Novel Move: James Patterson to Give Indies $1 Million
In a striking part of his campaign to promote reading, books and education, author James Patterson will give $1 million during the next year to independent bookstores. Yesterday on CBS This Morning, he said that his only requirements are that the store is "viable" and that it has a children's section. He gave one example of what might merit a grant: a store that has two people "who haven't had a bonus in seven years." To sign up for announcements, go to Patterson's website.
The first public mention of the program was brief and near the end of a Wall Street Journal article at the beginning of the month. The article noted that earlier this year, the author had taken ads out across the country asking, "Who will save our books?" Patterson called the reaction positive, but lamented that "nothing changed."
Patterson has a history of giving money to help reading, teaching and education, including $1.5 million in scholarships this year to students seeking to become teachers and an essay competition for high school seniors to win money for college book purchases that has given out $170,000 in three years. He also gives books to schools and book stipends to students.
Currently Patterson is doing a promotion with independent booksellers for his new book, Treasure Hunters, written with Chris Grabenstein and illustrated by Juliana Neufeld (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers). He will reimburse indies who hold parties for the book between now and November 15 (required proof: a picture of the party), and he will visit two of the participating stores. For more information and a digital event kit, booksellers should contact their HBG sales rep. The kit, also available on the Treasure Hunters site, includes a poster to promote Treasure Hunters events, info on the offer and trading cards featuring the Kidd characters.