Vook Lovers – Yay or Nay?

Jekyll & Hyde VookI love the idea of Vooks (eBook/Video mashups). You can kick it old school by presenting your story in print, but the decked out version is enhanced with video to make the experience for readers truly interactive and dynamic.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: combines the classic story with a classic silent film from 1920 with Hollywood great John Barrymore. The Vook also includes original illustrations from this story that was first published in 1886.

Photo: Vook.com

People learn in different ways. Some gather info from text while others do better with visuals; images, drawings, etc. So it makes sense that as writers, we would do well to use all the tools at our disposal to entice readers.

Imagine being able to embed an MP3 that could be the soundtrack to a particular scene in your story. Or adding short, documentary-style mini-films that give background info on aspects of your story. Even interactive maps of the world you have created, complete with timelines that make your story that much more multidimensional.

If I had the time, I would love to create mini movies to go with my stories (I've tried my hand at story teasers/trailers and while I love the idea I'm not sure that I can justify the time spent on a less-than-60-second trailer). I recently added Inklings, my version of a sneak-behind-the-scenes-peek at how I come up with my story ideas (and I know a few other people who have done the same thing – I know I'm not the only one who likes to see what goes on in the mind of my fellow writers). If I was an artist, I'd sketch what I envision and share it with my readers, because my stories often come to me in images first rather than words.

That's the rub though. These things are fun – both for me and, one would imagine, for readers, too. After all, phones aren't just phones anymore. They are full-on media portals. And Vooks are the ear and eye candy for those who have a sweet tooth for all things animated. These pretty moving pictures may very well give people that extra nudge to read your work. But finding the time to create these little extras is difficult and takes away from the most important thing to any writer – actual writing time.

So, until I have "people" to do all that for me, I'll keep doing what I'm doing, adding to the various dimensions of my stories when and where I can. Hopefully my words are enough bait for enquiring minds.

What do you think of Vooks? Do you think the video portions would add to your stories? Or would they take away from your words? Do you employ any interactive or dynamic methods to entice readers? Do share!

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11 Responses to Vook Lovers – Yay or Nay?

    • Mine too, Cate. Maybe with some practice, we’ll each develop our skills – or at least realize our true calling really is with words, not video.

    • That’s a good idea. It would also make a great enticement to get readers to sign up for your newsletter by offering them something extra that the general public doesn’t get to see.

  1. I think this whole concept is great. The idea is to give the consumer options. Evo Terra at podiobooks is always reminding us that we should not impose our own reading/listening/consuming preferences on our readers.

    Obviously one has to weigh the time spent versus how interested people will be in it, but I suspect over time we’ll see more robust tools for generating a broader potential experience without spending inordinate amounts of extra time.

    • Good tip, Edward. I certainly don’t want to force my impressions on readers – I want them to experience the story and not try to beat them over the head with too much of my bad influence 🙂

    • I imagine using a service company to do it would cost a pretty penny. And my DIY spirit would rather tackle it on my own 🙂 But wanting to do it and making the time is an entirely different story. Maybe for a novel/novella but not for every short story I write. I’d go mad! Or blind from staring at the screen too long.

    • Same here, Nicole. I’ve tried everything from WYSIWYG to full-on video making software and don’t have the skills or patience 🙂 One day…

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