Linked: Publishers publish Vooks

Publishers are beginning to publish vooks:

On Thursday, for instance, Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King, is working with a multimedia partner to release four “vooks,” which intersperse videos throughout electronic text that can be read — and viewed — online or on an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Some people don’t agree:

But another reviewer, posting as Rj Granados, wrote, “Do you really think cheesy video vignettes will IMPROVE the book?”

For the record: no.

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Category: Linked List

  • Michael Rogus

    I like how you hate the word “vlook” (I do as well) but endorse the equally horrible “blook”.

  • Eli James

    Not exactly, Michael. When Novelr first began there was no other alternative to describe what we were doing. Lately I’ve been making it a conscious decision to move away from that word. The community, part of it centered around Novelr, and largely influenced by Chris’s work at WFG, have been moving away from ‘blook’ and towards ‘web fiction’.

    I’ll be renaming the categories soon. Been putting it off, along with the about page, for far too long.

  • Eli James

    On second thought, adding that caveat is petty and irrelevant to commentary of the model. I’m removing it, and am considering writing an analysis of multimedia in ebooks. Thanks, Michael.

  • Michael Rogus

    That’s good to hear. That word has always bugged me because I don’t think we need a special title for writing on the web. A novel is a novel whether it is printed and bound, or if it is digital on the internet. There is no need to marginalize writing on the web by segregating it from the rest of the writing world with silly sounding names. “web fiction” is better than “blook” because it doesn’t sound silly at least, but I prefer just plain ol’ “fiction”.

  • Michael Rogus

    Sorry for throwing this post off topic ;)

    On the actual topic: I think publishers are desperate because they can sense their forthcoming obsolescence and are grasping for something, anything that they see as “the future”.

    This experiment will fail and fade away with little notice in a short period of time and they will try something else which will also fail. rinse repeat. Once they are gone the new business model that we will all rely on will emerge but until that day expect to see lots more poorly thought out multimedia gimmicks like this video thing and ARGs like Personal Effects: Dark Art.

  • Eli James

    You might like to read this.

  • Eli James

    Oh, don’t apologize for comments, Michael, that was a valid point you brought up. I do have to point out here that the founder of Vook is an entrepreneur at heart. In my last criticism of the format, I talked about how publishers might not want in on the project, and how they would require a distribution channel.

    Vook has found both: Simon and Schuster for the former, and the App store for the latter.