submitting your post will return you to the book.
Chatting with the author is a wickedly cool feature in your enhanced e-book application. To make a post to the author’s blog, choose “Chat With Author” from the Main menu. An author page with a forum will appear. Follow existing conversations or start your own thread. It’s easy and fun.
What is marginalia?
Frank: The marginalia display area is a bar running down the right-hand side of the page displaying icons for enhanced e-book features. It can be turned on and off by tapping the triangle icon located in the upper-right corner of the book.
To access a marginalia feature — such as a wiki-link, map, bookmark, annotation, audio extra, or video extra — simply tap on the icon and the feature will display. For example, a wiki-link (the W icon in the marginalia) will take you to a website with more information about a particular topic found in the text (i.e., BattleBots). Tapping the back arrow will return you to the book.
After Cyberkill, what’s next for Frank Fiore?
Frank: I’ve just finished a charter series called the Chronicles of Jeremy Nash. Jeremy Nash, a noted debunker and skeptic of conspiracy theories, urban legends and myths. The formula of the chronicles consists of a conspiracy theory, unsolved mystery, urban myth, New Age belief or paranormal practice that Nash is forced to pursue through a series of clues and puzzles that he must solve; combined with an underlying real world threat of event, organization or persons that is somehow connected to what he is pursuing. This provides the thriller aspect of the stories.
Think Indiana Jones meets National Treasure meets the X-Files.
For more background and info on CyberKill — the enhanced book — go to http://www.frankfiore.com/cyberkill/cyberkill-3-0/ or http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cyberkill/id470293392?mt=8.
Thank you, Frank, for this interesting discussion about enhanced digital books.
Frank: Thanks again for inviting me.