During the month of July, 250 indie booksellers are going to promote a Shop Local campaign featuring Where’s Waldo (who, by the way, is celebrating his 25th anniversary this year).
From Mendocino to Minneapolis, Oshkosh to Omaha, San Diego to Schenectady, Tampa to Telluride, and indie bookstores in all fifty states will be hosting Waldo scavenger hunts while spreading the Buy Local message in their cities and towns.
Candlewick Press, the publisher of the Where’s Waldo? books, has partnered with the American Booksellers Association to drive in-store traffic, community engagement, and Buy Local awareness.
The original Where’s Waldo? Shop Local event was organized by Eight Cousins Bookstore in Falmouth, Massachusetts, last year. They hid mini Waldos in nearby storefronts and awarded prizes to people who found all of them. Not only did their store traffic and book sales increase, but their collaboration with local businesses also paid big dividends in on-going book sales.
Karen Lotz, publisher of Candlewick Press notes that “picture book sales have been one of the few bright spots for publishers and retailers alike though a very challenging economic period, and we think Find Waldo Local is a great way to keep that momentum going.”
How does Find Waldo Local work?
On July 1, 2012, Waldo-spotters will set off on a hunt to find the elusive character hidden around dozens of downtown businesses on main streets across America. Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a Find Waldo search list at a participating business and collect an I Found Waldo card for each Waldo they spot. Hundreds of eagle-eyed Waldo spotters will be eligible for prizes culminating on July 31 with a grand ceremony held at the organizing bookstores.