From Waldo to George to Stan … Mapping the Path of My Book
Do you remember the year that skinny, beanie-clad, glasses-wearing character burst onto the scene? It was 1987 when British illustrator Martin Handford created a series of children’s books that captured the attention of people around the world, spawning a comic strip, TV series, video games, and many a Halloween costume. Though known as Waldo in the US and Canada, the character’s name was Wally in his homeland and other names in different parts of the world.
Perhaps playing on the Where’s Whatshisname concept, in December 1998, Hank Eskin created a website called WheresGeorge.com – wherein for no charge, people could register the serial number on a dollar bill, write or stamp WheresGeorge.com on it, and invite others to track the path of that dollar bill as it makes its way around the country – and perhaps the world.
Enter BookCrossing.com. It’s the WheresGeorge.com for books! And just as I entered my book a few days ago, you can enter YOUR book on BookCrossing.com, release it into the world, and see where it goes.
Visit the website and register your book for a BCID (BookCrossing ID). Print one of their book plates or make your own, as I did. Place it prominently in the front of your book. I added a note:
I’m actually very excited right now, because a friend of mine is leaving soon for New York City and has offered to take my book and leave it somewhere in the City. Since the story is about a man who travels the world via many modes of transit, my friend decided a great place to leave the book will be the Staten Island Ferry – as these boats are often filled with tourists, artists, and fellow writers.
If you or someone you know will be traveling soon, why not give your book a BCID so you can release it – YES, for free – to see where it goes and what happens to it?
Here’s to tracking your book’s path!
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