As in past years, author James Patterson’s Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program will provide independent bookstore employees with some extra cash this holiday season.
Patterson, who is contributing $250,000 to the program this year, 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.
Buffy Cummins, a bookseller at Second Star to the Right Children’s Books in Denver, Colorado, who received a bonus in December 2017, told Bookselling This Week that the extra money gave her the freedom to take her 14-year-old daughter to the East Coast for the first time, where they went to an off-Broadway play, visited with friends, and attended BookExpo together.
“Receiving a holiday bonus from James Patterson made me feel like my contributions are valued and strengthened my (already strong) commitment to the bookselling community,” said Cummins. “I’m such a supporter of this program and so grateful for James Patterson’s acknowledgement of indie booksellers’ impact. I’ve nominated several of my fellow booksellers already this year.”
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.