In my last blog post, I mentioned a funny-looking symbol on the back of my business card. Is it a symbol for my new, unpronounceable name, like the one Prince used for a while? No, it’s a QR code, which stands for “Quick Response Code.” It’s almost magic. Almost. And you can get one for free. Really!
What is it? It’s just a label, like a price tag, that is scan-able and contains embedded info that directs the user to a particular website or other internet location. It’s actually a form of bar code. You know what those are, right? The stripey thing that gets scanned at the checkout counter? Remember when those things were new? (Oops, there I go dating myself again.) In other words, your potential customer scans the symbol with their phone or other device, and it brings up the website where they can buy your book. Whee! Pretty neat. Simply put, it just enables them to skip having to enter the address in their search bar, doing that little chore for them.
If you don’t get this stuff, don’t worry. All those young people these days have the app on their phone, and they will know what to do with it.
So how do you get one of these QR thingies on your business card? It was easier than I thought it would be. Rather than recommending one particular source for them, I recommend just simply doing a search on Yahoo or Google for “QR code generator.” Scads of sites will come up, and just about any of them will coach you through the easy process. At some point you will need to either type in or “cut and paste” the web address at Amazon or wherever else someone would buy and/or download your book. Save your QR code to your computer (somewhere that you’ll remember), and paste it into your business card when you’re designing it, paste it into your blog, make a bumper sticker, paste it onto the side of your barn, . . . you get the idea. Use it wherever you want, and wherever you think someone might be interested/curious enough to scan it.
When I meet someone and give them a business card, I tell them, “You can go to Amazon using this address, or you can search there using my name or the book title, or you can scan this thingie.” They will take it from there, using the method they prefer to find your book online.