Friday, April 24, 2009

Sara Nelson has landed!

Many of us are pleased to hear news today that publishing gadfly Sara Nelson, formerly of Publishers Weekly, has landed a new regular gig, at least part-time, as a publishing consultant to Vook. What's that, you ask? "Vook is a technology platform offering storytellers the best digital tools to deliver written stories with integrated video, photos, social media, and community features." I know, still not really clear.

This NY Times article from Brad Stone might help. It's a profile of Vook and its founder, Silicone Valley entrepreneur Bradley Inman, that explains the founder's hope, "to create great fiction, dramatic online video and compelling Twitter stream — and then roll them all into a multimedia hybrid that is tailored to the rapidly growing number of digital reading devices." This makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach, kind of like hearing the spread at a particularly large buffet. I'm not against it, just overwhelmed, and not clear offhand what I want from it.

Though this article was published at the beginning of this month, Sara Nelson was already weighing in. She's quoted in the article:

"Publishers are going to be confronted with the idea that either the words on the page have to be completely compelling on their own, or they have to figure out a way to create new sorts of subliminal draws in the new medium,” said Sara Nelson, the former editor of Publishers Weekly and a publishing industry consultant.

Ms. Nelson has seen the Vook prototype and says it is intriguing, but the challenge is to avoid feeling gimmicky. “If you are going to put video in a book, it has to flow so naturally into the story that readers don’t even realize they are switching mediums,” she said.


It's a heady concept, mixing these formats in one product, but they are smart to bring on a consultant who knows books but isn't so invested as to not see potential beyond the printed word.

I'll be curious to see where Vook goes from here - even if I don't subscribe to their Twitter feed. I only have so much time and attention available, people.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Usually when you see vague, gauzy language like this:

"Vook is a technology platform offering storytellers the best digital tools to deliver written stories with integrated video, photos, social media, and community features."

it means that they don't really know what the hell they have yet...they just have something.

Am I wrong?

Sociable