Kindle Fire to Now Accommodate Video-Enhanced eBooks


A release from ebook developer Vook today announced that Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet will now accommodate embedded videos in ebooks, which is long-awaited news for authors who have until now not been able to promote and sell their titles on one of the largest retail platforms for ebooks. Matthew Cavnar, VP of Business Development for Vook, spoke with GoodEReader today about what this means for authors and enhanced ebook customers.

“Amazon always said they were committed to [it], and they were true to their word. They released the update today, and it shows that consumer demand was there for the product. It’s been available on the iPad and iPhone and the Amazon Kindle for iPad app all along, but the number one request we got from authors was, ‘When will my book be available for my Amazon Kindle device?'”

Now, the Amazon tablet has basically caught up with the rest of the tablet market in terms of devices that were already enabled for video enhanced ebooks, titles that haven’t been as huge yet because this single missing piece wasn’t available.

“Even if it’s just one Amazon device, people want to know that Amazon supports their vision and that readers have an option for video-enhanced ebooks. The Nook tablet actually plays video enhanced ebooks now, so this is another competitive advantage for Amazon.”

But given the time and financial investments involved in creating the actual videos to embed within their ebooks, is this really a lucrative move for authors?

“Now, Amazon also provides up to 60% of sales of ebooks and iBookstore is another strong marketplace. We’ve built a platform that makes it very cost effective to get a video into your ebook, which means that suddenly the solution that we’ve been built to provide has a whole other compelling reason to do it. The price is not prohibitive for an individual author, and I would think that the marketplace that has opened up with the Kindle Fire allows authors to see the larger marketplace and channels as worthwhile when setting their budgets for their books.”

One of the first authors to be standing ready for this development is Elle Lothlorien, who is currently in production of a video-enhanced ebook. “It was just a matter of time before Amazon went in this direction,” she said in an interview today. “A video for an ebook that was developed as an ePub for Nook or iPad, when the readers saw it the video would simply play within the book. The Amazon mobi platform didn’t support that, so you would have to have a link that took you out of the book to a video somewhere, then that reader would have to come back to the book. You don’t want to take the reader out of your book.”

Vook is now ramping up production of the titles that have been ready to go, waiting for this news from Amazon. “We’re going to be putting more emphasis on authors who are working on exploring this option. It’s exciting for authors because the largest player in the game has now opened up to video enhanced ebooks, and we’re ready to help them get onto these devices.”

Mercy Pilkington (1982 Posts)

is a Senior Editor for Good e-Reader. She is also the CEO and founder of a hybrid publishing and consulting company.

  • kmars

    The entire purpose of reading is to get away from video and audio. When you read, you use your imagination. You’re an active participant. When you watch a video, you shut your imagination off and become a passive participant. If you want to watch a video, watch a video. If you want to read, read. They don’t mix unless maybe it’s a graphic novel or comic book that already has a visual element.

    I don’t know who Elle Lothlorien is, but I’m guessing she’s some obscure self published writer who thinks video enhanced books are cutting edge and that she’s really clever and cutting edge by trying to combine the two. I think she’s wrong, and I can’t imagine video enhanced books ever being anything more than a distraction that takes you out of a book and diminishes the reading experience, but whatever. Knock yourself out, Elle.

  • soupsonnow

    When you Google news, Kindle Fire to Now Accommodate Video-Enhanced eBooks nothing comes up except for this article? Isn’t this odd? And no quotes from anyone at Amazon?

  • Good E-Reader

    its mainly because we have contacts at Vook who gave us this scoop. We originally met them when they were first starting out years ago, so they are nice to us and give us exclusives like this, its another reason people choose our website for digital publishing news, we don’t parrot the news, we make it.

  • soupsonnow

    And there is no press release from Amazon confirms this. Yep, sounds like you definitely make the news. Very Odd. Can you point me to a link from Amazon supporting this? This is big news and exciting, if it can be validated from Corporate. Would love to share this with others.

  • Mercy Pilkington

    More information on Elle Lothlorien, who, apart from her several bestselling novels, writes and presents for Digital Book World, can be found on her website,

  • Elle Lothlorien

    Dear kmars:

    I am actually NOT the one who predicted the rise of enhanced content. In fact, it was the topic of many blogs and articles in 2012 and early 2013 and not one those was mine. I’m not sure how to respond to the “obscure self-published writer” comment as it seems like more of an ad hominem attack than a valid counterpoint to a discussion on enhanced content. However that may be, I am actually a fairly well-know, well regarded “business of publishing blogger” for Digital Book World’s Expert Publishing Blog ( as well as a self-published bestseller in my own right. I have contributed to articles on self-publishing in publications such as Time Magazine and Writer’s Digest.

    I can see that you have strong feelings about not wanting to be taken out of the story via another medium such as audio or video. My intent is to be as minimally intrusive as possible and the enhanced content is absolutely voluntary. You may click on a hyperlink to take a virtual tour through Schonbrunn Palace in Austria in The Frog Prince…or you can just pass it by and rely on the description and your own imagination to create an image.

    I would like the enhanced content in my novels to be just that: enhancing an already rich experience, not diminishing it. However, the rise of immersion gaming has led to an expectation of “a world beyond a world” of the book. Perhaps enhanced content will pick up steam and becomes commonplace within a few years; perhaps it will become the Betamax of e-publishing. Like most new things that make people uneasy, in the end it will be the consumer (i.e. readers) who will decide.

    All the best,
    Elle Lothlorien

  • Traci Scottsdale

    spoken like a true person who will be left behind as things evolve.

  • David Fuller

    I know this comment is old, but I’ve been searching for ways to include video in an ebook I am writing, and wanted to explain why this may be helpful to have video. I made a video some time back on how to set up an equatorial mount for telescopes. This mount makes it easier to track objects at the eyepiece when the telescope is aligned properly. I had read how to do it dozens of times, but it is not intuitive for many people, without seeing it done. Once I understood it myself, it made a lot more sense – after I’d SEEN it done, but pictures and diagrams didn’t ever “click” in my head, even presented different ways by different writers.

    A similar thing occurs with the celestial sphere. Stars are in different locations depending on one’s latitude. They also change with the time of night, and even the season. Seeing these changes is a lot easier when it is explained briefly, and then shown. That is not about lack of imagination, it is about presenting a known concept and making it easier to understand via both a summarized, worded explanation, and then a visual depiction of the written summary, to reinforce the concept.

    This is not speaking to novels of course, but rather informational books, where a short video can definitely enhance one’s understanding of a concept because they can see it, rather than trying to visualize something based solely on words, or a 2-dimensional, static photo.