Ah, how I love spending a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon in suburban mecca: Best Buy. We went in for a digital camera, but stopped at every department, drooling over the latest gas ranges with dual ovens and french-door refrigerators (a thrill you’ll only understand once you’re married with kids).

We were also oogling over the QR codes. Yes, we were two geeks in paradise.

What are QR codes? You’ve probably seen them—pixelated bar-code-like squares that link your smart phone or iWhatever to additional information about a product. Want to see a video of the range in action? Learn about the warranty? View an extended list of features? Call the manufacturer’s customer service? Just scan the QR code and it will lead you to a website, video or other crucial piece of marketing magic that doesn’t fit on the price tag.

So what does the QR code mean for authors?

Glad you asked. Author/illustrator Katie Davis recently explored the possibilities. Just click on the graphic below to read her post:

Wouldn’t it be great if publishers started putting them on book jackets? Link to the book trailer! The author’s own book club! Her Formspring fan page! (Gee, the customer could even call you at home. But I digress.) The QR code delivers more whiz-pow-bang to help sell the buyer on the book.

Are QR codes the next big thing? Maybe. They’ve been used in Japan for about 10 years now and I’ve personally seen them more and more over the past few months.

Read Katie’s post about how to generate your own QR code and start examining the possibilities!

Thanks to The Daring Librarian for the graphic.