What Is A QR Code?
Have you noticed the strange looking bar codes popping up lately, on websites, in publications, on business cards? These are QR Codes, used to provide instant information to smart phones.
Where traditional one-dimensional barcodes (like the ones on the back of books) can store small bits of information (such as the price of a book), a QR code has a larger storage capacity and, crucially for writer/publishers, can re-direct scanners to websites for more detailed information.
How Do QR Codes Work?
Smart phones can scan a QR code from a screen or a page, saving a reader from having to fiddle about with website addresses and search engines, allowing them quick access to whatever information you want them to have.
All that is necessary is that the phone has a QR code reader, easily downloadable to any smart phone or device.
The code is downloaded as a .jpg, .png or .eps file, depending on whether you'll be using screen or print to deliver it to readers.
Use the QR code to take readers wherever you want them to go: a sales page, your new book information on your website, your Amazon Author Page... It's your choice.
How Do I Get A QR Code?
There are a number of free QR Code generator sites. Here's a list from Freenuts.com: Top 10 Free Online QR Code Generators.
Where Should I Put The QR Code?
You are limited only by your imagination. Some possibilities include:
- In your email signature
- On a poster at your book signing
- On your business card
- On a bookmark
- On your website (perhaps pointing to a sales or squeeze page)
- On your social media
- On the back cover of your book to take your reader to another publication
OVER TO YOU: Have you used QR codes? How? Any cool ideas for how self-publishers can use them to promote? Comments welcome and appreciated below.