Gone are the days when printed books were the only source of learning and entertainment. Smartphones, tablets, and e-book readers like Amazon Kindle have changed the way people read books.
Does this mean readers have entirely moved on to e-ink from the hardcover? Most certainly not.
According to Statista’s 2022 report, 23% of the population in the US purchased e-books, whereas 45% of the people went for a good old paperback.
Whether it is a cookbook, an encyclopedia, or study materials, hardcopy continues to be important.
However, it is only natural to tap into the emerging waves of technology with changing times. An easy and cost-efficient technology that authors can adopt is QR Codes for books.
By using QR Codes for books, one can bridge the gap between the physical and digital realms. Users can be conveniently redirected to a website, image gallery, audiobook, YouTube video, etc.
Here’s how authors and publishers can utilize QR Codes in books to gain more readers, promote their work, and engage with their audience.
Table of contents
- Use QR Code in books to engage with your readers
- Leverage QR Codes to increase the sale of books
- Digitize book promotions by incorporating QR Codes
- Best practices to follow before using QR Codes for books
Use QR Code in books to engage with your readers
#1 Redirect them to your website
As of April 2022, over 5 billion people across the world use the internet. In other words, more than half of the world’s total population is active on the internet.
What does this tell us? As writers and publishers, it is important to go beyond the printed medium and cement your identity in the digital world.
An author’s website is a great way to build your niche in the digital world.
If you’re an author, your website is the central hub of all your work. Adding QR Codes to your books is a great way to redirect the readers to your website.
You can promote your book, market your brand and use the website as a open channel of communication between you and the readers.
With a quick scan, readers can visit your website and learn more about you and your work.
J.K. Rowling, for example, uses her website to get in touch with a diverse audience. She recently redesigned her website into two parts Grown-up gateway and Children’s entrance.
“I wanted to bring my website back to what it used to be: something real and personal. This is a faithful representation of my writing desk… you’ll also find links to some of the causes and charities I support, including my own charity, Lumos, and my charitable trust, Volant.” – J.K. Rowling
#2 Connect with them on social media
Over 4.7 billion people on earth are active on social media, and this figure is expected to rise by 2022 as per Datareportal’s recent report.
Suffice it to say, social media plays a vital role when it comes to connecting with consumers.
For authors, social media is a great way to connect with readers. With a wide reach and engagement, it is an easy and effective way to build your brand.
You can get readers to follow you on Facebook or Instagram by including a social media QR Code in your book.
Beaconstac’s all-in-one social media QR Code can be used for multiple social media channels. Readers can scan the QR Code and be redirected to a landing page containing all your social media profiles.
Related: How to create all-in-one QR Codes
#3 Engage with young readers via pictures and videos
You can make learning as a process interesting by using interactive media like videos and images.
Use QR Codes on schoolbooks so that students can understand concepts better. Show them a science experiment rather than just writing about it. Add a QR Code that will lead them to video tutorials.
Since printed books also come with limitations like page count and the printing cost, you can add image QR Codes. Students can scan the QR Code and the link will redirect them to the picture gallery.
You can also provide quick solutions to questions by adding a QR Code. This way, one need not flip to the end of a textbook or look up answers on the internet. They can simply scan and check answers.
Also read: How to use QR Codes in the classroom for innovative learning
#4 Share book reviews
People mostly purchase a book either from recommendations or after reading book reviews. As per a poll conducted by WrittenWord Media, over 50% of readers consider the average review for a book before purchasing it.
Add a QR Code to your books that leads them directly to Goodreads or Amazon Author Central. You can also create a custom QR Code landing page for reviews, wherein people can check, as well as drop a review of the book.
With Beaconstac’s DIY feature, you can design your own landing page within minutes. You can either build one from scratch or choose from our wide variety of ready-to-use templates.
Already have a landing page? Convert it to a QR Code now!
#5 Share your contact details
If you want to go the extra mile and get in touch with your audience one-on-one, share a digital business card with them.
Digital or electronic business cards safely store your details like name, address, website, photo, social media profile, phone number and much more. You can generate a QR Code with your contact information and embed it on books, bookmarks, business cards, etc.
With a quick scan, readers can access your contact details and save them on their smartphones.
Also read: vCard QR Codes: A comprehensive guide on designing and leveraging vCards
Create QR Codes for books
Increase engagement with readers and boost book sales!
Leverage QR Codes to increase the sale of books
#1 Give readers a free preview of your book by using PDF QR Code
Authors often give free previews of their upcoming books to generate buzz. It gives readers an idea about what’s in store for them and builds anticipation.
PDF QR Code for books is a great way to give away free previews. One only needs to scan and download the PDF document.
If you want to build a community of subscribers, get readers to share their contact information. Also known as a reader magnet, this approach ensures that people sign-up to your mailing list or newsletter in exchange for free previews and additional excerpts from the book.
Include a QR Code-based form which will ensure that your gated content is accessible only with some prior information.
One of the best examples in recent times is NYT bestselling author John Grisham. He offers a lucrative reader magnet by positioning ‘breaking news, exclusive content and thrilling offers’ which is in line with his brand of writing.
#2 Use audio QR Code to promote audiobooks
If you have gone the extra mile to record your published work as an audiobook, market it using Audio QR Codes. Increasingly, readers continue to prefer audiobooks over paperback. In fact, audiobook revenue grew by 25% up to $1.6 billion as per the Audio Publishers Association.
You can leverage QR Codes to introduce audiobooks to those who have limited time on their hands. Add them to your books, newsletters, or any marketing campaign.
A good example of this is Nosy Crow- a British publishing house for children’s books. Stories Aloud- a picture book series by Nosy Crow blends the concept of reading printed books with audio effects to engage children.
“Every Nosy Crow paperback picture book comes with a free audio reading, complete with sound effects and original music. Just scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet and hear the story.” – Nosy Crow
Read: Create an Audio QR Code in 7 quick steps
#3 Offer discount coupons using QR Codes
Promoting a book using discount coupons is a great way to increase readership and drive sales. The higher the momentum, the quicker you’ll climb up the bestseller charts. You can share discount coupon codes with customers using QR Codes in books.
Add a coupon QR Code to your book and make it easy for readers to avail discounts on books.
Digitize book promotions by incorporating QR Codes
There are countless ways to promote a book. Events like author meet & greet and book fairs are quite popular across the reading community.
Authors can digitize book promotions by adding QR Codes to books or any other marketing collateral like bookmarks, posters, banners, flyers, and stickers.
Bookmarks are often shared free of cost. By adding a social media QR Code or website QR Code to them, you can promote your books effectively and with minimal cost.
Book fairs and conventions pull in large crowds. If someone is passing by your booth, they may not retain much information; but add a QR Code to the poster or banner and you can increase recall value amongst potential customers.
You can also leverage print media by embedding QR Codes in billboards and newspapers. Customers can scan the QR Code and visit your profile.
Various kinds of QR Codes can go into your promotional campaigns, and it’s up to you to decide which one works the best based on your use case.
Best practices to follow before using QR Codes for books and promotions
If you have decided to use QR Codes in books, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind before designing and printing them.
#1 Choose the right QR Code dimensions
A QR Code is scannable only if its dimensions are accurate. It should be at least 1cm x 1cm in size.
However, depending on the surface area, you can use the below formula to calculate the minimum size of your QR Code:
QR Code size = Distance between the QR Code and the mobile device/10
Test your QR Code for scannability before printing it on books.
Related: How to perfectly size your QR Code
#2 Add a call to action
Include an actionable frame text with your QR Code to inform users about what to expect. This will result in a better scan rate and improve engagement with customers.
Related: QR Code Frame: How to Use it to Increase Customer Engagement
#3 Customize the URL to represent your brand
Customize the QR Code URL by including the author’s name or the book title. This helps build your brand reputation as well as increase a sense of credibility among users.
Note: this is an Enterprise plan feature.
#4 Pick a suitable QR Code format
Formats like PNG and JPG may be more suited for smaller surfaces like book covers and bookmarks. However, if you are going to print QR Codes on billboards and banners, we recommend you use formats like SVG, EPS, and PDF.
Formats like SVG and EPS are scalable and the QR Code will not pixelate upon expansion.
#5 QR Code placement
Whether it is in the front or the backside of a book, it is important to place your QR Code appropriately based on the QR Code type and its use case.
Placing it between the fold of magazines or uneven surfaces can distort your QR Code and affect its scannability. For the best experience, place your QR Code on a flat surface.
To sum it up
QR Codes in books is a great way to enter the literary world of authors and discover interactions within the book community. They are easy to create, economical, and also function as a marketing tool for authors.
If you are interested in creating QR Codes for books, check out Beaconctac’s dynamic QR Code generator for a free trial.