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 🙂

 

 

Sources Links:

http://www.708media.com/qrcode/21-great-examples-of-qr-code-business-cards/

http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code

http://overnightprints.com

http://newenglandmuse.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/author-business-cards/

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Sister & Brother

Say Hello to Christian and Luke Chamberlain

Here is another character reveal image by my cover artist, Aedo Morin, with Black Raven Studios. Teaser coming soon!

Two in One

TWO CHARACTER REVEALS IN ONE BLOG POST

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WRITING PROGRESS

I am still writing Women’s Island and it is going to be longer than I anticipated, but I think that will make it even better.  One of my beta readers sent me her notes yesterday and gave me some great critiques.  I can’t wait to go back through the first half and make some changes for the better.

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FUNDING UPDATE

With only 4 days left to go on the Women’s Island Kickstarter Project we are just $75 away from the fundraising goal!  It’s amazing how many contributors have pledged and I couldn’t be more grateful!

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ART BY AEDO

The teasers are not yet finished but I wanted to share some more art from my cover artist with you.  Please enjoy these Character Reveals.  I will share the teasers with you as soon as they are ready.

 

“Cavern Dweller” Art by Aedo Morin

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“Islander” Art by Aedo Morin

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Thank you all again and good night.

Character Reveal: Ever – Forest Warrior

Character Reveal Teaser for Women’s Island

Ever – Forest Warrior

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“You can’t just leave. You’ll never find the next stop without a guide.” Ever has lost control of the situation.

Mercy takes a threatening step toward the forest woman. “We made it here just fine without one. If we don’t find the place of refuge, we will just survive on our own.”

Stumbling backwards, Ever looks into the treetops for support and sure enough, more women drop to the ground. Luke screams as one of them grasps his arm and tries to take him away from his sister. Christian snatches the woman’s arm and bites down hard on her wrist forcing the woman to release her brother. They run to their mother and are too terrified to protest when Mercy lifts both of them and begins to run into the trees away from the forest women. Not knowing her way around and the added weight of her children are thoughts Mercy pushes to the back of her mind. She knows the chance of them getting away are slim to none. But if anyone wants to take her children, they will have to kill her first.

Christian and Luke hold on tightly to their mother, careful not to choke her or block her vision and trying their best to not be dead weights in her arms. Fear is wrapped around them so strongly they can’t even begin to image what might happen in the moments to come, they can’t even hope. All they can do is think of their mother, running for all of their lives, and the creepy dark forest, that no longer seems beautiful.

The forest women take to the trees, leaping great distances and covering much more distance than the vegetation allows on the ground. Still, Mercy’s speed and agile movements surprise them. She reminds Ever of a deer running from a hunter.

“Ever!” bellows one of the forest women leaping to a branch below her. “Circle around them. We will close them in and attack on the ground.”

“Don’t attack!” Ever shouts.

“They are a threat. We have to.”

Before she can protest the forest woman is gone. “Pine needles!” she chides herself and makes her way to her part of the circle as quickly as she can. When she gets there the forest women are still moving, trying to maintain the circle while keeping up with Mercy and her children.

“Now!” roars one of the women.

Ever drops to the floor and runs straight for Mercy. She gets there just before one of the others pulls a dagger from its sheathe. “Stop!” she howls. The blade slides cleanly into Ever’s arm.

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Character Art by: Aedo Morin

First Round of Edits by: Cindy Davis