Tools for Tuesday – Why you need a QR code in your next book marketing campaign


I can almost hear many of y’all: “What the hell is that?” Others have probably seen them in newspaper or magazine ads and just didn’t recognize them or didn’t care. But these symbols, that look like a cross between a digital crop circle and the aftermath of the Apocalypse on a Pac-Man maze, are actually the link that could get readers to become Your Biggest Fans. Interested? Thought so.

The symbol above is actually called a “QR code.” QR stands for “Quick Response” and they allow people with smartphones equipped with QR code readers (which are free apps BTW) to scan a print ad with said phone and immediately get whisked away to whatever cyberspace spot that is linked to the code. QR codes can also launch emails, add events into the phone’s calendar, and send business card information directly into the phone’s contact list. Created in 1994 by a Japanese subsidiary of Toyota as a two-dimensional bar code for tracking parts during the manufacturing process, QR codes have been around for a long time is Asian countries. Finally, they are gaining enormous momentum here in the USA and me thinks they are here to stay. Why? Let’s take a look at the numbers from a recent blog:

“The opportunities for QR codes are skyrocketing:

  • 80%+ U. S. consumers own mobile phones
  • 28% of those phones are smartphones
  • 71% of smartphone owners have scanned a QR code
  • Consumers who have scanned QR codes tend to be older, well-educated, and have incomes above the national average.”

Now, on that same NDF blog post, you’ll see pics of these codes on a newspaper ad, house for sale sign, and even on the side of a building. So, why not slap one on your bookmarks and business cards? Then, the next time you’re at a signing or event, people can scan your QR code right there and visit your website, your next event could get entered into their calendar, or they could purchase your ebook in seconds! Oh, and don’t forget that you can even incorporate a secret word into the code that will give the reader a discount when they order said book. Wunderbar!

I’ve mentioned Next Day Flyers before on the blog because I think they are the Motts when it comes to printers. 5,000 high quality, color on both sides, bookmarks for around $165? Try to beat that deal. Plus, their website is top-notch as far as a one stop shop for marketing info. You gotta check out their social media archive!  

Thoughts? Opinions on the future of QR codes? Have you used one yet? Would you in the future? Have you stared at one for a long time thinking it was one of those 3D puzzles that reveals a dolphin or unicorn after a while?

To the keyboards!


Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author whose first non-fiction proposal just went out for consideration to a few NY houses! Fingers crossed! The Brink is my latest fiction offering and here’s what some folks are saying about it:

The Brink is a hell of a read.” – Bestselling author Sandra Brown

“Mark Fadden is a masterful storyteller.” – Writer’s Digest

“He’s the next Dan Brown.” – Triple C Ranch Book Club, Southlake, Texas

 The Brink is now available as an eBook for Kindle  and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

 Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at

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