QR Codes for writers

Have you heard of QR Codes yet? Here's a quick introduction:

What are QR Codes?

QR Codes look like this:
This one takes you to my site www.JoLinsdell.com

QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a mobile phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your mobile phone. The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store and digitally present a much larger amount of data, including url links, text and even geo coordinates. A key feature of QR Codes is that many modern mobile phones can scan them. The full Wikipedia description is here.

How do you generate a QR Code?

You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Kaywa.com or Mobile-barcodes.com. Many other sites also have QR code generator tools including Google (but it has limited functions).
How can writers use QR Codes?
You could use QR codes in a number of ways:
  • You might auto generate one next to every book/product on your web site containing all the product details and the purchasing link. 
  • You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their mobile phone.
  • Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, etc... containing information like; product details, contact details, your author bio, your book blurb, offer details, event details, competition details, a coupon, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn profile links or a link to your YouTube video.
  • You can encode a SMS message ready for your followers to send to a friend e.g. message encouraging the recipient to buy your latest novel.

I personally used one on my website for the home-schooler kit I created to be used with my book 'Italian for Tourists'

QR codes are a simple yet powerful way to expand your marketing potential. 

Are you using QR Codes? Can you think of any other ways they could be useful for writers?


  1. I've considered using them on a card or bookmark to give out at events, with a code that led to a free story or book/character extras.


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