I have an idea that I want to pursue and was curious if others have advice for me. When I attend a conference, I work in the bookstore and help sell printed books that have been published about IBM products or technologies. I’m also heavily involved in promoting the adoption of different forms of books, such as e-versions (Kindle, Nook, PC, iPad, etc), e-libraries (Safari Books Online, PacktLib, Books24x7), and audio books. My dilemma is that we don’t currently have an easy way to send people to other versions of the books from a bookstore.
The idea I came up with is to provide a QR code for each book that people can scan into their smart phones. QR codes are the square barcodes that are beginning to get popular. When you scan them, your phone takes you to a website where you can instantly order an alternate version of the book.
Some of the questions that I need to explore:
- How much education do people need to make this a viable option?
- Wikipedia says that QR codes are popular in Japan, Netherlands and South Korea. It also says that Canadian passport applications have a QR code on the online form. So, its becoming more mainstream, right?
- What apps do people need on their smart phones to enable them to scan a QR code?
- My Blackberry has Blackberry Messenger installed which allows me to scan QR codes. My phone’s browser history keeps track of all the websites I’ve scanned in this manner. Is Black Berry Messenger standard on a Blackberry? Does it need to be activated first?
- I’ve also found this website QR Code Reader Finder. For Android http://code.google.com/p/zxing/, free from Android Market.
- What website should the QR code point to?
- Kindle versions must be purchased on Amazon, other e-book formats can be purchased through multiple e-retailers, but not through Amazon. I could send people to the publisher’s website. Or maybe to a blog entry I write for the book with links to the various formats. Or maybe my bookstore page?
- How to display this information at the conference?
- I guess the best thing would be for books to be published with a QR code or to have a smart phone scanner that could read the barcodes that are already on the books. Since this doesn’t exist, I was thinking of creating postcards or business cards for each book so people can either take a card or scan it on the spot. I need to check the quality of the QR code for these options. Or should I create a standard flyer that is put in a display?
- One thing I tried at the CCDB2UG meeting on Monday is to have a series of books with QR code printed on high quality paper and stored in sheet protectors. I could staple this together and can have interested people look through the list to find the codes they wish to scan.
- How do you synch the websites you’ve scanned on your phone with your computer?
- I personally don’t like reading much on my smart phone since the screen is way too small for my bad eyes. I’ve been told that when you back up your phone’s data you automatically get the history of the websites that you’ve marked as favourite. Something for me to try.
- QR Code Generator: http://delivr.com/qr-code-generator
Can you scan these?
Link for one book to Amazon.ca:
Any feedback that you provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!