How to use QR codes for publishers to engage readers

Last updated:   July 19, 2022

Publishers and publishing houses can make use of QR codes to give readers interactive content through QR codes that are printed on print media. 

From plain and static textbooks and print engagement, publishers can utilize QR codes to provide digital content to their readers when they scan the QR code giving life to plain and static images and texts.

This way, publishing houses, and publishers can leverage readers’ experience with a mix of digital content.

Related: What is a QR code and how does it work? The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide!

QR codes for publishers and how does it work

QR codes can contain any type of information (videos, series of images, URL, links, etc.) and the information embedded in a QR code is generated using a QR code generator online.

QR codes can be printed along in magazines, brochures, textbooks, leaflets that will lead the readers to online information when they scan the QR code using a smartphone device.

Depending on what type of information you embed in the QR code, a user can choose a variety of QR code solutions based on the type of content he wants to show or promote to his readers.


For example, in fictional books, authors can generate an image gallery QR code that will lead scanners to series of images that shows a certain event or happenings in the character’s story plot.

On the other hand, the magazine industry can also lead its readers to online shops to purchase items or products.

To do this, they need to convert their e-commerce store into a URL QR code.

But what if the business doesn’t own a website? Well, he can also opt to make a QR code landing page and put all of the information in one place using the QR code landing page (which is readily optimized for smartphone devices).

Using QR codes, publishers can give readers valuable and added information that will entertain their readers even more and even make scan-to-purchase items.  

Related: QR code types: 15 primary QR solutions and their functions

10 ways on how publishers, authors, and publishing houses can use QR codes

Empower Scan-to- purchase items

QR codes printed on magazines can redirect scanners to online shops, which allow them to shop and purchase products and merchandise featured in magazines instantly.

For this, you can convert the URL of your online shop into  a QR code for a scan-to-purchase experience. 


Related: How to convert URL to QR Code in 6 steps

Redirect to the website and boost traffic

You can convert your website URL into a URL QR code and print it in marketing materials.

When the QR code is scanned, the reader can browse more items or information on your website. All information is impossible to store in print which makes QR codes an extension to online information.

For example, if you’re an author, you can redirect your scanners to your personal blog, shop, or website to read more of your posts and encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter so you can keep them up-to-date.


You can also redirect your readers to Goodreads or Author Central if you have your works available on those platforms.


Maximize your network by sharing your contact details

If you are a marketer or businessman promoting your business or services, you can use a vCard QR code to redirect your readers to download your contact details right away.

Unlike the static business card that usually ends up in trash bins, a vCard QR code can be printed anywhere (magazines, business cards, leaflets, etc.) that will allow you to maximize your contacts by printing the QR code. 

Maximize your social media followers

By using a social media QR code, you can boost and grow your social media following using a QR code.

A social media QR code will display and connect all of your social media channels and other online resources together in one scan.

Redirect your readers to an image gallery

Using an image gallery QR code, you can show your readers a series of images about a product, items, merchandise, infographics, or any images related to what you are marketing or advertising in your printed material.

Show a video file

There’s no better way to engage readers than through stimulating their visuals! Using a video QR code, you can redirect your readers to a video file when scanned that will give more information or emphasis to a product printed in magazines!

Or to give more educational information to books.

Offer audiobooks

People have different ways of absorbing information. There are kinds of people who like to listen to an audiobook rather than reading it.

To offer audiobooks, you can also have an MP3 QR code printed on your marketing materials or books to allow your users to listen to an audio file instead of reading,

Book preview marketing

A book’s preview can usually be read from the back of the book to give readers a teaser or preview about the plot of the book, its characters, and the genre of the book.

But sometimes it leaves readers a hanging feeling with little to no amount of information.

To give more story information, authors can also use a PDF QR code to redirect readers to a more juicy detail or information of your book preview. This can serve as a competitive and innovative advantage among your competitors for your book marketing campaign!

They can scan the QR code printed along your book using their smartphone devices, and save the PDF file for a later read.

If they like it, they might even go back to the book store to get a copy of your book!

Related: How to use QR codes for publishers to engage readers

Marketing app with QR codes in print

Even in boosting app downloads, QR codes have the power to redirect scanners to Google PlayStore or Apple App Store to download your app directly using an App QR code.

For fun and Innovative textbook learning

You can make textbook learning fun and interactive for students with QR codes! You can use QR codes as a way to make learning participative for students using QR technology.

Using QR codes, you can redirect them to educational resources online.

Real-use cases of QR codes in print marketing for an interactive print media

QR code cover in Adnews magazine

Scan the QR code to hear perspectives from our 2020 Emerging Leaders on how they see the industry shaping up in 2021.

Adnews is a media, marketing, and technology industry in Australia.

With a mission to create awesome, innovative, and inspiring covers every month, Adnews decided to come up with their best concept of using QR codes in partnership with BMF, a creative agency.

“Toying with QR codes was one of the first things we jotted down. We liked the simplicity and the fact it could also have some utility beyond the cover. When we mentioned our ideas to other creatives around BMF it was their favorite thought as well”

“The QR code is one of the best comeback stories of the year. This incredibly naff technology that’s now become part of our daily lives, and has been absolutely crucial in the world opening up to us again.

It’s undeniably uplifting, and for us, it signals that there’s hope for the future without being preachy or saccharine. We knew it would also give us the platform to bring to life a visually interesting and arresting front cover.”

Ad Agency told in an interview

Image Source

Associated Media Publishing in South Africa,  which is the leading independent publisher of women’s media brands in the country, has launched its QR code campaign for its October issue last 2018.

The QR codes on magazines lead the readers to online shops, which allow them to shop and purchase products and merchandise featured in Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, House Keeping, and many others.

They can purchase the featured merchandise easily just by scanning the QR codes on print, providing a ready-to-shop portal.

QR codes on magazines leverage content consumers experience at a whole new level.

How to create QR codes for print marketing materials (books, brochures, leaflets, books, etc.)

  • Select dynamic QR code to edit your content and track your QR scans
  • Customize or personalize your QR

  • Do a scan test
  • Download, print and deploy

Why should publishing houses and authors use QR codes in print material?

Interactive content for readers

QR code provides further engagement and interaction with readers than just reading and looking at plain texts. QR codes give life to static and print materials by connecting offline readers to online platforms.

Updateable to another content

QR code solutions printed in your print materials are still updatable in content!

Yes! You read that correctly! QR code solutions when generated in dynamic QR can be updated/edited in content even after deploying it.

This allows you to have multiple campaign materials in one QR code.

You can redirect your scanners to different information any time of the day. Furthermore, QR codes are modifiable in real-time.

Related: How to redirect existing QR code: 7 simple steps!


Measure campaign efficiency

You can measure your campaign success by tracking your QR code data such as the number of scans and how many scans you get in a day/weeks/months or years. 

You can view your QR code analytics results in real-time and even download the CVS file. Furthermore, you can also view the demographics of your scanners.

QR codes for publishing houses and authors: Giving life to print media using the QR code technology

QR codes for authors and publishers can make a huge difference when integrated into print marketing.

Not only it makes the reading experience more participative between the reader and the reading material, but it also makes way for marketers to advertise and market their business by powering a scan-to-purchase experience. 

For more questions about QR codes, you can contact us directly now. 

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