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Vook nabs a reported $2.5 million in seed money

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(Read caption) The book, 1.0. Is the Vook the logical next step for the publishing industry?

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It's been panned for degrading the sanctity of the written word. But that hasn't stopped Vook, a maker of multimedia e-books – part-video, part-text – from scooping up a hefty sum of cash in a recent round of funding. According to the New York Times, Vook has raised $2.5 million in seed money from a group of investors that includes Kenneth Lerer, the chairman of the Huffington Post.

New to the whole Vook thing? Here's the basic gist: The Vook is a hybrid application which runs on computers or on mobile devices such as smart phones and the forthcoming Apple iPad. As e-books gain ballast among readers, so has the idea of the Vook, which could presumably be used to market upcoming dead-tree books or to give readers a blitz tour of a title already on the shelves.

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Right now, Vook is a pretty small operation. But with the seed money, Vook founder Brad Inman says he has plans to expand his company's reach. On the table: More authors, more books Vooks, and a host of self-publishing tools, so authors can create their own Vooks without too much hassle.

“There are infinite possibilities bringing together authors with filmmakers, photographers and all the other creators of media," Inman told the New York Times. “New devices such as smartphones and tablets are creating a huge surge in creativity.”


We want to hear from you. Is the Vook a logical next step for the publishing industry? Or are you a paper-and-ink purist? You can drop a line in the comments section, or track us down on Twitter and Facebook.