Thursday, April 09, 2009

Is This the Future of the Digital Book?


PLENTY of authors dream of writing the great American novel.

Bradley Inman wants 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.

Mr. Inman, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, calls this digital amalgam a “Vook,” ( and the fledgling company he has created with that name just might represent a possible future for the beleaguered book industry.

Publishing, of course, is feeling the same chronic pain as other media businesses, with layoffs, corporate restructurings and a general sense of gloom, doom and kaboom settling over name-brand giants like Random House and Simon & Schuster.

At the same time, there has been a flurry of optimism and activity around the once-derided idea that people might read books on a digital screen. Just this year, new electronic reading devices have emerged from Amazon, Samsung and Fujitsu, while mobile phones like iPhone from Apple have flowered seemingly overnight into acceptable reading devices for many bookworms.

And just as digital media have begun to change the nature of news, music and video, the emergence of e-books is causing various entrepreneurs and technologists to reconsider the kind of experience that books might one day deliver.


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1 comment:

Josh said...

Very interesting. I think that the future of publishing is going to be even more different that any of the projections. I feel like that snowball at the top of the cliff has started rolling and the cliff has no end. But that's technology, I guess. Thanks for another useful post!