Curling Up With Hybrid Books, Videos Included
- September 30, 2009

For more than 500 years the book has been a remarkably stable entity: a coherent string of connected words, printed on paper and bound between covers. But in the age of the iPhone, Kindle and YouTube, the notion of the book is becoming increasingly elastic as publishers mash together text, video and Web features in a scramble to keep readers interested in an archaic form of entertainment. 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.

Book Buzz: What's New on the List and in Publishing
- September 30, 2009

'Vook' hook: It's a book. It's a video. No, it's a "vook," which Atria, a division of Simon and Schuster, hopes is the next new thing in digital publishing. The first four vooks, blending e-books and videos, will be released today: Jude Deveraux's novella Promises, Richard Doetsch's thriller Embassy, Pete Cerqua's The 90-Second Fitness Solution and Narine Nikogosian's Return to Beauty.

NY Publisher Releases Deveraux Novel as Video Book
- Hillel Italie - October 1, 2009

The latest novel from best-selling romance author Jude Deveraux isn't exactly a book. "Promises" is a reading and viewing experience, a digital text in which videos not only complement the narrative but add to it. "Promises" is one of four online video books being published Thursday by Simon & Schuster Inc. in collaboration with Vook, an Emeryville, Calif.-based startup that integrates text, video and social networking.

What is a Vook and Will It Change How You Read?
- Keith Staskiewicz - October 1, 2009

Well, the answer’s in the name: Video+Book=Vook. (The math checks out.) Clips of a few minutes in length are embedded into the text of an e-book to create a multimedia experience. The videos can accompany the text or advance the plot themselves, and they are produced exclusively for each title. Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, is releasing four vooks (two nonfiction, two fiction) today for purchase online or for the iPhone. Atria has developed the project with the San Francisco-based startup that originally conceptualized the format, and it hopes the Vook will become the go-to medium for subway riders and waiting-room attendees everywhere. So how does it stack up: Is it Kindle or kindling? I took a test run.

Video: Simon & Schuster Authors on "Game-Changing" Platform for Digital Book/Video Hybrid with a new "Vook"

Andy Plesser - September 30, 2009

In the fast-changing landscape of digital book publishing there is now something called a vook, a product and company which is a hybrid of text and video, delivered on the Web and as an iPhone download . Simon & Schuster's Atria imprint, is working with Vook, a San Francisco-area start-up, to publish four "vooks," of both non-fiction and fiction. They are Promises, by Jude Deveraux; The 90-Second Fitness Solution by Pete Cerqua; The Embassy by Richard Doetsch and Return to Beauty by Narine Nikososian.


Sneak Peek at Vook - the Digital Book Future - June 10, 2009

“What's the future of a digital book? Will the written word give way to video and dialogue? Possibly. Vook, which combines books, video and dialogue, is expected to be launched this September. In this segment, Bambi Francisco interviewed Brad Inman, CEO and founder of Vook, a startup that brings life to books in a new way. Inman also gives Bambi the first sneak preview of Vook, and talks about the economics of the Vook and how publishers can get involved.”

Books of the Future Include Tweeting Characters and Interaction with Readers - April 17, 2009

“If Bradley Inman is right, books will no longer be just printed words, but will involve videos supplementing the storyline, characters "tweeting" away their thoughts online and readers collaborating and revising the original story. Inman is the man behind the "Vook," an e-book platform that wraps text, video, and social networking together into one package.”

E-Reader, The Sequel: Startups Try To Redefine What A Book Is - April 7, 2009

“With Kindle buzz prompting everyone from Hearst to Plastic Logic to try their hand at launching an e-Reader, innovation in book publishing has mostly been on the device end. But there's a fresh crop of startups that are trying to transform the notion of what a "book" is, per the NYT, from just linear, text-based content, to a multimedia experience complete with text, video, and even?wait for it?tweets. The idea is to try to make books as interactive as the devices we use to read them on, without alienating authors (and publishers) already wary of the way the internet is transforming the industry.”




Introducing the “Cookvook”: Vook Premiers “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen”

Noted Cookbook Author Eric Gower Brings His Modernist Japanese Cuisine to the Vook

EMERYVILLE, CA, November 5, 2009 — Vook, the company that blends text and video into an innovative new experience, today announced the arrival of the first “cookvook,” “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen ,”from author Eric Gower.

“The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen” can be streamed from the Web via the Vook Reader, or downloaded to an iPhone/iPod touch from the iTunes App store. This premier cookvook features recipes and professionally shot videos that allow the at-home cook to read along and watch Eric’s hands-on guidance for preparing his contemporary Japanese dishes. Readers can read/watch as Eric demonstrates how to prepare dishes like roasted hamachi with a miso-apricot glaze, udon with herby pesto and smoked salmon salad with edamame.

Having lived in Japan for more than fifteen years, Eric has developed an appreciation for minimalist cooking that achieves singular bold flavors. A cooking teacher and private chef, Eric is also the author of three cookbooks. “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen” cookvook features more than a dozen videos of Eric teaching how to prepare dishes and shop for ingredients and guiding readers through his approach to bold Japanese-inspired dishes.

“When Vook approached me about doing the first cookvook, the epiphany was immediate,” said Eric Gower. “Integrating written recipes and stories with in-the-kitchen visuals is such a no-brainer way to connect with home cooks everywhere. It’s the perfect medium to make hesitant cooks feel more comfortable, because you can SEE how simple the breakaway approach really is, yet still have the written instructions to guide you.”

“Launching a cookvook is a natural step for us, and Eric’s innovative and inviting style makes him the ideal first cookvook author,” said Bradley Inman, CEO and founder, Vook. “A cookvook is able to take written recipes and complement them with an engaging visual component. It’s like having a personal chef to guide the home cook in the kitchen, step-by-step.”

First introduced in October, Vook offers readers the ability to watch and read works from bestselling authors either on a browser-enabled computer via the Vook Reader, or an iPhone/iPod touch. Most recently, the company announced a partnership with HarperStudio and launched “Crush It!,” the first vook from Gary Vaynerchuk. “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen” is Vook’s first partnership directly with an author.

You can learn more about Vook and purchase “The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen,” for $5.99 at

About Vook
Vook is an entirely new company and integrated media experience that blends text and video to create robust, rewarding new experiences of the books and authors that readers love. For more information about vooks visit Vooks are streamed to the browser-based Vook Reader and are also available on the go as a unique mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Vook is based in Emeryville, CA. 



Peter Evers or Kasey Fleisher
Vook [at] launchsquad [dot] com




Gary Vaynerchuk’s “ Crush It!”Now a Vook

Bestselling Author Announces Upcoming New Vook;
HarperStudio Introduced As Latest Vook Publishing Partner

EMERYVILLE, CA, October 27, 2009 — Vook, the company that recently introduced the innovative new media product that blends text and video, today announced its newest strategic publishing relationship with HarperStudio, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, as well as the impending release of the “ Crush It!”vook .This is the first vook from “Social Media Sommelier,” Internet video tastemaker, brand expert, and bestselling author Gary Vaynerchuk

The “Crush It!”vook offers an entertaining step-by-step guide to entrepreneurial success through the personal and incredible story of Gary Vaynerchuk. The vook features never before seen videos and gives readers an insider’s look into how Gary has translated his success of building a family wine business into a $60 million dollar venture and a personal brand that has now grown from Web subculture to the mainstream.

“The project I did with Vook is one of the most exciting I have ever been involved with,” said Gary Vaynerchuk. “They really hustled to work with me and create this collection of amazing videos, and I am stunned by how polished the final product is. Just being a part of this on the ground floor very much makes me feel like I am looking into the future!”

The vook was introduced earlier this month as a new way for readers to experience the works of beloved authors and for authors and publishers to expand their publishing formats in step with the habits of today’s readers. Vooks blend text and video into a single, uninterrupted reading and viewing experience, enabling readers to read and watch at the same location on their screen.

Vooks are available on the iPhone and iPod touch, providing users constant access to engaging content whenever they want it. The applications have quickly become among the most compelling mobile entertainment options on the market, and some of the bestselling book applications at the iTunes store. Vooks are also available for the desktop and all browser-enabled computers via the Vook Reader, which allows for a full screen viewing experience of Vook’s HD-quality videos and integrated text.

“Gary shares the Vook vision. He understands that this new media approach is the best way to deliver his story to fans and readers,” said Bradley Inman, founder and CEO of Vook. “The “ Crush It!”vook brings Gary’s effervescent personality to life through premium video that’s not available anywhere else. As we expand our catalogue of vooks we are also delighted to welcome terrific publishing partner HarperStudio to the Vook family.”

“As soon as I heard about the vook, I knew I wanted to experiment, and the perfect author to start with was Gary Vaynerchuk,” said Debbie Stier, SVP, Associate Publisher, HarperStudio. “It was liberating to be able to expand out from the print book in areas where a video could enhance the written word. At the same time, it was a challenge to come up with video content that was fresh and unique from Gary, who’s all over the Internet in video. I think the vook achieves what we set out to do.”

“Crush It!”is the latest vook release and the first from HarperStudio. It is being released on the heels of the highly anticipated Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion,Gary Vaynerchuk’s book on building personal brand and entrepreneurial success.

“Crush It!”the vook is available for all Vook formats today. Please visit www.vook.comto get yours today.

Gary Vaynerchuk and Vook will be co-hosting a Special Edition Book Launch Party at The Bell House ( in New York tonight starting at 9:00 pm. Come hear Gary speak about how to “Crush It!,” check out never-before-seen behind-the-scenes video, and get a first-hand look at his first vook. The event is free.

About Vook
Vook is an entirely new company and integrated media experience that blends text and video to create robust, rewarding new experiences of the books and authors that readers love. For more information about vooks visit Vooks are streamed to the browser-based Vook Reader and are also available on the go as a unique mobile application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Vook is based in Emeryville, CA. 

About HarperStudio
HarperStudio, a division of HarperCollins, is a new imprint with the mission to change many of the practices of the publishing industry and create more realistic partnerships with bookstores as well as authors. HarperStudio was created in 2008 by Robert Miller, a publishing veteran who also founded Hyperion Books and saw the company through 17 years of growth and many bestsellers including The Last Lecture and marquee authors like Mitch Albom. In the first year of publishing they have had two New York Times bestsellers: Emeril at the Grill by Emeril Lagasse and The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene, and have published well-regarded books from authors as diverse as Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, Isabella Rossellini, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, and Mollie Katzen.



Peter Evers or Kasey Fleisher
Vook [at] launchsquad [dot] come

Simon & Schuster


Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Partners with Vook
to Introduce Readers to a Revolutionary Reading Format

NEW YORK, NY and EMERYVILLE, CA, October 1, 2009 — Beginning today, people can enjoy an entirely new and innovative way to read. The vook blends text and video into a single, integrated and uninterrupted reading and viewing experience, enabling readers to seamlessly read, watch, and enjoy both text and video at the same location on their screen. A state-of-the-art advancement in digital book technology, a vook uses high-quality, professionally produced video to add depth to the practical information offered by nonfiction in a way that static pictures or illustrations could not previously accomplish. For fiction, vooks use text and video interdependently to advance the plot and enhance the sense of place.

Four vooks are being published today by Atria Books as part of a partnership between Simon & Schuster, Inc., and Vook, who jointly announced today’s news. The inaugural vook titles are available in two formats: standalone mobile applications for the iPhone and iPod touch (at the Apple App Store), or as Web browser based editions (, and

The inaugural four Vooks are:

PROMISESby 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 SOLUTIONby 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

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

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

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Vook to introduce to the world this exciting new way to read,” said Judith Curr, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Atria Books. “The Vook’s innovative integration of text and high-quality video both advances and strengthens the reader’s knowledge and understanding, helping to frame plot and enrich character and locale. It is perfectly suited for the page-turning fiction and prescriptive nonfiction of the first vooks that we are offering to readers. Our authors have been actively involved in the creation of their vooks, and we think readers will be delighted with the results.”

“For the benefit of authors, publishers, filmmakers and most of all readers, Vook is bringing together two creative mediums—books and video—taking the best of both and redefining how we tell and consume stories,” said Bradley Inman, Founder and CEO of Vook. “Vook’s professionally-shot videos are downloaded to an iPhone and iPod Touch or streamed directly to a browser application alongside the text to create a seamless new reading experience that will energize and engage readers far more than the one-dimensional e-book options currently on the market. Atria, Simon & Schuster and their talented authors have been terrific launch partners in helping bring these first vooks to readers everywhere.”

“Vook is a game-changing model for reading in the age of digital multimedia, the first viable combination of text and video that is user-friendly and that addresses today’s multitasking audience and how it absorbs information and entertainment,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Simon & Schuster. “It is easily accessible in the way that consumers have come to expect from digital content, has great potential for distribution through traditional and non-traditional outlets, and expands and improves upon what was previously possible in the area of reading digitally. We look forward to publishing more vooks with other Simon & Schuster imprints.”

On the desktop vooks are viewable via the Vook Reader, which is built in Adobe Flash.
Its XML-based text and HD-quality videos are streamed directly through any browser, so the reader can expect a continuous, streamlined reading and viewing experience unlike any other on the market. Whether on the browser-based or mobile platform, the Vook Reader also allows and encourages readers to communicate and share their enthusiasm for vooks with other readers via social media functionality and connections that are built into the Vook Reader.

Title Information

PROMISES by Jude Deveraux
131 pages/17 videos

EMBASSY by Richard Doetsch
125 pages/13 videos

RETURN TO BEAUTY by Narine Nikogosian
83 pages/16 videos

170 pages/13 videos

About Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at

About Vook
Vook is an entirely new company and integrated media experience that blends text and video to create robust, rewarding new experiences of the books and authors that readers love. For more information about vooks visit or Vooks are streamed to the browser-based Vook Reader and are also available on-the-go as a unique mobile application. Vook is based in Emeryville, CA.

If you would like to become a Vook affiliate partner see more at


Peter Evers
Launch Squad (for Vook)

Adam Rothberg
Simon & Schuster
212-698-1132, [email protected]

Kathleen Schmidt
Atria Books
212-698-1132, [email protected]



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