James Patterson Begins Distributing $1 Million to Indie Bookstores

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Last September, author James Patterson made a pledge to give away $1 million to independent bookstores. Patterson has begun fulfilling that promise by distributing $267,000 in grants to 55 bookstores as well as to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association to support California Bookstore Day. Now, Patterson is looking for more bookstores that might benefit from his grants.

On CBS This Morning on Thursday, Patterson said, “I don’t think we’re saving any stores, but we’re helping them” in the face of competition from chains and online retailers. Patterson expressed the need for bookstores to remain strong in their communities and to help bring the love of reading to the younger population, as well as to help maintain the strength of American literature.

Booksellers and readers can visit Patterson’s website to nominate bookstores to receive a grant. Grants range from $2,000 to $15,000, and eligible stores must be deemed “viable” and have a children’s section.

The bestselling author and champion for children’s literacy pledged to continue to help independent booksellers as much as possible. “We’ll do whatever we can do,” Patterson said. “One of the bookstore owners said it best. He said, ‘This is really going to help our store, but more importantly, this is shining a light on this situation.’”

“It’s great news that James Patterson is continuing to show his support for independent bookstores, by recognizing the unique and critical role they play in helping to foster a lifelong love of reading and in connecting authors and readers of all ages. As many bookstores nationwide are seeing sales growth and record holiday seasons, this assistance is coming at an especially auspicious moment. In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to working with Jim in any way we can,” said ABA CEO Oren Teicher.

Oblong Books & Music in Millerton, New York, will be putting its grant toward fixing its roof, which is in need of repair after the particularly harsh winter in the Northeast. Co-owner Dick Hermans said that Patterson had visited the store last fall when he was in the area and spent some time meeting the staff and signing copies of his books. Just a couple of days later, Hermans received an e-mail from Patterson, encouraging him to apply for funding. “He came through,” said Hermans, who is looking forward to spring so work can begin on the roof. “It’s very exciting. He’s not only talking the talk, he’s walking the walk.”

Hannah Moushabeck, the children’s department director at The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Massachusetts, had participated in an authorless event promotion for Patterson’s Treasure Hunters series. Though Odyssey didn’t win the promotion’s prize of an in-store appearance by Patterson, it did receive an e-mail from Patterson’s team acknowledging their efforts in working with young readers and information about the program. The store applied for and received a grant to help develop a variety of children’s programming

“We want to work with local organizations to give kids opportunities to get signed copies of books and meet authors, even if they can’t afford to buy the books themselves,” said Moushabeck. “We also really want to create a reading nook in our physical store. It’s always been my fantasy to build a really epic reading nook.”

“We’ve been jumping for joy,” Moushabeck added.

The initial recipients of the grants from James Patterson are:

A Whale of a Tale – Irvine, California

Alamosa Books – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Anderson’s Bookshop – Naperville, Illinois

Andover Bookstore (Hugo Books) – Andover, Massachusetts

Bank Street Bookstore – New York City, New York

Bookshop Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz, California

The Book Bin – Northbrook, Illinois

Book Culture – New York City, New York

Book Passage – Corte Madera, California

Book Revue – Huntington, New York

BookPeople – Austin, Texas

Books & Books – Coral Gables, Florida

Books & Greetings – Northvale, New Jersey

Books of Wonder – New York City, New York

Booktenders – Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Bookworks – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Brazos Bookstore – Houston, Texas

Brewster Book Store – Brewster, Massachusetts

Broadside Book Shop – Northampton, Massachusetts

Browseabout Books – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

California Bookstore Day (serving 93 bookstores in California)

Children’s Book World – Los Angeles, California

Children’s Book World – Haverford, Pennsylvania

Doylestown Bookshop – Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Eighth Day Books – Wichita, Kansas

Gallery Bookshop and Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books – Mendocino, California

Hicklebee’s – San Jose, California

Innisfree Bookshop – Lincoln, New Hampshire

Lake Forest Book Store – Lake Forest, Illinois

Little Shop of Stories – Decatur, Georgia

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café – Asheville, North Carolina

Mysterious Galaxy – Redondo Beach/San Diego, California

Nicola’s Books – Ann Arbor, Michigan

Norwich Bookstore – Norwich, Vermont

Oblong Books & Music – Millerton, New York

The Odyssey Bookshop – South Hadley, Massachusetts

Old Firehouse Books – Fort Collins, Colorado

Page & Palette – Fairhope, Alabama

Park Road Books – Charlotte, North Carolina

Parnassus Books – Nashville, Tennessee

Percy’s Burrow – Topsham, Maine

Phoenix Books – Essex Junction, Vermont

Porter Square Books – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Reading Reptile – Kansas City, Missouri

Red Balloon Bookshop – St. Paul, Minnesota

Russo’s Marketplace Books – Bakersfield, California

Schuler Books and Music – Okemos, Michigan

Subterranean Books – St. Louis, Missouri

The Bookies – Denver, Colorado

The BookLoft – Great Barrington, Massachusetts

The Bookstore Plus – Lake Placid, New York

The Children’s Bookstore – Baltimore, Maryland

The Yellow Brick Road – San Diego, California

Wellesley Books – Wellesley, Massachusetts

Wild Rumpus – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wonderland Books – Rockford, Illinois