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  • Vook = video + book

    Image via Entertainment Weekly

    Contestant: "I'll take 'Electronic Readers' for $1000, Alex"

    Trebek: This is what you get when you cross a book with video content.

    Contestant: What is a Vook?

    Trebek: Correct!

    If someone had asked me the other day what a vook was, I would have said it sounded like something that belongs in a difficult category on Jeopardy. But it turns out that there's nothing overly complex or arcane about a "vook." In fact, the "vook" may sound vaguely familiar to some, as the idea has apparently been bounced around for a while. (I was probably busy jailbreaking my mom's iPhone during that discussion. Who has time to read anyway, right?)

    But thanks to Simon and Schuster, it looks like many of us could soon grow more familiar with these digital book/video hybrids than we may presently anticipate.

    From the New York Times this week:

    In a book-bending experiment combining film and prose, Simon & Schuster and Vook, a multimedia company that produces video content for books, are releasing four digital titles in which links to short video segments are seamlessly interspersed throughout the text.
    Essentially, these “vooks” are viewable on any browser-based device, including the iPhone and iPod Touch. Yet it isn't meant to compete with electronic readers like Amazon’s Kindle because that particular device can't support video. According to Simon and Schuster, vooks allow "readers to seamlessly read, watch, and enjoy both text and video at the same location on their screen."

    Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, is rolling out four initial titles as vooks. They include: “The 90-Second Fitness Solution” by Pete Cerqua, “Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin” by Narine Nikogosian, “Promises,” by Jude Deveraux, and “Embassy,” by Richard Doetsch.

    The “vooks” will be sold on the Web sites of Simon & Schuster and Vook for $6.99 apiece. Versions for the iPhones will be available in the Apple App store for a promotional price of $4.99.
    Are vooks anything to really get excited about?

    I think the answer for now is "maybe."

    I can't image that someone like Steve Jobs (who also seems to share my opinion that few people still read these days) won't be interested to see how well vooks perform in the coming months. Since there is an indirect relationship with Apple here - at least in that vooks can be enjoyed on Apple devices - an overwhelming show of success could prompt Apple to proceed with an electronic reader of its own.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Vook = video + book started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 14 Comments
    1. mattharris85's Avatar
      mattharris85 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Messany View Post
      Jeopardy lol

      Sounds pretty cool, but they gotta do something about the name.
    1. domaid's Avatar
      domaid -
      Reading doesn't appeal to me and guess what neither will that.
    1. iphone4idiots's Avatar
      iphone4idiots -
      I either want to watch a movie or read a book. Not both. Why not make it part book part audio book while you're at it. Bad idea, but then again I thought Snappy Auctions was the dumbest business idea in a long time (Ebay retail store) and she made over a million just in franchise fees :0
    1. Azn_Sapper's Avatar
      Azn_Sapper -
      I think this is a bad idea. Personally, it would annoy the hell out of me if I have to keep clicking on links in order to watch small segments of the novel acted out. I would never finish the book! As iphone4idiots said above, either watch a movie or read a book... Not both.
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      book + audio = alright ... book + video = i dont see the point
    1. JustinPizzle's Avatar
      JustinPizzle -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ticko View Post
      book + audio = alright ... book + video = i dont see the point
      "see'? pun intended? lol
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Sounds like a flopper to me. I guess if anyone will make it work it will be lazy americans that just thumb to the video so they dont actually have to read...
    1. User name5.2's Avatar
      User name5.2 -
      kind of like those kids books that you press the button and it makes the sound? Now you can see the cow moo!!
    1. dmaximob's Avatar
      dmaximob -
      Isn't the fun in reading a book being able to use your own imagination and interpretation? Maybe this only applies to Fiction, but if I was a writer I'm not too sure I'd want a video to point my readers on an established path.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      I can see this having potential for instructional books, such as:
      How To do it Yourself
      Computer Programs

      I think it might even have some appeal in Travel books, but I don't think this would be all that great for Novels and such.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      I think I'll just watch the movie.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      wait so whats the point of this again?
    1. Azn_Sapper's Avatar
      Azn_Sapper -
      Quote Originally Posted by mdc929 View Post
      wait so whats the point of this again?

      To have tons of people foolishly spend their money.
    1. juanluis_cl's Avatar
      juanluis_cl -
      nice app