Author James Patterson pledged $250,000 this year for his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, which was designed to give indie bookstore employees a financial boost around the holidays.
Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association for the fifth time to distribute the bonuses, which will be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. The process to submit nominations is open through September 30, and anyone can nominate. 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 bonuses, and booksellers can self-nominate.
Star Lowe, owner of Star Line Books in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who received a bonus in December 2017, told Bookselling This Week that she has no idea who nominated her but is forever grateful. She even plans to pay it forward, she said.
“I plan to make an anonymous nomination this year,” said Lowe. “There are so many deserving booksellers out there. We work hard for little reward, and we don’t complain because it’s our passion. So what an amazing cherry on the top of a passion sundae would a holiday bonus gift from James Patterson be!”
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.