75% of the US population reads at least one book a year. That’s a significant number, indicating the never-depleting popularity of books.
Whether it’s a student reading to learn, a teen reading for pleasure, or a professional reading for self-improvement, books are a part of everyone’s lives.
But the reading experience has undergone a paradigm shift over the past few years. The world is going digital at a scintillating pace, and people have smartphones handy all the time — even when they’re reading.
So, it’s essential to engage your readers digitally and enhance their reading experience.
QR codes make it possible.
Here’s how you can use QR codes for books to add digital capabilities to them and improve reader satisfaction and engagement.
Table of Contents
How does a QR code for book work?
The idea behind including QR codes on books is to engage readers further, provide a better experience, and connect with them beyond the book.
You can create a QR code for any online destination, like a website, landing page, social media profile, video, image gallery, PDF, or even simple alphanumeric text.
When readers scan the QR code from their smartphones, they’ll get redirected to the destination.
Now, QR codes are incredibly versatile, and you can use them for various use cases. Be creative and find ways to engage your readers and improve their experience. And if you need a heads up, we’ve mentioned the best QR code applications for books in later sections.
How to create a QR code for books?
Follow these steps to create a QR code for books:
Go to qrcodechimp.com and head to the Solutions page.
Select a solution based on your requirements and the information you want to share with the QR code.
For instance, let’s say you want readers to visit your website. In that case, go for the URL QR code solution.
Head to the “Basic Information” section and paste your website URL in the URL or Text field.
Note: Check the “Make dynamic” checkbox to create a dynamic QR code.
Click on the Design, Color, and Decorate QR Code tab and customize your QR code using QR shapes, stickers, colors, shapes, logos, and other options.
Once done, click the “x” icon.
Click on “Save QR Code,” enter a name for your QR code, select a folder (optional), and save the QR code.
That’s it! You can download the QR code from your dashboard and print it on your book.
Top applications: How to use QR codes for books?
To make things easier, we’ve put together some practical and useful ways to use QR codes in books. Let’s delve in.
Redirect readers to a website
Almost every author nowadays, from J.K. Rowling to Austin Kleon, has a website where they share regular updates and connect with their readers.
J.K. Rowling, for example, shares news regarding her latest work and the books she’s working on to keep her readers updated.
If you want to bring readers to your site and better connect with them, you can include a QR code for it in your book. It’ll allow users to visit your website with a single scan.
Similarly, publications can send readers to their websites to better connect with them and promote other books.
Bring readers to social media
Engaging with readers on social media is an emerging trend. For example, Mark Manson — the author of popular self-help books The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and Everything is F*cked — has over 380k Twitter followers and is actively engaging with his audience. Similarly, J.K. Rowling has over 13 million Twitter followers and is active on the platform.
If you, too, want your readers to connect with you on social media, you can bring them to your social media profiles using a QR code.
Create a QR code for your social media profile link and put it in your book. Readers can scan the QR code to reach your social media profile.
And don’t worry about creating multiple QR codes for your social media profiles. QRCodeChimp’s Social Media QR Code solution lets you share all your social media profiles in one place.
Get more reviews for your book
Which book did you read recently? And why did you choose it?
People pick a book primarily for one of two reasons:
A friend or family member recommended it.
It had great reviews.
There could be other reasons, too, of course. For instance, if readers know the author and love their work, they’d want to read their books. Besides, people may also be inclined to read a book if it meets a particular need or answers a specific question.
Of these factors, positive book reviews are one of the most prominent. In fact, 88% of readers trust online book reviews as much as personal recommendations.
So, getting more reviews should be the priority of authors and publications. And QR codes can help you with it.
You can get more reviews by including a QR code in your book. Use the QR code to send people to your book’s Amazon, Goodreads, or Snapdeal page and get more reviews. Users can scan the QR code and leave a review.
Share images and videos
Books are amazing, but they have a few drawbacks. The biggest limitation is that you can only share information as text. Of course, you can print images in your book, but that isn’t as immersive. And obviously, there’s no way to include videos.
QR codes allow you to integrate images, videos, and other multimedia into your book.
Suppose you have a book on organic chemistry practicals. The book explains each practical in detail with actionable steps.
However, you can explain the steps better using a video.
So, you can include a QR code with each practical to send students to a video demonstrating the steps. That’ll go a long way in improving the learning experience.
Let’s consider another example.
Suppose there’s a history book with a chapter on the French Revolution. Now, there are a lot of images of the French Revolution that students must see. But including all the photos in the book isn’t feasible.
In this case, you can use a QR code to send students to an image gallery of the French Revolution.
Provide additional learning material
Books can be lengthy, the longest being Venmurasu, with 22,400 words.
And the lengthier the book, the more pages it will have. Thus, it’ll be more expensive.
But you don’t necessarily need to add more pages to share more information. You can simply share additional material as a PDF with a PDF QR code. All you need to do is include a QR code in the book and link it to the PDF. Students can scan the QR code to obtain the material and save it to their smartphones.
PDF QR codes can be beneficial in educational books where students always look for more information.
Besides, you can update the PDF anytime to ensure students get the newest, up-to-date material. Just make sure to create a dynamic QR code if you plan to edit its contents later. With a dynamic QR code, you can edit the URL without reprinting the QR code.
Share answers to questions
QR codes also find a place in books with question banks and questionnaires. Usually, questionnaires have a list of questions, and the answers are given at the end of the questionnaire. So, students have to flip pages to check the correct answer.
Why not make their lives easier with a QR code?
Put a QR code along with the questionnaire containing the answer key. It can even be a simple Text QR code showing the question number and corresponding answer.
Students can simply scan the QR code to tally their answers.
Best practices for using QR codes for books
QR codes can go a long way in making your books more engaging and enhancing the reader experience. And by following these best practices, you’ll be able to use QR codes for books with perfection and achieve the best results.
Select the right placement
Place your QR code where it gets the most eyeballs. The back side of the book cover is usually the best placement for a QR code. Readers will almost always check the back side of the cover, even if they don’t read the entire book. Therefore, the chances of getting scans will increase dramatically.
However, if you want to include a QR as an extension of some content in the book, put the QR code with the content.
Create a dynamic QR code
A dynamic QR code offers several benefits over a static one, the biggest one being real-time editing. You can edit the QR code’s URL without reprinting it.
If you feel you’d need to change the URL in the future, go for a dynamic QR code.
Additionally, you can track the scans of a dynamic QR code and view its analytics. If you want to know your readers better, such as their location and device information, a dynamic QR code can fetch those details for you.
Tell readers what to do
Though everyone knows what to do with QR codes, it’s best not to leave the readers guessing. Include a clear call to action (CTA) with your QR code to tell your users what to do.
If you feel the reader would need more information, include some instruction text to assist them.
Note: QRCodeChimp offers a wide range of stickers with CTAs to make your QR codes actionable.
Make the QR code seamlessly scannable
Readers should be able to scan your QR code in a single attempt. So, print QR codes of the right size to make them easy to scan. Ideally, a QR code should be at least 1×1 inch.
The best approach would be to test the QR code multiple times to ensure it’s scanning effortlessly.
Customize the QR code to increase scans
Don’t restrict yourself to square, black-and-white QR codes. Customize your QR codes using shapes, colors, and other design options to grab people’s attention and get more scans.
Note: QRCodeChimp offers various QR code customization options, like QR shapes, colors, shapes, logo, decorate your picture, and more.
Leverage logo and white labeling for effective branding
If you’re a publication, pushing your brand forward should be your priority. Add your publication’s logo to your QR code to make it recognizable and align it with your brand.
You should also utilize white labeling to use your brand’s URL and ensure brand consistency.
QR codes appear in many books, and rightly so.
While book readership has been rising, how people interact with printed information is changing rapidly. People nowadays are always online, so engaging them digitally can help you improve reader engagement and experience.
QR codes bridge the gap between offline media (books) and digital media (internet, social media) and help you create an omnichannel experience for your readers. Whether you want to bring readers to your website, promote your social media profiles, or share additional information, QR codes make that possible.
So, determine your use case and the type of QR code you want to create for your books. Once done, head to QRCodeChimp to create your QR code.