I visited the Vooks site and previewed a couple of their titles. I also visited Myebooks to see about other ventures that were possible for immediate experimentation outside of an exclusive corporate model. I can definitely see potential in offering vooks. At present though, there isn't much imagination involved with the titles. For example, Vook.com has a Sherlock Holmes title that touts a simple video explaining why opium dens were used as shock value by fiction authors of the time. Then it has a few wiki links to explain unfamiliar terms. That's it for the first couple pages. We don't get to really fuel the reading and visual experience together.
I expected that a Vook would simply be music or video that offered a visceral connection to the material - almost like a soundtrack to what was being read. As far as material that would provide instructional video outside text, one would assume this would work best with sex scenes, violence, or instructional videos i.e. "cooking shows," etc.
If I were to make a vook, I would make it much more integrated than it is presently. Right now a vook isn't worth a consumers time. True integration would require more creativity on the parts of the creators. Authors would need to be versed in multimedia tools, or have collaborators who have a deeper connection to material than the 70,000 random filmmakers at TurnHere who provide video content for Vook.com.
Of course, all Vook.com needs to be an immense success is one title that sells. Their push for fitness and cooking vooks is the right way to go. These will generate sales and interest, but what about fiction? Will they even be able to assist a person's imagination unless they go deeper into the video aspects of what happens with auditory and visual signals?
In order to effect fiction with visual sensations that would push text further into a reader's imagination, video would need to appear simultaneous to text. We would either need to read text much like subtitles as video proceeds, or have a timer linked to a page view to launch a video after a certain amount of time. These clips would not need to be long in duration. You could have a simple droning that would mirror the da-dum da-dum of Jaws, or the ominous keyboard sound in Halloween.
Such audio triggers combined with dirty images of arms flailing, etc. would be ample material for horror fiction, but there isn't much to work with outside genre fiction. Can you imagine a literary fiction novel transformed into a vook? Is there really anything to a vook other than having someone read/imagine for you? Wouldn't it be better to just watch a film adaptation?
I believe vooks will be the norm in a few years. As gaming technology meets the primitive state of vooks presently, we will start to see more interactive experimentations. The key for all of this will be hackers who devise their own vooks and make them available for download as independent entities. These selections and collaborative mags will pave the way for how vooks will incorporate audio and video. I also believe that Flash animation will be the key behind the most successful vooks. People aren't interested in live action depictions. We need to correlate with the illustration models that were provided earlier. That is why graphic novels and poetry will be successfully mutated if brought into a vook format. The only question is how to make a vook without signing up to a piece of shit site that takes all your money. Then, of course, comes the never-ending question for our digital generation - how would it get distributed?