Author James Patterson Is Giving Away $350,000 In Holiday Bonuses To Indie Booksellers

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By Kerri Jarema

As a former bookseller myself, I would argue that being a bookseller is arguably one of the most fun and rewarding jobs that a book-lover could have. But the realities are that working in the retail sector, especially at an indie bookstore, is not always a financially stable choice for many people. Luckily for 320 indie booksellers, James Patterson's third annual Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program has just offered them a nice slice of a $350,000 holiday bonus pie.

Since 2015, prolific author James Patterson has been offering holiday bonuses to independent booksellers who have been nominated by fellow booksellers, customers, managers, authors, and other publishing professionals. They are nominated based on the impact made at their stores and in their communities throughout the year. And this year, the bonus was bigger than ever, as Patterson upped the total donated amount from the $250,000 of previous years to $350,000. Last year, 179 lucky booksellers got a bonus, but this year, he's handing them out to 320 people.

As we all know, 2017 was a rough year for many people, for a plethora of reasons, including the devastating affects of natural disasters. Happily, though, booksellers in places that were hit particularly hard by these disasters were among the recipients of this year's bonus — including Blue Willow Bookshop in hurricane ravaged Houston and Copperfield’s Books in Napa, California, where wildfires are rampant. Other recipients include booksellers from popular destinations like McNally Jackson in New York, Malaprops in Asheville, and Powell's in Portland. The amounts each bookseller will receive varies from $750 to $1250 each, which can be more than some booksellers make per paycheck.

Patterson was quoted in Publisher's Weekly saying, "I was thrilled to increase the donation amount of this year’s bonuses given the overwhelming response we’ve had to past campaigns. These bonuses are my humble acknowledgment of [booksellers’] commitment to putting books into the hands of readers, and I hope these grants make that possible.”

It's incredible to see an author with Patterson's influence making an effort to ensure that booksellers are rewarded for the important work they do in their communities, and of course, giving us at least one piece of great news to look forward to every December. Congratulations to all of the 2017 recipients! You can check out the full list of winner's here and start compiling a list of all the great booksellers in your life that you want to nominate for a bonus next year.