What Is A Vook, And How Will It Change Publishing?

This is a cross-posting from The Creative Penn.

Publishers Simon& Schuster launched 4 ‘vooks’ last week, a combination of book and video to create a new medium for the reading/watching experience (video on What is a Vook here).

They are available in the Apple app store for the iPhone and are aimed at handheld devices, although are not compatible with the Kindle or Sony e-reader as they don’t do video. You can also buy them at Simon & Schuster’s website.

Check out the video below to see some of the Vooks in action.

Judith Curr points out in the video that:

  • The future is not just linear text
  • Videos already used for promotion and are an aspect of publishing for the 21st century.
  • There are 4 genres, 2 fiction and 2 non-fiction. They are testing the process to see how popular they are.
  • For non-fiction it enables the ultimate ‘How-To’ so you can see how to do the exercises or the skin care.
  • For fiction, it tells the story in a new way. It expands the experience.
  • It is important to start and then the opportunities present themselves. (JP – I fully believe this!)
  • The vook is perfect for memoirs, autobiographies. It allows imagination in a new way. It is content being expressed in multiple ways.

How will this change publishing?

I think this is a fantastic development in publishing!

  • One of the top publishers, Simon & Schuster is embracing multi-media and a digital platform for ‘book’ products. It just shows that it is not just indie authors and small presses who are interested in new technology. Mainstream publishers are also seeing the opportunity. I first learnt about these types of opportunities from JC Hutchins, author of multi-media novel, ‘Personal Effects Dark Art’, and now it’s going mainstream. Exciting times!
  • There are opportunities for new sources of revenue for both publisher and author. The authors are getting ebook royalties (whatever that means!) but Jude Deveraux wrote her novella in 6 days and then worked with a film-maker. This is clearly not the 5 years Dan Brown took to write “The Lost Symbol”! These vooks may not replace the mainstream novel but they could represent a smaller, short story based product that could make authors money in between novels.
  • The ‘vooks’ have launched on Apple’s app store, and so the possibility of creating one as an indie author is there. This week I am interviewing Winged Chariot, who publish children’s books on the App store. I will be asking them how to create an app and will be posting more on this. I am determined to have my books as iPhone apps, but not for a huge price. I’ll let you know what I find out!

I have bought “Embassy” for my iPhone, so I shall have a read/watch and report back.