Mobile Barcode Advice for Writers

By Jason Boog Comment

Using QR codes or Microsoft tags, we can embed barcodes (like the Microsoft tag posted here) on print posters, magazines or books.  Using a special mobile phone reader, smartphone users can click on these real life links to read material online.

At the Publishing App Expo yesterday, Microsoft tag business development manager Adam Schneider said that publishers are driving tags–five billion tags have been printed since January 2009. Social media expert Jay Baer used Microsoft Tags in his new book, The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter & More Social. Follow this link to use the free tagging service.

We’ve embedded the mobile barcode from the book above–as you can see, Microsoft has developed some custom imagery for tags. In addition, Atria Books marketing manager Hillary Tisman shared advice for writers looking to use Microsoft Tags. We’ve collected the tips below…

5 Tips for Using Mobile Barcodes in Books

1. Tell them exactly what you want them to do with the tag. How to scan, how to get the app and tell them what they will get for their time.

2. Be mindful where you use the tags and what kind of experience that is.

3. If you are linking to videos or excerpts, keep them short.

4. Let the book dictate how you use the barcodes. Think of yourself as a reader first–what would they want from the experience?

5. The lower right-hand corner of the page is the best place to put a tag; make it as big and visible as possible without disrupting the page.