Monthly Archives: July 2012

HOW QR CODES CAN GROW YOUR READERS

What is a QR code or QR tag?  QR codes (quick response codes) or tags, are pixelated squares that work like barcodes and are read by using a phone app to scan the square image.  When scanned, these codes immediately launch relevant information to the scanners phone or other mobile device.  This launched information can be a video book teaser, excerpt, book review with purchase URL; the information varies according to what you, the book seller, wish to convey.  Of course QR codes are not a tool limited to authors, but as a fellow author, I want to, of course, encourage you to incorporate these powerful squares into your marketing plan now because QR codes are expected to begin receiving widespread use.  

 QR CODE AT WORK FOR AUTHORS

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The publishing house of Simon & Schuster recently announced that they will add smart phone scannable QR codes to their books in print.  The QR codes incorporated into this line-up may provide scans to unique content launches such as videos and possible special treats only accessible through scans.  Mashable reports that the QR code on a coming book from S & S will beam to an author’s page, displaying new releases of titles and possible author interviews. Image Source: Mashable.

There will be people who do not have any clue of what to do with that pixelated square QR code.  An excellent thing about this QR code shown is that it provides a call to action by the reader to “Scan for more…”, and when you use QR codes, you should remember that helpful inclusion, also.  However, this tag is less engaging than an artistic QR code and can be overlooked because, at a glance, it could be mistaken for something used for store business such as inventory or to be used by the cashier or other store personnel and not the reader.

Had this particular QR code been a colorized, shaped, or otherwise incorporated an eye-catching design, the demographic of people who use smart phones could recognize easier that the QR code was meant for him or her and become intrigued.  These consumers would want to download an app because, after all, people with smart phones are generally interested in exciting new apps.  To take matters a step further, if a good looking, designer QR code launched a special offer such as a discount, because it was perhaps a temporary looking coupon on a sticker, and the sticker said something like “Scan here and save now”; it is a simple fact that the consumer is likely to do what it takes to get their savings which is to follow the call to action of “Scan…”.

This scenario may sound full of hypothesis, but you are a consumer yourself, if you use a smart phone and came across an artfully arranged QR code suggesting things like “save”, “free offer”, “more from author”, would you make an effort to get a bonus with your purchase?  Many would.

Pay a visit to QR Codes of Note™ and find out more about using QR codes in your book marketing plan today.  There you will discover business card sized solutions, facebook banners, print and online banner solutions, and lots more.  Or better yet, spend a 15 minute appointment discussing some of the great options available to you from the experience of the QR Codes of Note™ design solutions.  

What about you, the author?  What are your thoughts or questions about using QR codes or tags as they are sometimes called?  Leave your words below in our comment section and let us have an exchange of information and ideas!

Namaste,

Olive

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Book Signing Tour…

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a book signing event featuring the book “True You” by Janet Jackson which chronicles Ms. Jackson’s esteem journey with the support of NutriSystem celebrity chef Andre Carthen and fitness trainer Tony Martinez.  Image Source

Once upon a time, not long ago, when many authors were at the mercy of large publishing houses, a paid service the publisher provided was scheduled book signings at big book stores.  If you will recall, Barnes & Noble is the only large book store standing so does that mean authors can give up on the notion of having the publicity of a book signing to drive sales and awareness of her/his book?  No, not necessarily; book signings are evolving just as the other aspects of the book industry.  

Independent book stores remain standing and can also host book signings and author events just as any big book store could.  They may need a nudge from a savvy indie author who recognizes that an indie book seller and and indie author both want book sales.  The extra traffic from an author’s book signing is a mutually winning proposition.  You are your own publisher so scheduling book signings is a part your job and how exciting that you keep more of your profits.  *Assistance is available.

 

How to land a book signing event at an independent book store?  Not necessarily in this order but certainly first let the bookseller first know what is in it for him:

  • Increased traffic to the bookstore: a book signing will bring in more customers.
  • Publicity for the bookstore:  Can you list an event announcement in your local newspaper?  You can announce this online at blogs and social networks.  The book store can also generate publicity in their social networks, newsletters, blogs.

 For your book signing event:

  • Create simple displays which a bookseller can place at their book store announcing your book signing event.
    • Include reviews or blurbs about your book
    • Include *branded QR codes that link your book to a teaser, excerpt and purchase information.   
    • Include purchase link outside of QR code
    • Call the book store and ask to speak to the manager about a book signing. 
      • Tell that you are a local author.  
      • Provide your ISBN number
      • If you are denied by this book seller, this manager is new to the idea perhaps, simply call again in a few months.  It is very likely that in that time the store will be more open to the idea
    • When you meet with book seller, bring your display or send your information in an email format which allows the book seller to print and display.

Book signing day:

  • You will need copies of your book if the book seller does not have any on hand, and easel and large, good looking poster featuring your book*
  • Print Business card size or book mark size information to include with your display or at the register which features branded QR coded teasers or excerpts and any links featuring reviews or “about me” information
  • On book signing day you will need to plan for about 2 hours, a place to sit, books, pen,  water. 

 

*QR Codes of Note™ is a multimedia solution source which develops branded QR code oriented pamphlets, fliers, book marks and various marketing products as well as creates mobile sites, facebook banners, and IT solutions.  QRCodesOfNote.com

Good luck with your book signing!  Please feel free to post comments or questions.

Namaste,

Olive 

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