October 22, 2019

Authors, Engage Readers with QR Codes

Author PublicityEmily Craven, guest blogger at The Creative Penn, has an excellent article on how authors can use QR codes to engage readers.

QR codes are free to generate, and they can direct a smart phone user to any website or media link, such as a YouTube video, a donation page, or a discount coupon.

The QR code on this post was created in a few minutes at www.delivr.com It links to a You Tube video I created to describe My Literary Coach. (No smart phone, then click for the link.)

Craven notes that

audio or video is still the best way to gain the trust of a prospective reader.” Why? “It puts a face to the words, a personality to the letters, and while by its nature the video is generic, it seems personal and creates a deeper connection for the reader. They know who you are, they’ve seen your face, you’ve reached out to them.”

In your nonfiction book, you can insert QR codes to link to video demonstrations; in your fiction book, you can link to extra short stories, author podcasts of you reading a chapter in the book or theme music that sets the atmosphere of for a section of text.

Perhaps you want to feature some color images in your book, but your publisher (or self-publishing budget) says no. Here’s the solution.

Or, what about creating social media accounts for your characters. Encourage readers to interact? Does a character mysteriously disappear (waiting to reappear in a later sequel)? Set up a competition among readers to speculate about whatever happened to this character.

Great! you say, but wonder why use these silly (and somewhat ugly) boxes? Why not just post a link? With your book (or ebook reader) and your smart phone, you can experience both media at the same time. Many e-readers do not permit active links. And, QR codes turn a printed book into a trans-media experience.

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