Simon & Schuster is planning to add QR codes to the back jackets of all of its hard cover and paperback books starting this fall. The hope is that QR codes will provide the publisher a means to build direct- to-consumer relationships.
The question that will be answered in time is whether or not readers will actually use the codes. However, 26% of Simon & Schuster’s sales are digital and QR codes could build a bridge between digital and print media. Simon & Schuster is looking for a way to increase their website traffic and newsletter subscriptions.
The QR codes will take the reader to the author’s mobile site on S&S.com, where they can sign up for an email, browse other books that the author has written and watch videos. Books will also contain a printed link to the website for consumers without smartphones. The company plans to track the number of scans for each title.
Recent trends have seemed to show that fewer ad agencies are using QR codes, because consumers aren’t interested in them. But Simon & Schuster’s QR code initiative probably will be cheap enough that it is worth a try. It will be interesting to see how readers, and not all consumers, will interact with the QR codes.