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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 12, 2010

Vampire author Rice goes digital with video book

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

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Anne Rice is giving the video book a try.

The author of "Interview With a Vampire," "The Vampire Lestat" and other favorites has agreed to terms with video book company Vook on a multimedia edition of "The Master of Rampling Gate," a vampire story published in Redbook magazine in 1984. The book is set in an British mansion in the 19th century.

"I'm excited that 'The Master of Rampling Gate' is going to have new life in this form, and cannot wait to see the finished product," Rice said, in a statement released by Vook. "I'm not sure that my mind can conceive of all the possibilities of this new form. I'm learning. And it feels good."

Opinions are still mixed among publishers and authors about video books, or vooks, with some calling them a gimmick and others saying new formats are needed for the Internet age. The product integrates text, video and social networking.

Vook, based in Alameda, Calif., has been producing video books for Simon & Schuster and the HarperCollins imprint HarperStudio and also making works out of public domain texts. Vook founder Bradley Inman says "The Sherlock Holmes Experience," based on two stories by Conan Doyle, has been downloaded thousands of times.

The Rice project begins "a strategic publishing relationship" with Rice's literary agency, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, according to Vook. No other specific writers were identified, but clients at Janklow & Nesbit include David McCullough, Edward P. Jones and the late Michael Crichton.

The Rice video book, which includes an author interview, will be released March 1 and can be purchased through the iPhone, iPod Touch and other digital devices. The list price is $6.99.