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.  



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!






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