ABC News Launches ABC Video Bookstore App for iPad with Two Titles

ABC News today launched the ABC Video Bookstore App for iPad, available free on the App Store. The free app will turn the page on a new generation of storytelling, creating an interactive experience for users that enables them to delve deeper into the most compelling stories of our time.

The ABC Video Bookstore debuts with two titles, A MODERN FAIRY TALE: William, Kate and Three Generations of Royal Love by Jane Green and THE AMANDA KNOX STORY: A Murder in Perugia by ABC News. Both will be available for $7.99 through the app and wherever eBooks are sold, or as a $5.99 text and photo-based version for e-readers that don’t support video. Additional titles will be released throughout the year.

Each title in the ABC Video Bookstore App will draw on ABC News’ vast video archive and digital expertise to create an entirely new user experience, with stories updated in-depth as they continue to develop and interactive maps and timelines. Sister-company Hyperion will engage its distinguished list of best-selling authors to help create this new generation of stories. The eBook market has grown dramatically in the last year, with publishers expecting digital sales to jump 50% or more in 2011.

“The ABC Video Bookstore App enables ABC News to extend storytelling and our content in a whole new way,” said ABC News President Ben Sherwood. “Working with our colleagues at Hyperion, we are uniquely positioned to give readers access to history in a vibrant eBook form – from political campaigns and human drama to the triumphs and tragedies that grip the world.”

“With the combined resources of Disney/ABC Television properties, we are able to create innovative and entertaining eBooks that combines vivid writing and exciting video in a compelling package for consumers. Rare video and photography bring extraordinary dimension to the words on each page. This venture with ABC News is a tremendous opportunity to take the most valuable assets at our company to build a product that truly offers a new way to experience historic events like the Royal Wedding,” said Ellen Archer, President and Publisher of Hyperion.

The titles in the ABC Video Bookstore are being powered by the technology and functionality of Vook, a leading publisher of enhanced eBooks. Vook has been on the cutting edge of efforts to mesh text, video and interactivity to create a unique user experience.

Available just prior to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, A MODERN FAIRY TALE: William, Kate, and Three Generations of Royal Love is enhanced with 20 top-quality videos and 50 photographs of the young couple and from past Royal Weddings from the ABC News Archives and an original video foreword by Barbara Walters. In addition, it will be updated with moments from Prince William’s and Kate’s wedding day. The text and archival video and photography work together to create a unique 360-degree storytelling experience.

THE AMANDA KNOX STORY: A Murder in Perugia takes readers inside the fascinating case of an American student accused of killing her roommate in Italy. The video book is packed with rarely seen video, photos and documents, including Amanda’s hand-written prison diary, and a video foreword from Elizabeth Vargas. The Amanda Knox case is currently on appeal, and this eBook will be updated with new information as the case moves forward.

The launch of enhanced eBooks is the latest example of innovation from the Disney/ABC Television Group. DATG was the first to bring full episode video to the iTunes store. Last April, in conjunction with the debut of Apple’s iPad, DATG delivered ad-supported video to iPad via the acclaimed ABC Player App. The app has proven to be a tremendous success, with over 1.9 million downloads and more than 26 million episodes. Last year DATG created an ABC News App for iPad that has been downloaded more than 840,000 times to date. In the first two months of 2011, DATG continues to bring new innovative offerings to consumers with the launch of the Grey’s Anatomy Media Sync App for iPad, and most recently the critically-acclaimed Oscar Backstage Pass App, which offered a “second-screen” companion viewing experience for fans while they watched the 83rd Academy Awards on ABC.

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