‘Vooks’: The Future of Book Publishing?

Our sister site GalleyCat today has a write-up and a Beet.TV video related to Simon & Schuster’s announcement that it is publishing four digital books that contain links to short videos.

These digital book/video hybrids are called “vooks,” and they were created by a multimedia company called Vook, which was started by former newspaper business columnist turned Internet entrepreneur Brad Inman.

Vooks can be read on any browser-based computers or the iPhone/iPod, the company said. Ironically, the New York Times notes, vooks won’t work on Amazon’s Kindle or Sony’s Reader because those e-reading devices don’t support video. Yet.

The inaugural four Vooks, all priced at $6.99, are Jude Deveraux’s “Promises”; “The 90-Second Fitness Solution” by Pete Cerqua; Richard Doetsch’s “Embassy”; and “Return to Beaty” by Narine Nikogosian.

The books will be distributed under Simon & Schuster’s Altria Books imprint. In the Beet.TV interview below, Altria publisher Judith Curr discusses the creative premise behind the vooks — each genre calls for a different approach — and hints at what will be required of media professionals in the publishing world of tomorrow. One quote:

“I want my editorial staff to have the skill set for the future, which is no longer just going to be about looking at linear text. They have to be involved in video creation and assets and things so that there’s a different way to tell the story.”