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  • Top 5 Reasons for Working with Vook

    Happy February!

    We’ve successfully made it to the month of love, where new and old partnerships can continue to blossom. In the spirit of partnerships, I wanted to take a moment to outline the top five reasons you should work with us to light up your content and provide your audience with a powerful Vook multimedia experience:

    1.            We are the leader in enhanced content. Vook has published the most enhanced titles in the iBookstore and on the Amazon Kindle App. Our JFK app was #1 in the iPad Paid Book Apps upon its release, and we were one of the first enhanced eBook on iTunes through our partnership with Simon & Schuster.

    2.            We distribute to a wide range of platforms. Our titles are on iTunes, Kindle App, and the iBookstore. We are currently developing opportunities for a host of other platforms. All titles are turned around within weeks, delivered to market, and promoted to digital audiences, including Facebook and Twitter.

    3.            We provide scalable solutions. Our global network of professional film producers allow us to quickly turn around video and audio production. Content is then added to our original MotherVook software and edited together to create unmatched, rich content—bringing text to life!

    4.            We carefully promote all titles. Each title is positioned and named after we’ve researched what will make it marketable. We pick eye-catching cover art for increased marketability. Our careful account management team makes sure that our distribution partners are alerted to new titles and promotional opportunities.

    5.            Maximized Revenue. Take advantage of backlist titles and transform them into a brand new content experience to revitalize sales.

    If you have any questions or would like to get started in creating your very own Vook, please visit http://publish.vook.com/.

    Introducing Vook’s iTunes Apps

    We were skeptical that we could trade the heft of a good book for reading on a mobile device, but once we exchanged William Vollmann’s massive Europe Central for the iPhone version, we became committed multi-platform readers. Mobile books let us fit more books into our lives and (for those who decry the collapse of literature) buy books we otherwise wouldn’t — which supports more authors. We knew that Vook had to have a mobile complement and it had to offer content and value.

    We created mobile versions of each of our launch titles—Promises by Jude Deveraux, The 90 Second Fitness Solution by Pete Cerqua, Embassy by Richard Doetsch and Return to Beauty by Narine Nikogosian. The mobile versions have all the text and video content of the Web based vook – and they let you follow the author and the community associated with the book through social media.

    Here are some of the key features of our mobile vooks:

    •    Mobile vooks feature the same text and the same great video content, optimized for the for iPhone and iPod touch for a truly engaging on the go reading experience.
    •    Videos download directly to your device so you can watch the videos anywhere, anytime you want.
    •    On the mobile vook, you can choose to watch the videos with the “Watch” functionality or watch and read with the “Read” functionality. The “Connect” functionality lets you connect to social media outlets to follow the conversation about the vooks.
    •    The videos play in high quality, high resolution, offering the same crispness and clarity as their counterparts on the browser.

    For those of you who might be skeptical about reading on your iPhone, please try one of these vooks. We think the integration of video and text on the mobile platform makes us unique on the market—and we want to know what books could be adapted to this format to make the most of it. Right now, the mobile vooks are only available for the iPhone and iPod touch but as other devices adapt to video content, we’ll be working to release our vooks to them as well.

    Bringing you Vook: Read it, Watch it.

    The Vook Team is pleased to announce today the launch of our first vooks, all published in partnership with Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. These four titles—Promises, a romance by Jude Deveraux, The 90 Second Fitness Solution, a fitness book by Pete Cerqua, Embassy, a thriller by Richard Doetsch and Return to Beauty, a health book by Narine Nikogosian—elegantly realize Vook’s mission: to blend a book with videos into one complete, instructive and entertaining story.

    As you will see from experiencing one yourself, a vook is an entirely new innovation—there’s nothing else like it available. A vook lets you read books and watch videos that enhance the reading experience, either by illustrating key moments in works of fiction or demonstrating important techniques and concepts for non-fiction. With a vook, you can read, watch and connect all in one place, without the hassle of switching between a book, your computer and your TV.

    To see why we’re so excited, please check out our launch titles on our product page. There, you can get a vook and find out for yourself why Vook is both a vital innovation for books and a powerful new way for readers to engage with them. Try a vook on your computer or download one to your iPhone or iPod Touch at the Apple iTunes Store.

    We’re not the only ones convinced that Vook is the future of reading. We are pleased to join forces with Simon & Schuster, one of the world’s leading publishing houses, to release these initial titles. These four titles are a true joint venture—Simon and Schuster represents the best of publishing’s editorial expertise while Vook contributes the understanding of engaging visual content, the power of video production and technological expertise.

    Simon & Schuster’s authors—Jude Deveraux, Richard Doetsch, Pete Cerqua and Narine Nikogosian—have all been strong champions of the Vook platform. Their understanding of books, video and the Internet have made them the perfect partners for our filmmakers. And Vook’s filmmakers have risen to the challenge of crafting a visual story to complement these author’s narratives. Filmmakers Michael Franchetti, Adad Warda, Christopher Chambers, Mario de la Vega, Chris Cassidy and Robert Sobul all contributed their visions to create videos that raise the quality of our vooks above any other offering on the market.

    You can expect to see many more vooks coming soon. But right now, we’d love it if you would check out one of our inaugural titles and let us know what you think. We’re thrilled to share our hard work. If you’ve been following our story from the beginning, then you know that we’re committed to revolutionizing books and helping devoted readers — readers like ourselves — get more out of every moment they spend with a great book. If we have our way, you’re soon going to pick up a great book and wonder what it would be like if it was a great vook.

    Thank you for all your support. Please check out one of our launch titles and let us know what you think by emailing the team at info@vook.com.

    PROMISES by Jude Deveraux ($6.99) – a novella set in 19th century South Carolina, from the beloved author of 36 New York Times bestsellers.

    THE 90-SECOND FITNESS SOLUTION by Pete Cerqua ($6.99) – an innovative new fitness program from one of New York’s most respected trainers that can be practiced at home, in the office, or using Vook’s mobile application, at the gym.

    EMBASSY by Richard Doetsch ($6.99) – a suspenseful thriller from the bestselling author of THE THIEVES OF HEAVEN

    RETURN TO BEAUTY by Narine Nikogosian ($6.99) – natural, old-World, time tested skin care recipes from a well-known Hollywood aesthetician.

    1 part video, 1 part book, add some extra salt

    Recruiting a new team from scratch is one part of the start-up puzzle. A time lapse video would capture the manic experimentation that goes into this process; no recipe exists when the company you are building is in an entirely new category where there are no legacy practices to follow. All of which brings me to Vook. One part video, one part book and one part social media, all put together into a single experience. Imagine a Japanese chef working along side an Italian cook and a California cuisine expert, attempting to come up with a stew that we might all enjoy. The results could be a mess. Done right it is fusion. Here is where Chef Vook comes in; he/she is a creative and production specialist who knows books, understands video and has a feel for social media. Chef V collaborates with the film team and the book editor group to create this new experience.  At Vook, we have resolved that every Vook must have the sensibilities and direction of Chef Vook who can cook up the proper media mix, figure out the flow of text and video and offer a presentation that makes the Vook irresistible. The Vook team is growing fast, check out our priority openings here. We are looking for smart and passionate people who want to cook up some great Vooks.

    Brad Inman — Vook founder

    Found in Translation

    We’re serious book lovers at Vook – one of our producers just read 2666 between takes on a long shoot – but we also love, obsessively follow and make movies and online video. That expertise will set Vook apart from other e-book creators: We understand books and video culture. Now we’re combining those mediums into a new experience that will really make words pop.

    As we scour the Internet for inspiration, a few projects stand out. Once a week, we’re going to share some of these finds to give you a feel for how we’re thinking creatively. This week, we’ve got three examples of poetry that’s made the translation into the digital world. If a new, more visual take on the written word can get people caught up in a poem, anything’s possible.

    One of the most impressive efforts has to be ad agency DDB of London’s transformation of a recording of Richard Burton reading a Dylan Thomas poem into a car ad. Though it’s as sleek and of the moment as a music video, the ad’s focus is squarely and reverently on Thomas’s poetry. When we first saw the spot a few years ago, it was a great reminder that poetry can still give us shivers – and maybe sell a few cars.

    On the amateur side, we’ve long been following the work of Jim Clark, a London based videographer who produces fascinating poetry videos. Jim combines black and white photos of poets, many from the WWI generation, with audio recordings of the poet reading his work. He then subtly animates the photo’s mouth in time with the recording. The final result makes it look as if the photograph is reciting the poem. The effect, though stiff, is haunting, uncanny, and often deeply affecting. But allow us one (kind of major) complaint. Clark insists on putting a copyright and title card in big letters over the photographs, just as the poem begins. It really jars the experience. While we’re listening to the opening lines of “Dolce et Decorum Est” seemingly spoken by Wilfred Owen himself, we don’t want to be reading a copyright notice.

    Finally, we often return to the charming animations on Billy Collins Action Poetry. This site collects eleven video interpretations of Billy Collins’ poetry in one place. Every video is a treat – though make sure you don’t miss Jeff Scher’s swirling “No Time” or Julian Grey’s beautiful “Forgetfulness.”

    If poetry – that most lamented literary genre – can be turned into groundbreaking video content, then we at Vook have a lot of work ahead of us: there’s a whole universe of books out there, just waiting to be stunningly enhanced with video.

    WATCH: DDB’s VW Ad with Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas

    WATCH: Jim Clark’s animated poets

    VISIT: Billy Collins Action Poetry

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