Forthcoming Poetry Collection to Feature QR Codes

Poetry Collection to Feature QR Codes

Reading poetry and hearing it read by the actual poet are two very different experiences. When Eloise Klein Healy’s latest collection of poems, A Wild Surmise: New & Selected Poems & Recordings, is released through Red Hen Press next year, readers will be able to access supplemental material including audio recordings by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code, according to Galleycat.

Smartphone users can scan the codes, which will be printed on the book’s cover, using an app on their mobile device to access around 35 audio files of more than 100 poems contained in the collection. Although the bonus material will be made available on Healy’s website for readers who don’t have smartphones, the move is the latest example of publishers making use of technology to encourage readers to go beyond the printed page.

Earlier this year, Mashable reported that Simon & Schuster would be adding QR codes to all its titles in the near future. However, rather than providing readers with a more engaging experience or offering additional material, it appears that the publisher plans to use QR codes in a far more familiar way.

“The QR code is a way to use the distribution of our physical books as a means to build our [subscriber] database,” Ellie Hirschhorn, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Simon & Schuster, wrote in a memo distributed to publishers. “This direct-to-consumer relationship then enables us to market future books and authors more cost-effectively.”

How can publishers use QR codes a little more creatively?

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Dan Shewan

News by Dan Shewan

Originally from London, Dan Shewan currently resides in New England. His nonfiction has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and he is a contributor to the poetry section of The Rumpus. Although careful to avoid stereotypes, he enjoys single-malt Scotch whiskey and long, brooding walks. Having gathered an extensive collection of rejection notices from many major publications, he is currently working on his first novel.

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jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like October 22, 2012 - 3:26pm

Part of me likes gimmicky stuff like this, but it never seems to influence my purchasing.

Dan Shewan's picture
Dan Shewan from Boston, MA is reading Crime and Punishment October 23, 2012 - 6:12am

I know what you mean. I like the idea of being able to access suplementary material through nontraditional means, but I doubt whether it would push me to pick up a title I wouldn't have bought anyway.