Suspend Your Disbelief

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Meet the Vook

Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint is teaming up with a multimedia partner to produce “vooks,” a book-video hybrid in which video segments are interspersed with printed text. Today’s release includes two how-to books and two novels (a romance and a thriller). The New York Times ArtsBeat blog reports:

The initial “vooks” are “The 90-Second Fitness Solution” by Pete Cerqua, a diet and exercise book aimed at women; “Return to Beauty: Old World Wisdom and Recipes for Great Skin” by Narine Nikogosian, a guide for using fruits, vegetables and other kitchen staples to make skincare products; “Promises,” a romantic novella by the best-selling author Jude Deveraux; and “Embassy,” a short thriller by Richard Doetsch. […]

In the nonfiction titles, the videos will be used to demonstrate some of the practical tips in the books, such as exercises or recipes for homemade cosmetics. And in the fiction, the videos will enhance or even advance the plots and scene descriptions.

As an example of the latter, reports another New York Times article, “In ‘Embassy,’ a short thriller about a kidnapping written by Richard Doetsch, a video snippet that resembles a newscast reveals that the victim is the mayor’s daughter, replacing some of Mr. Doetsch’s original text.”

Curious to learn more? Watch an interview (video, of course!) with Judith Curr, executive vice president and publisher for Atria, or check out the free online trailers.

Want to try out a vook yourself? They’re $4.99 to $6.99 and available from the Vook website and Simon and Schuster’s website for browsers and iPods/iPhones.

FWR readers, what say you? Is this a “gamechanger,” as Simon and Schuster hopes it will be? Or will it go the way of Smell-o-Vision?

Literary Partners