Today, James Patterson announced his 2018 pledge to independent bookstore employees: a personal contribution of $250,000 as part of his Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program.
Patterson is partnering for the fifth year in a row with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the funds, which will be granted in amounts of $750 to $1,500 to individual booksellers. This year’s campaign will be 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.
“Over the past five years, I’ve heard from many booksellers who’ve received holiday bonuses,” said Patterson. “They’ve allowed them to buy holiday gifts for their children, pay off medical bills, or even buy theatre tickets — however they use the money, I’m humbled to hear that they make a difference in their lives. And I’m grateful to be able to acknowledge the important work booksellers do.”
ABA CEO Oren J. Teicher said, “Once again, our friend James Patterson is stepping forward and providing extraordinary support for indie booksellers. His continued generosity has no parallel, and all of us connected to the American Booksellers Association remain grateful and appreciative. The Patterson holiday bonuses have made a real difference in the lives of hundreds and hundreds of booksellers, and we are thrilled that we’ll have a chance to thank James in person at this year’s Celebration of Bookselling Lunch at BookExpo.”
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.