Author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program has pledged a contribution of $250,000 to provide independent bookstore employees with some extra cash around the holidays this year.
Patterson is partnering with the American Booksellers Association for the fifth time to distribute the bonuses, to 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.
Rachel Cass, head buyer at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a bonus in December 2017. She told Bookselling This Week that the designation was “a welcome surprise and affirmation, and it allowed me to pay off a few bills with enough left over for extra Christmas gifts for my family.”
“With this program, Mr. Patterson is using his money and platform to acknowledge the importance of independent bookstores and to recognize the work of individuals who make bookselling happen every day around the country,” said Cass. “It’s an incredible gift to our industry.”
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.