On Wednesday, October 5, bestselling author and literacy advocate James Patterson announced the return of his Holiday Bonus Program for independent booksellers. Last year, Patterson showed his gratitude to indie bookstore employees through a donation of $250,000 and this year he is doing the same. Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the funds, which will be granted as bonuses of $1,000 to $5,000 to individual booksellers.
“Booksellers can change lives simply by recommending the right book, and these bonuses are my humble acknowledgement of the important work they do,” said Patterson. “I saw first-hand what these bonuses did to help bookstores and their employees last year, and I hope they make even more of a difference this holiday season.”
Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, said, “We are once again extremely grateful to James Patterson for his ongoing commitment to literacy and to independent booksellers nationwide, who throughout the year are promoting the essential value of reading and books by working to connect authors and readers of all ages. The return of James Patterson’s Holiday Bonus Program for a second year is a wonderful way to acknowledge those booksellers, who are dedicated to improving people’s lives through the power of reading. On behalf of all ABA members, we extend our sincere thanks to James Patterson for his unwavering support.”
Anyone can nominate a bookstore employee for a bonus: store owners, managers, fellow booksellers, publishing professionals, and shoppers. The nomination form, which is open from October 5 to November 1, asks one simple question: “Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?” As he did last year, Patterson will personally select the bookstore employees to receive bonuses, and the full list of winners will be announced in December. The nomination form can be found at BookWeb.org/Bonus. Booksellers who received bonuses from Patterson in 2015 are not eligible to receive a bonus this year.
In 2015, Patterson donated $250,000 in bonuses to 87 independent bookstore employees across the country; in 2014, he awarded more than $1 million in grants to 178 independent bookstores that are committed to fostering a love of reading among children and young adults. Over the past decade, Patterson has given away more than a million books to students all over the U.S. and has visited hundreds of schools to advocate for youth literacy.