Where's Waldo? On Main Street.

For the fourth year running, Indie Bookstores Launch a Massive Cross Country Campaign to Promote the Shop Local Message in July

Find Waldo Local partnership with Candlewick Press has become one of the most successful and anticipated American Booksellers Association consumer campaigns

Somerville, MA -- This July, 250 independent booksellers are joining together in a coast-to-coast celebration of the Shop Local movement and the iconic children’s book character, Where’s Waldo, who recently celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday. Brought back by popular demand for the fourth year in a row, indie bookstores across the country will be hosting Find Waldo scavenger hunts while spreading the "Buy Local" message in their cities and towns.

Candlewick Press, the Somerville, MA based children’s book publisher, has once again partnered with the American Booksellers Association in an impressive month-long consumer promotion that seeks to drive in- store traffic, strengthen local business alliances, and engage community members to spread the buy local message.

The growth of the program since its launch in the summer of 2012 is phenomenal. Booksellers attested that as a result of participation over the last three years, store traffic and book sales increased exponentially during their Waldo search events. An added bonus for retailers was the depth of collaboration with other local businesses and community alliances that continually seek ways to rejuvenate and revitalize local shopping districts. The initiative has been featured in national news media including an in depth segment on MSNBC highlighting the benefits to participating small businesses.

Candlewick has created a virtual tool kit for hosting the month long event, posted on ABA's member website, Indiebound.org, and has been overwhelmed by the creative response from booksellers on all the inventive ways they have integrated Waldo in their community events throughout the summer.

"Candlewick is thrilled to be able to partner with the ABA and hundreds of independent bookstores again this year on a brilliant bookseller-created initiative that promises to increase foot traffic and sales during the summer travel season — mobilizing some of the smartest, most creative minds in small business to spotlight their local business alliances through the lenses of our beloved Waldo," says Karen Lotz, President & Publisher of Candlewick Press. "Picture book sales have been one of the bright spots for publishers and retailers alike through a very challenging economic period and we have found that "Find Waldo Local" is a great way to keep that momentum going, especially through the summer vacation months."

What is Find Waldo Local?

It’s a month-long scavenger hunt for Waldo hosted by 250 indie bookstores across the nation in July 2015. Participating bookstores champion the Shop Local message by enlivening downtown areas with a community-wide scavenger hunt activity to which everyone — kids, parents, and Waldo-lovers of all ages — is invited to participate.

How does Find Waldo Local work?

On July 1, 2015, 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 passport at a participating business and collect a store stamp or signature for each Waldo they spot. Hundreds of eagle-eyed Waldo spotters will be eligible for prizes culminating on July 31 with a grand finale party held at the organizing bookstores.

About Waldo: Waldo is the creation of Martin Handford, whose entertaining drawings of crowd scenes swept the world in 1987, and held the record for the fastest selling children’s book of all-time until Harry Potter. Since then, the Where’s Waldo books have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now over 63 million Waldo books in print worldwide and they’ve been translated into over 30 languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo and his cast of wandering companions. His official 25th birthday was celebrated in 2013.

About Candlewick Press: Candlewick Press is an independent, employee-owned publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Children's Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia, based in Sydney and Auckland. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com.

For inquiries about Find Waldo Local, or to be put in contact with the ABA or participating stores for a potential feature story, please contact:

Tracy Miracle, Publicity & Marketing Campaigns Director
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street, Somerville, MA 02144
617-588-4404 * tracy.miracle@candlewick.com

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