Continuing his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program into 2018, author James Patterson has pledged a contribution of $250,000 this year to provide independent bookstore employees with a little extra holiday cash.
For the fifth consecutive year, Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the bonuses, which will be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. This year’s program is open through September 30 to all U.S. independent bookstore employees.
The grant application asks one question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” Patterson will select winners from bookstores across the country to receive funding this holiday season.
All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible for this year’s bonus, and booksellers can self-nominate. Cathy Berner, children’s/young adult specialist and events coordinator for Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Texas, received a bonus last year and told Bookselling This Week that as a librarian turned bookseller, she feels doubly grateful for Patterson’s commitment to the book community.
“His bonuses allow us greater freedom in our spending choices — whether we are paying bills or doing something we might not normally be able to afford,” said Berner. “I’m so proud to be a member of this community and am honored to have been recognized along with so many other wonderful booksellers.”
In 2017, Patterson donated a record $350,000 to bookstore employees; in 2016, $250,000 to 149 independent bookstore employees across the country; 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 also given away more than a million books to students all over the United States and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.