Tell us a bit about yourself, your journey, and your book.
Well, I was born in New York, lived in London when I was little, and have lived in Singapore since I was 3. We did a family sabbatical in Berlin a few years ago, and spent a lot of time in Dubai. So far, I’ve been to more than 50 countries and over 70 cities. One summer while I was working on a 1,000-piece world map puzzle, I noticed how big Eurasia was. Since I’ve always loved trains, my dad suggested we travel from Scotland to Singapore, which is the furthest distance on earth connected by trains. So that’s how this book began!
I’ve been keeping travel diaries since I was 4 years old, filling them with tickets, sketches, and other souvenirs. I also started making travel videos when I was younger. So I really wanted to write not just a book but to bring together all the different elements into one immersive experience for anyone to feel like they were there with me.
How did you hear about Kotobee?
We knew that we wanted the book to be fully digital and web-based since we wanted readers to be able to see my pictures and videos, take quizzes and follow links. Amazon itself doesn’t really offer that functionality. So we were really lucky to stumble upon Kotobee online and see that it had standalone products and also integrated with Amazon.
What have you found unique in Kotobee as a solution of choice (or what drove you to choose Kotobee)?
We really loved all of Kotobee’s samples and how nice the user interface and experience was. It’s super neat and works just the way you want it to — just like reading an interactive book! It was also so great that Kotobee came up with the cover design and logos that we used throughout the book. They really match the colorful spirit of the book!
“We really loved all of Kotobee’s samples and how nice the user interface and experience was. It’s super neat and works just the way you want it to — just like reading an interactive book! It was also so great that Kotobee came up with the cover design and logos that we used throughout the book. They really match the colorful spirit of the book!”
Is there a particular aspect of your ebook that you are proud of the most?
I love the interactive quizzes. It was really fun to make them, and they go along well with the stories in the book. I’m especially happy that all the videos are included since they really bring the stories to life — both my experience and the history and sights in each place.
What metrics do you use to measure the success of your ebook? Has Kotobee affected those in any way? Any numbers (or even readers' feedback) here would be useful.
So far it’s been great to hear from friends and family that they’ve never had this kind of book experience before. And it’s been noticed by various media outlets as well. They really liked the story and the format.
What are your plans for the future? A new journey perhaps?
That’s easy: Priority #1 is finishing the trip! Because of COVID-19, we still have to go to Xinjiang and continue through China and Southeast to reach the finish line: Singapore!
Book link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QR8RPVG
Official book website: https://books.zarakhanna.com
Access the ebook: https://books.zarakhanna.com/from-scotland-to-singapore