How to properly create a QR code and place it on your book

A QR code can be placed on your book in addition to EAN ISBN barcode if you wish the customer to use their cellphone to navigate to your website.

Keep the following important points in your mind:

1. While free, most online QR code generators are a waste of your time due to poor implementation. If you cannot get the generator to do something you need, move on to the next one.

2. Error correction must be implemented.

3. Avoid fancy 2-D barcode formats. A fancy format will require a yet another app installation. More likely, the people will point their cellphone on the cover of your book, fail to read the code, and give up.

4. DO NOT forget to list your website URL in several places throughout the book, since few people actually use QR codes. Do not forget the conventional way of navigating to your website -- by typing it in.

5. QR codes are not worth even a tiny bit of all the hype. If you are pointing the QR code to a conventional website, not optimized for a small screen, and not containing any special features for mobile browsers, then you are not bringing any value to the person who scans the QR code.

6. You must use the "quiet border" option to separate the code from the background color, if it is not white.


Links to some recommended QR code generators:


When integrating these QR codes in your book, follow the following recommendations:

1. Only use a generator which will give you a .ps or .eps file format. The gif and jpeg file formats are unacceptable, while the PNG format is not optimal (it cannot be scaled like raster file formats).

2. When creating the URL, I recommend that you add something like the letter m at the and of the URL. In your .htaccess file, set the modified (longer) URL to still point to the same link which people would normally use. However, this will allow you to create a mobile version of that page just for cellphone visitors.

3. Make sure that the program you use to place this on your book does not pixelate or alias the image. Zoom in really close to the square black squares -- you should not see intermediate shades of gray between the black and white portions. This will prevent errors in reading the code.


Here is an example of a properly generated QR code for a URL generated from the first link in the list:

example QR code


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Page last modified 03-Sep-12 16:46:16 EDT
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