Vook is a new company that's come up with a method for blending text and premium video to create an interesting mobile multimedia experience around popular literature.
It combines the (relatively) old skool readability of a Kindle with the engagement of a YouTube series, all wrapped in the delicious flavor of a usable, interactive UI for web users and iFanboys alike.
Of course, no experiment involving new media and books would be complete without reference to our dear friend Mr. Gary Vaynerchuk, whose new title, Crush It!, was just published in every imaginable format, including this one. And as skeptical as we were about the marriage of books and video, at least for this author and product, the format really seems to work.
Another one of the Vooks we saw was a cookbook - another product type that meshes very well with the hybrid book/video offering.
We see vooks being awesome for many verticals. Celebrity-penned tomes interspersed with video interviews or anecdotes, how-to books with video tutorials, biographies, et cetera. But how does the format work for literary fiction, pop attorney dramas, or romance? Time and experimentation will tell.
Still, for nonfiction works, we think that ebook formats that can integrate intelligently with online video are where it's at, and we applaud Vook's direction. If they can just get the licenses to splice The Princess Bride film footage with the ebook text, we'll personally invest our two cents.