HarperCollins' New "Video Books" Idea Seems Pretty Horrible

Paul Lilly

The story of Old Yeller is about a dog who wins the heart of teenager Travis Coates tasked with helping manage the family farm while his father is away on a cattle drive. But by the time his father returns, Yeller becomes infected with rabies while fending off a rabid wolf. Travis is left with little recourse but to shoot the dog.

Now imagine the above summary in video form lasting for about 20 minutes. Would you pay $10 to watch it? HarperCollins thinks so, and has kicked off the concept by launching a video edition of Jeff Jarvis' "What Would Google Do?" that it's now selling through Amazon's digital-download store for $9.99.

"We're looking to create new revenue streams," said Brian Murray , chief executive of HarperCollins. "There is a tremendous amount of search and discovery of video on the Web. Some consumers won't spend the money or invest hours in reading a book, but they will watch a 23-minute video."

Depending on the interest the video book concept generates, HarperCollins said it could release up to six more before the end of the year, all of which would be produced in-house. Twenty-five percent of the net revenue would go towards the author.

Hit the jump and tell us what you think about the future of video books, but first a protip: HarperCollins has made available the entire text of "What Would Google Do?" for free right here . We'd summarize it for you, but then we'd have to charge you.

Around the web

by CPMStar (Sponsored) Free to play