Simon & Schuster has announced that its jackets are going mobile friendly.
As a part of a larger effort to boost subscriptions for its newsletters, Simon & Schuster will be adding QR codes to its hardcover and trade paperback book covers beginning in the fall of 2012.
These barcodes are meant to appeal to smartphone users who may find the newsletter useful.
When the book jacket QR codes are scanned by a smartphone, the user is redirected to the mobile page for the author on the Simon & Schuster website. There, they can learn more about the author and his or her other publications, sign up to receive email alerts, and even view a video of an author interview when available. Newsletter registration is also available.
The appeal of the QR codes was that they provided a low budget mobile marketing option.
According to a memo from the executive vice president of Simon & Schuster, Ellie Hirschhorn, who is also the company’s chief digital officer, ““The QR code is a way to use the distribution of our physical books as a means to build our [subscriber] database. This direct-to-consumer relationship then enables us to market future books and authors more cost-effectively.”
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Quick response codes are slowly making their way into popular use by smartphone users, though they have already been widely adopted by mobile marketers. That said, in June, approximately 14 million people in the United States – approximately 4.5 percent of the population of the entire country – scanned at least one of these barcodes. Data from comScore shows that among those smartphone users who performed the scans last month, 60.5 percent were male, and 53.4 percent were aged from 18 to 34 years.
Though they are appearing just about everywhere these days, from print ads to product packaging, many smartphone users still don’t know what to do with them to use them. Equally, though, due to their extremely low cost, they remain highly appealing to marketers. Particularly as the number of people who are learning how to use them – and are doing so – continues to steadily improve.
The book covers featuring the QR codes will also display the URL of the Simon & Schuster author page so that customers who don’t have smartphones or that don’t know how to scan the barcodes can still obtain the information and sign up for the newsletter.