Over the coming weeks, booksellers are encouraged to share details at their stores about author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program, which invites booksellers, publishing professionals, authors, or bookstore shoppers to share why they think an indie bookstore employee should receive a holiday grant.
Last week, Patterson announced his 2018 pledge to independent bookstore employees: a personal contribution of $250,000. For the fifth year in a row, he is partnering 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 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.