QR codes have the potential to turn reading into a more interactive experience. All the reader needs is a smartphone or mobile device to scan the QR code and they can unlock windows to world beyond the printed page.
QR codes for books are easy to design and can be used across a variety of books from textbooks and instruction manuals to cook books and children's stories. They are particularly successful as a marketing or branding tool for self-publishing authors. Guidebooks to show amusement and historical attractions or luxurious coffee table books are opportunities to use QR codes as well. A good example is Usborne Publishing.
Usborne has been making children’s books for over 40 years. Founded in 1973, Usborne is the largest and most successful independent children's publisher in the UK. Usborne books are available around the world, both in English and in over 100 different languages. As a company Usborne is constantly innovating, looking for new ways to engage children with books and reading. The latest edition of the Usborne Science Encyclopedia has 180 QR codes printed on the pages of the book. The QR codes provide instant access via a mobile phone or tablet to websites with video clips of experiments, animals in their habitats and animated lessons. WATCH THE USBORNE VIDEO.
Provide your readers with excerpts. When putting up banners to promote your latest book, you can add a QR code which gives people easy access to the synopsis or excerpts of it. With their smartphones, your readers can scan the QREcode and read a few pages to get them interested to purchase it. And with every QR code, you can provide a link to where they can purchase the book online if they want to finish reading the entire book.
Children love picture books and they love being read to. What could be better than their favorite author reading their favorite book to them? Scanning a QR code linking to audio or a video can open this world to them. QR codes are also a cost-effective way of flipping social media from a study distraction into a study tool by making textbooks more dynamic and interesting. QR c codes can bring everything from school libraries and study rooms to worksheets and homework to life.
A lot of thought and effort goes into the design of book content and every book cover. A successful QR code needs to fit neatly into this overall concept without detracting from it. While crisp black and white codes always stand out clearly, bringing color to them allows them to work with the book's design. Be sure to add a a call-to-action to tell the reader what will happen when the code is scanned. For example, “Scan this QR code to enter the world of …”.
The high-gloss finish of many books can create light reflection and distortion so careful thought needs to go into the positioning of QR codes on their covers. A good idea is to link it to the book's blurb, either on the back cover or the inside flap. Loose-leaf covers do get damaged or lost so it makes sense to also have the Code within the book itself.