I went to the Cardiff International Comic Expo today. I went because I love comics, I adore anime and Art of all sorts floats my boat… this expo had it all…
…including three fellow authors –
Rich Hawkins, Craig Saunders and Adam Millard. I chatted to them for a while – shop talk mostly – but while I was wandering around later it occurred to me… I’m a writer. Sooner or later I am going to have to try and build my following up and that’s going to require marketing.
I am terrible at selling myself or the things that I produce. I get tongue tied when I talk to people in person (hence why I talked shop with Craig et al – it was all I could think of to say!) so the idea of actually sitting behind a table and trying to persuade people to buy my books?
We are talking nightmares here… serious ones!
Anyway. I have a lot of books on e format and only one in print. I’ve always been intersted in using technology to my advantage, so I realised that as well as print books, I could offer e-books.
Through QR codes. Here’s some info about them, just to bring you up to speed – if you didn’t already know it!
What’s a QR Code?
The history of QR Codes
The QR Code was invented for the automotive industry. Toyota asked their supplier Denso Wave to develop a barcode for safely and easily identifying components. QR generators were originally used in industry. Because of the outstanding error correction performance (they can be read even if up to 30% of the surface are destroyed) and a lot of applications, the QR Code quickly made its way around the world.
How to use them:
QR Code reading apps are available for almost every smartphone with a camera (e.g. iPhone, Google Android, Blackberry, Symbian). The graphic can also be scanned and decoded with older mobile phones with a camera – there is free software (e.g. i-nigma) even for less widespread platforms.
Read QR Codes—recommended software/apps
There are plenty of free QR Code readers on the market. Here are the best ones (from our experience, but we’d like to hear your opinion):
- Barcode Scanner (QR Code with Google Play link)
- i-nigma (QR Code with Google Play link)
- RedLaser (QR Code with Google Play link)
Other mobile systems
Information from – http://goqr.me/
Now you’re all up to speed, here’s my idea.
As well as print books, I have cards with QR codes on them. The QR code gives the purchaser a code for somewhere like smashwords that allows them to download the book instead of having to carry a print copy around with them. The card also allows me the chance to give them a dedication / autograph that they can keep.
Having decided this I decided to play around with the code idea… I went to the site that I got the information on the codes from and created a code that had the information for a free copy of one of my books.
And as I’m a nice person, I thought I’d share the code with everyone who reads this blog post…
Just Scan the code with one of the apps from the info above (you’ll need something with a camera or a smartphone) and you can pick up a free book. I’m not telling you which one though.
One thing I would like you to do though.
Come back here once you’ve tried it (ie: downloaded the book) and comment below – I need to now how popular this idea could be.
Ta muchly peeps!