The economy is tanking and you have a family of six to feed. Food prices have reached an all-time high and you must cut costs. In a valiant effort, you buy a Sunday newspaper and browse pages of coupons, looking for things you buy on a regular basis. You realize those 35¢ and $1.50 savings could actually help lower the bottom line of your grocery bill. You take your pile of coupons to the grocery store and at the checkout stand your eyes light up when you scan your coupon’s bar code across the scanner. The bar code on that coupon has information embedded into it that tells the scanner how much to take off your purchase.


Now close your eyes and imagine this. You’re about to release your next great title. You are contemplating an effective marketing plan. What do you do? You add a bar code to the back of your book’s cover and to your marketing materials, such as bookmarks, postcards, posters, and flyers. Now readers can run their smartphones (cell phones for those who are old school) across the bar and they can get pricing information; your Website and bio; the what, when, and where of your next book signing; and other valuable information related to you and your book. Say what, you ask? Okay, open your eyes.

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