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paidContent.org - Watched Any Good Books Lately? HarperCollins Tries 'Video Books'

David Kaplan
paidContent.org
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:07 AM

For those who don't have the time to listen to an audiobook, let alone read a hardback or e-Book, HarperCollins brings you: the video book. Perhaps fittingly, the first author to get the video treatment is BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, whose book, What Would Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Do?, will be available in all the other formats as well, WSJ notes. News Corp.'s HarperCollins has been noted for its digital experiments the past few years, but it's still being cautious about the prospects for video books. It expects to produce about six titles for video in house, which will be available for download on iPods and iPhones. Authors will receive 25 percent of the sales, about the same for e-Books. HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray didn't care to guess how many v-books the company will sell.

Jarvis' video book goes on sale Tuesday and retails for $9.99. The 23-minute video has Jarvis speaking into a single camera with a white background. Instead of reading directly from the book, which was published last month by the company's Collins Business imprint, Jarvis runs through the basic concepts in the book, such as how Google has been able to compete so successfully on the web and what can be learned from its practices. If HarperCollins can make a go of v-books, perhaps Google will be the one to pick up a few tips for generating revenue from YouTube.

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