On Wednesday, May 30, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher took the stage at the annual Celebration of Bookselling and Author Awards Lunch at BookExpo 2018 to share the organization’s thanks for author James Patterson’s efforts in championing indie bookstores and literacy.
Earlier this month, Patterson announced the details of his 2018 Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, which will award $250,000 in grants to independent bookstore employees. For the fifth year in a row, he is partnering with ABA to distribute the funds, which will be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers.
“James Patterson, as you all know, has been doing some remarkable things in support of building a country that makes books and reading a priority, especially in the lives of young people,” Teicher said at the lunch. “Providing a store with extra financial support for individual booksellers who have worked so hard in spreading the joy of reading is an extraordinary gesture.”
This year’s campaign is open to all U.S. independent bookstore employees through September 30. All past recipients of Patterson grants are eligible, and booksellers can self-nominate. This year’s pledge brings Patterson’s contribution to date to $1.1 million.
The grant application asks one simple question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” Patterson will select winners from bookstores all across the country to receive bonuses this holiday season.
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 given away more than a million books to students all over the United States and visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.