Author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program is slated to give a total of $250,000 in bonuses to independent bookstore employees in 2018.
For the fifth consecutive year, Patterson will partner with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the funds, to be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. This year’s campaign is open through September 30 to all U.S. indie bookstore employees. Patterson will select winners from bookstores nationwide to receive the bonuses this holiday season.
The program invites booksellers, publishing professionals, authors, and bookstore shoppers to share why they think an individual independent bookstore employee should get a holiday grant. All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible for this year’s contest, and booksellers can nominate themselves. The grant application asks one question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?”
Past recipients of a James Patterson holiday bonus include Melissa Taylor, manager of E. Shaver Bookseller in Savannah, Georgia, who said it enabled her and her husband to travel and spend the holidays with his family, many of whom they had not seen in a couple of years.
“As a bookseller, I am overwhelmed by Mr. Patterson’s generosity towards booksellers, independent bookstores, libraries, and schools,” Taylor said. “He clearly understands the importance of reading and his program truly enables us to share our love of books with so many readers.”
In 2017, Patterson donated a record $350,000 to more than 300 independent bookstore employees; in 2016, $250,000 to 149 employees; and in 2015, $250,000 to 87 recipients. In 2014, he awarded $1 million in grants to 178 independent bookstores. Over the past decade, Patterson has given away more than a million books to students all over the United States and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.