QR Codes

ToF promo previewWorking with the Indies and Action (IIA) group I learned about QR Codes and how to add them to your promotional materials.  QR codes were square bar codes to me.  I thought if you scanned them with your phone it was an instant purchase and didn’t really see the value in them.  For the Twist of Fate anthology I created the designs for the bookmarks, post cards, and business cards.  By request I added QR codes to both the Paperback and the Kindle edition of the book.  Maria Edwards, a fellow IIA member, helped me by creating the QR codes and I simply added them to the designs.  Working with them caught my curiosity. Naturally I decided to research them.

QR codes were originally used in the automotive industry to quickly access tracking information during the manufacturing process.  Now they have become popular in the advertising world. Typically, a consumer downloads a QR-code scanner app onto their smartphone.  Using the camera on the back of the phone, the code is converted into a useful form such as a URL for a website, a coupon to get a free download, or even contact information.  This conversion dismisses the need for a user to type a URL manually into a web browser, cutting out a coupon from the paper, or copying contact information into their address book.  Information from Wikipedia *

After researching the QR codes I decided to download a QR scanning app on my phone and try it out on the QR codes I put onto the Twist of Fate promo designs.  It took only two seconds to scan and take me straight to the page where I can buy a copy.  That had me sold.  I knew I wanted to figure out how to make QR codes for my brand.  So, I got back to researching and found a generator that makes the QR codes for you for free.  I used KAYWA QR Code to make a code for my author website, my amazon author profile, and to download my free book The Blind Lily.  It was simple, quick, and painless.  Now to decide where to use them…

For a while now I’ve been wanting to make some business cards.  This seemed like the perfect place for me to use my QR codes.  I decided to use my amazon author profile and my Free download QR codes since the front of my business card has my website on it and there just isn’t enough room for three codes on my business card.  Here is what I came up with:

AshleyNicole's business card preview

I can’t wait to get them in the mail from Overnight Prints 🙂  Recently I took my sister’s dog to the vet and while she was back with the doctor I talked to the lady at the front desk.  Topics ranged from being a mom, to children’s names we liked and why, to eventually character’s names, and of course that lead to the topic of my writing.  She seemed very intrigued and asked me about my books and where she could find them.  Right then, I really wish I’d had a business card to give her.  She was so sweet and I really enjoyed our chat.  I ended up writing my website down on a piece of paper for her.

Two weeks prior to the vet’s office I ran across a post by The Musings of a New Englander about Author: Business Cards.   I told Sharon “I was planning on ordering some author business cards today. This [blog post] has made me realize how valuable they will be. Thank you. Now I just have to make a design. No idea what I want them to look like. *laughs* I better get started.”  Needless to say I did not order them that day.  The design took me longer than it should have.  I just couldn’t decide how I wanted it to look and I wasn’t sure if I really should have my picture on it.  After seeing how many authors have their photos on their business cards I decided, why not, and went for it.

People always seem to be asking me for information on my website or books when I tell them I’m a writer.  Then we dig around looking for a piece of paper and a pen so I can give them some info.  Now, I’ll finally just be able to hand them a business card.  It will be so much easier.  For some great examples of QR codes on business cards I recommend stopping by 708 Media‘s blog post 22 Great Examples of QR Code Business Cards.


What is your experience with QR codes?  Have any cool designs to share or ideas on how to utilize your QR codes?  Please share in the comments 🙂



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2 thoughts on “QR Codes

  1. I love QR codes. I did a blog on them awhile back with a month-long series of tweets to go with them to let people know how useful they could be. I especially love them on business cards. We have so much info now that’s it’s easier. Sure you could just put your website address, but not everyone wants that extra step. I keep a contact card in my wallet with a QR code for scanning. It has my medicine info and emergency contact info. Maybe now that my site is back up, I’ll do another post 😉

    • Wow! I didn’t think about having one for emergencies. That’s a great idea though. I’ll be sure to stop by and check out your post 🙂 Thanks for sharing Ashley.

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