When Green recently introduced her summer book bingo game for kids, a number of customers asked her to design a “grown-up” version that would be appropriate for adults.
“That just got my wheels turning,” said Green, who was first inspired to create a book bingo game for kids while visiting BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan, who had designed a kids’ card for her store. “For the adult version, I decided to put not just a book or purchase requirement on each square, like I did with the kids’ one, but also to promote my brand and the things we offer here as well as buying locally within the community and supporting downtown merchants.”
Among the squares on Bluebird’s adult bingo game are: Show a receipt from a local business; Meet a friend for coffee in the store’s café; Attend a Bluebird Books book club meeting; Purchase a Bluebird staff pick; Purchase an Indie Next List selection; Give the store a five-star review on Facebook; “Reverse showroom” at Bluebird Books; Purchase at least four greeting cards; Bring a child to a summer book club; and more.
After completing five squares, either diagonally, vertically, or horizontally, players can bring their card to Bluebird Books before Saturday, August 13, and claim their prizes, which include Bluebird gift cards valued from $5 to $50, vouchers for café items, and all sorts of swag for booklovers, such as ARCs, store coupons, and vouchers for Bluebird Books’ Cocktail Book Club.
Green, who used her store newsletter of June 10 to introduce the adult bingo game, said that she has received a positive response from many customers on social media.
As far as awarding the prizes, she added, “We’re giving out gift cards and prizes that vary in value, so I think we’re going to have people pick their gift in a blind draw.”
Green told Bookselling This Week that, over time, her instincts have sharpened when it comes to deciding whether or not to devote limited resources to fulfilling every customer request.
“You kind of learn along the way that you don’t want to put a lot of time and energy into something that people don’t respond to; it can be very draining and waste lots of energy,” she said. “But this was something customers responded to, and I got excited about it right away. It was pretty easy to adapt it for adults since we already had the kids’ one done. You do definitely learn over time how to really hit your mark where your customers are concerned.”
Bluebird’s kids’ summer reading bingo features a card for children in kindergarten through second grade and another version for children in third through sixth grade. Green has created a special display for all of the books featured on the cards so kids can find (and parents can buy) them easily.
For booksellers looking to create their own kids’ summer reading bingo games, the ABC Children’s Group at ABA has created a Give Me Summer, Give Me Books bingo template that can be easily adapted to a store’s specific needs. ABA members must request access to the ABA DIY Google Group to download the customizable bingo card.