Editorial board member Laura Kannard sent me an interesting link this morning about vampire queen Anne Rice's latest publication. Rice is publishing her classic The Vampire Lestat as a Vook. No that's not a typo. A Vook is a smashup of a video and a book. The format is similar to a standard eBook feed, with accomanying video footage playing as a sidebar.
If you are having a hard time wrapping your mind around the concept, there's a promo video on Vook's site. The big question will be if the Vook concept is a flash in the pan or a real advancement in what books will become. If nothing else, it would be a boon to "How To" books. Being able to see exactly how to change that faucet instead of looking at poor quality diagrams might make the concept viable in and of itself. If the Vook catches on, iPad type hardware would seem to be a natural vehicle to propel Vooks into a generally accepted form of the written works.
The Vook company might have another thing going for it. Given that this is not quite an eBook or a traditional print book, will the powerhouse publishers have contractual rights to stop authors from going to a Vook format? My crystal ball says if the Vook gets more popular, there will be a few legal battles in the making.