Story Time

Treena Colby
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 at 10:00 AM

While most of us enjoy reading a good book, we find ourselves wanting to augment the experience. When we were kids, we loved having stories read to us. As we got older, we listened to books on tape (and then CD). Sometimes, we wonder if we should read the book or just wait for the movie.

Book image 

Atria Books, a division of publishing powerhouse Simon & Schuster, is using video to enrich the reading adventure, and they are employing Microsoft Tag to deliver the experience. Judith Curr, publisher and editor of Atria, explains, “It expands the experience and it's, in a way, a wonderful way to be able to tell a story in a new way. Not replacing either the movie or the book.”

The book has become a Vook—a hybrid of text and video—and the video portion is delivered via the Web or smartphone. Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive VP and Chief Digital Officer of said, "Vook is a game-changing model for reading in the digital age of multimedia, the first viable combination of text and video that is user friendly and that addresses today's multitasking audience and how it absorbs information and entertainment."

The publisher is using Tags to direct readers to a variety of videos to supplement books in both the fiction and nonfiction genres. For Timeless Swing and Eva Scrivo on Beauty, Tags are used throughout the books to direct people to videos that demonstrate the concepts it discusses—much like your very own book club. Other titles use Tags on its pages for videos from the author to give background information, provide accompanying songs for each chapter or show readers what kind of clothing was worn during the time period in which the book is set. Nonfiction Vooks such as 90-Second Fitness, have videos incorporated to show exactly how to do exercises and to download shopping lists.

These applications and the evolution of the Vook is just the latest success for Atria Books, Simon & Schuster and Judith Curr. Curr is an industry leader in adopting new technologies within the publishing world and developing innovative marketing strategies. For the marketing campaigns, Tags are not just on the cover, but are also used throughout the promotion of the title. For Full Black by Brad Thor, Tags were put in print ads that linked to a chapter of the book, on outdoor ads where the Tag resolved to the author talking about the book, as well as other applications.

Curr sees publishing evolving and incorporating more and more multimedia technology. “I think for the 21st century it's all about the content and the story and the information being in the center of something and then it can be expressed as a book, it can be expressed as an audio, it can be expressed as a Vook and people are going to come to the information for either the mood they're in or how they like to be entertained. And so it's endless; it's just about imagination.”

How would you use Microsoft Tag to augment and enrich your story? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.



Best Practices for Using Tag

Design Tags that scan easily and offer an engaging mobile experience



Capture customers in the moment and bring printed materials to life



Tag lets you engage people anytime, anywhere, from magazine ads to store aisles

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