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.”
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.