Tuesday, February 12, 2013

10 Ideas for using QR Codes to Promote Your Book

You’ve seen them. Maybe wondered about them. Possibly even used them. Those cute little squares of random black and white squiggles, dots and dashes. Those are QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) and are similar to pricing barcodes. They can be created and utilized to access anything from coupons to websites to UTube videos.

You can take advantage of these QR codes to help publicize for your books.

First: Create a QR Code for your UTube booktrailer, website, or blog.  
  1. Know the web address for your UTube video, website, or blog.
  2. Do an internet search using the keywords “QR Code Generator”.
  3. When you find one (there are many to select from), follow the given instructions and paste the UTube video link or type another website address into the appropriate box.
  4. Generate the QR Code according to the given instructions.
  5. Save the code as an image file. If the option is given by the code’s website, right-click on the generated code and select Save or Save as.
  6. Repeat to create other QR codes as needed.

Second: Try some of these ideas for using it:
  1. Create bookmarks which include your code.
  2. Insert the code into a promotional flyer.
  3. Include the code on promotional postcards.
  4. Make posters for book signings with the code included. Place the posters in several places around the bookstore for people to scan to encourage them to come by the book signing table.
  5. Create book “folders” consisting of the front and back cover of the book, table of contents (images, excepts, or whatever best meets your needs) and a QR Code to the video. The folders are easy to stand up, colorful to display, and light to carry.
  6. Include the QR Code on your business cards.
  7. Create small one-page display cards (the kind that would fit in a plastic display frame) with the book title, book cover, and the QR code. Send/give them to booksellers.
  8. Create a QR Code that links to a coupon (school visit discount, free book for a booked visit, etc.).
  9. Create a QR Code that links to additional book resources (lesson plans, curriculum tie-ins for teachers, coloring pages for kids, etc.)
  10. Create a QR Code that links to a free sample chapter.

One final note: not everyone is a QR Code guru, so provide the actual link below each code displayed. Since some website addresses can be less than user friendly, use the website TinyURL to create an alternate, simpler URL for readers. 

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