Dumb Name, Cool Idea: “Vook” Video-Enhanced Books For iPod Touch, iPhone

A sample page from thriller vook "Embassy"

A sample page from thriller vook "Embassy"

Publishing house Simon & Schuster  just launched a new product dubbed “vook,”  a dumb name for what sounds like a smart video book.

The idea? Vooks blend text and video into a reading and viewing experience, so the next time you’re not really getting a sense of place from a novel, or want to see how exercises are done you can watch a video. It’s also got all of the social media trappings, so you can discuss, rant etc. about the vook, (pronounced to ryhme with book), too.

The first four titles, available for $4.99  each on iTunes, are workout book “The 90-Second Fitness Revolution,” a book of DIY spa treatments called “Return to Beauty,” a thriller by Richard Doetsch called “Embassy” and romance novella “Promises.”

Check out a video of the inevitable plantation in bodice buster "Promises" with vook.

Check out a video of the inevitable plantation in bodice buster "Promises."

Each ebook, pardon vook, has between 85 – 130 pages of text and 13-17 professionally-made videos, some integrated in the text, others run along the bottom as a separate menu.

The idea is timely — Apple recently launched a similar enhanced eBook called “Mayhem” that also came with an original soundtrack and clips — but it may work better for some genres than others.

The video enhancement is a great plus for how-to books,  while the video-enhanced romance novel (check out the brand-new period costumes and gauzy filters), leaves me cold.

About the author

Nicole MartinelliNicole Martinelli heads up Cult of Mac Magazine, our weekly publication available on iTunes. You can find her on Twitter and Google+. If you're doing something new, cool and Apple-related, email her.

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