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.”