“Unconventional and innovative, this is the future of e-publishing here and now—a thriller you not only read, but interact with. Pretty cool and completely fascinating. Attention everyone with an ebook, don’t miss W. Craig Reed’s THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE.”–Steve Berry, bestselling author of THE COLUMBUS AFFAIR
When was the last time you read a novel where you changed the story direction, decided whether characters lived or died, chose how the book ended and read prose customized to your personality and preferences? What about a book with a multimedia-enhanced Afterword that explores non-fiction topics introduced in the novel? W. Craig Reed has broken new ground with the first personally-interactive multimedia-enhanced thriller, THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE, where SEAL Team Six and NCIS operators team up with Russian bio-scientists to stop an ancient society from creating a genetic weapon. But what really makes THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE special is a new technology and ebook reader application, called PIERbook™, that can customize the story for readers based on selections, personalities and preferences. PIERbook stands for Personally Interactive Enhanced Reading book. Readers can now interact with the story to determine the fate of the novel’s characters, the selection of chapters and plot paths, story endings, and even the prose. What’s more, the book’s afterword is multimedia enhanced, accessed by links in the novel to allow readers to further explore various non-fiction topics.
Readers can now enjoy a thrilling novel while indulging in a fun, game-like personal experience where they are in control of the narrative and the characters. The selections they choose may lead to disaster, perhaps even the demise of the hero. Others may propel readers down alternative paths and endings. But with one ebook click, readers can return to the previous chapter and chose a different course in this action-packed story. As readers engage with the novel, they can also click on embedded links to connect to non-fiction chapters in the Afterword that dive deeper into specific topics of interest via text, web links, video, audio and animation.
How does THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE differ from other interactive or enhanced ebooks? After all, haven’t interactive ebooks been around for years? Yes, but these typically offered only basic “alternate chapter” selections via standard HTML links. Some children’s ebooks provide enhanced multimedia, such as animations, video and audio, but require special reader applications so cannot be read within a standard ereader, such as Kindle®, iBook® or Nook®. Anthony Zuiker, the creator of the television series CSI, published an enhanced digi-novel that offers video, animation and interactive features, but the plot path is not personally selectable and the book requires its own reader app. Dave Morris recently re-published Mark Shelly’s classic Frankenstein story, adding a similar mix of enhancement along with some plot selection, but this is not an entirely new, unknown story, and this ebook also requires its own app.
THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE charts an entirely new course never before offered by any author. Readers can choose between several different options, including a basic version that features selectable “dead end” chapters and an advanced PIERbook version that customizes the book for each person.
“I wanted to ensure that any interactive elements would not interfere with the flow of a compelling story” Reed explains. “Every few chapters, readers can select between two alternate paths. One takes them down the standard plot path, the other can lead to disaster, such as the demise of the protagonist. This raises the stakes and tension in the story. Although readers now need to reverse and take another path, I sprinkle interesting details into these extra chapters so readers feel they gained something along the way.”
The advanced PIERbook version of the book, available later this summer, will provide readers with an iPad® or Kindle Fire®app, or any standard web browser. By answering a few animated questions about their personality and reading preferences, they can receive a version of the book customized just for them. But unlike other interactive or enhanced ebooks, no special app is required to actually read the book. Readers receive an email with an ePub or Mobi file that’s compatible with any Kindle, iBook, Nook or many other ereaders, even some older versions such as the Kindle-1.
“The technology to do this was developed over several years for one of my consulting clients and re-designed for my novels,” said Reed. “I wanted something that could create a personal experience for you, yet could be read inside your favorite ereader without the need for a special app.”
Included in the THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE is another first: an enhanced multimedia non-fiction Afterword that explores several topics introduced in the novel, such as Navy SEAL training and tactics, Soviet and Iraqi secret bio-weapons programs and the genetic science behind “hard-wired” personalities. The concept is similar to the bonus DVD provided with hit movies, but taken to a higher level.
Version One of THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE is available as of May 20, 2012. Version Two, which takes advantage of the PIERbook technology and app, is due out in Fall of 2012.
“Other authors have expressed interest in PIERbook,” said Reed. “I plan to eventually offer this technology to other writers wishing to create plot-interactive novels, and I believe this new approach may one day change the way books are written, published and read.”
“W. Craig Reed’s latest interactive ebook thriller, THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE, is a full-throttle ride filled with SEAL Team Six and NCIS secrets. Riveting and breathlessly paced, it’s a story that begs to be read in one sitting.” —James Rollins, bestselling author of THE DEVIL COLONY
William Craig Reed is a decorated U.S. Navy Diver and submariner and the bestselling author of THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE, the first plot-interactive multimedia enhanced thriller series for ebooks. Reed is the inventor of PIERbook™, an ereader application that personalizes novels based on selections, preferences and personalities. Reed’s non-fiction books include RED NOVEMBER (HarperCollins, 2010) and TARZAN, MY FATHER with Johnny Weissmuller, Jr. (ECW Press, 2002).
To learn more about Craig, please visit his website.