updated 09:30 am EDT, Thu October 1, 2009
Simon and Schuster launches Vook format
Simon & Schuster hoped to spur on the creation of a new book format on Thursday by launching vooks, or video books. The approach builds videos directly into a text and is meant to enhance a work while minimizing the flow of a book as much as possible. An instructional book can show a task in action, for example, while a novel can use clips to establish the setting or to show a video a character would have watched.
The publisher has already launched the first four vooks, all of which come from Atria Press. All are available in a web version that uses Adobe Flash to show content and talk to other readers through social networking. It has also launched iPhone and iPod touch apps (App Store) that play the videos in Apple's built-in movie viewer and has similar social networking features. Web versions typically cost $7 due to the higher quality video while the iPhone apps cost $5.
Simon & Schuster hasn't said when it expects other vook titles to appear.