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I am a sucker for new technology and all things publishing, so I just had to buy one of the new Vooks for my iPhone! (Read this if you need to know what a Vook is!)
Here are my thoughts on “Embassy” by Richard Doetsch
- Overall, I am impressed and enjoyed the experience. I would definitely buy another one. I heard about the Vook back in April and have been waiting for it to arrive. I'm not disappointed and I can see the application to many different kinds of books.
- The ebook format was easy to read on the iPhone, although I wanted to be able to keep scrolling through the chapters instead of going back to the menu to choose the next one. You could change the text size but the default text was good for me.
- The videos were tastefully done in the main, and did not detract from the story or reveal too much. I particularly liked the scenic videos with music, which gave atmosphere and depth to the text. I liked seeing the stone which was central to the story, and I wanted to see the boat on the ocean. The news flash video did bring the story alive, but the running video and hostage video added nothing to the story. I preferred the videos with no talking and I didn't want to see the characters, as I think the videos should enhance the text, not influence what my imagination does with the story. Generally, a good idea but not necessary in every chapter.
- I really liked seeing the author, Richard Doetsch, on video at the end and this is an excellent way of building a relationship between reader and author. It should also help build the author brand, and help sales of other books which are mentioned at the end.
- The story itself was fine, but more of a novella and I expected a longer book for the price. A longer book would not need more video so needn't be more expensive from that angle. Even just having a video of the author at the end of a standard ebook is a good idea for starters. I won't buy another novella for that price – I would expect a full length ebook next time.
- How could the Vook be expanded? Having read Dan Brown's ‘The Lost Symbol' last week, I can immediately see the application of these types of video to stories like that. I would have loved to see the Washington architecture as it was described, as well as the actual video that is used as a plot device by Dan Brown. I would also like to buy travel books with these types of video – not just the guides, but travel narratives. I recently reread “Inhaling the Mahatma” by Christopher Kremmer. I love India and have been myself, but I would love to see what he saw and wrote about. These video clips don't need to be so ‘professional' as the ones in the Vook, travel narrative could have raw local footage.
- I want to know how to DIY! I am a relentless explorer of new tech and I am dying to do something like this myself. I want to be published in all the available mediums! I am investigating how to build iPhone apps and I am writing a novel, so watch this space!