For his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program this year, author James Patterson has pledged a contribution of $250,000 to provide independent bookstore employees with a little extra holiday money.
For the fifth time, Patterson will partner with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the bonuses, to be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. The process to submit nominations 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?” After reviewing the answers, Patterson will select the winners from bookstores across the country. All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible for this year’s bonus, and booksellers can self-nominate. One, June Wilcox, co-owner of M. Judson Booksellers in Greenville, South Carolina, received a bonus last year and told Bookselling This Week that, with this program, Patterson is acknowledging and showing appreciation for the value of the bookseller.
“That the James Patterson Fund rewards independent booksellers is in and of itself amazing,” said Wilcox. “What the fund represents, though, is so much bigger than the individual gifts. It represents a belief in what we do as independent booksellers, a faith in our role in the communities we serve. From nomination through award receipt, Patterson’s program shows a very clear vote of confidence in both independent bookstores and the people behind them.”
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.