QR Codes Decoded!

A couple days ago I posted a plea for guidance on Facebook, imploring people to help me figure out how to attach Blood in the Past to a QR code. Not the Amazon link to Blood in the Past, mind you, but the entire file. The only comments I received were from two groups: people saying “Why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free” or people generally commiserating with my lack of technological prowess.

As for the first group, I don’t think they understood what I wanted to do. I’m a member of the New Jersey Authors Network and I haven’t been volunteering for any panels or discussions because I only have an e-book available for sale, nothing tangible to hock sell after the event. However, if I had a QR code of my e-book, I could charge for that on the spot by handing over my business card, with the QR code on the back, in exchange for their soul and their riding lawnmower a couple dollars in cash. Or what if I run into someone and feel especially generous and just want to give them a copy? Or maybe I could exchange my e-book in return for some other product or service? What’s the harm?

Anyway, as for that second group, who was just as bewildered as I was, come close (don’t mind my cookie breath) and listen up. I cracked it! Everyone said it couldn’t be done. That QR codes could only be attached to links and contact information and other tidbits. No, no, no, my friends. I decoded the QR code conundrum. And I’m hear to help out my fellow technologically challenged friends. After a day and a half of Googling and eye-glazing-over-ness, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to http://www.tagmydoc.com. There’s a free registration as long as you don’t want to tag more than 10 documents to start out with. Fill it out, no big deal.
  2. Upload the document you wish to attach to a QR code. I chose to password protect mine so if I drop a business card somewhere, a person doesn’t end up a with a free copy of my book without my permission. The password will be provided at the time of the transaction or exchange. (PSSTT It will brusselsprouts, all one word.Just kidding.)
  3. Download the tag (QR code) and save it to your computer. Maybe save it as the password so you don’t idiotically forget that important morsel of info later.
  4. After step 3, I would suggest you scan your QR code (right from your computer screen) to make sure everything is okie dokie artichokie. If you don’t have a QR code scanner, download an app. I use QR Droid. My phone showed the title of my book with several options, Download Latest Version, Follow Updates, and Share. When the user clicks on any of these, the password must be entered to continue. (I don’t so much like the Share option, but what can you do. Hope your book goes viral, I guess? However, this does allow the user to email the document to themselves so they can read it on their computer or tablet or whatever.)
  5. After you verify that the process works, you may want to go back to your tagmydoc.com profile, clicked on your document, and edit the Author Note so that when the QR code is scanned, there is a personalized greeting from you and not some generic baloney. This isn’t hard, the link is literally right there.
  6. As a final step, I went to www.vistaprint.com and made myself some QR code stickers for the backs of some my business cards. But, you can do what you want with your shiny new book embedded in a square of black dots and squiggles. Good luck and god speed!

So, do you already use QR codes in your marketing plan? Do you think this is something you’ll try? If you have any questions, let me know!

12 thoughts on “QR Codes Decoded!

    • Apparently no one knew you could do it because everyone told me it couldn’t be done. Haha. Then I learned of a train station in Bucharest or some such place that had a virtual library on the platform, allowing you to borrow the books by scanning the QR code. Once I knew it was possible it was a only a matter of figuring out how.

  1. Hey honey!
    That is epic! Like truly, fantastic! I had no idea you could do that and its a freakin great idea! You watch me… as soon as I get my backside in gear with this ebook of mine… just you watch me!!!

    • Thanks! You weren’t the only one. Twitter peeps didn’t get me. I asked the World Literary Cafe Facebook group. They didn’t get it either. Lol. There is almost always a method to my madness. I am a writer now and I was a science major in college. Lol.

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