James Patterson speaks out on $500 bonuses to bookstores, librarians

The author made the donation to celebrate the release of his new book.

April 11, 2024, 9:03 AM

James Patterson is?giving back?to booksellers and librarians while celebrating the release of his new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians."

The bestselling author?will be donating more than $300,000 to American Bookseller Association and American Library Association members, the award-winning author announced Thursday in a press release.

PHOTO: James Patterson’s new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians" was released on April 8, 2024.
James Patterson’s new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians" was released on April 8, 2024.
Little, Brown and Company

The recipients include 501 independent booksellers who will each receive $500 bonuses, for a total of $250,500. Patterson has given out holiday bonus for booksellers since 2015.

The list of Patterson's 2024 bonus recipients from the ABA can be found here.

Additionally, Patterson announced a special donation for ALA members, as he plans to give out bonuses to 250 librarians across the country for a total donation of up to $50,000.

In a statement to "Good Morning America," Patterson discussed the incentives, saying, "There has never been a more important time to celebrate booksellers and librarians -- period."

"I've always said these people save lives," the statement continued. "Their work has never been more crucial than in today's world, and it's not talked about enough. I'm happy to be able to give back to these heroes and to hopefully shine a light on all they do."

The deadline for ALA members to nominate is April 30, per the release. The winners will be announced at the ALA Annual Conference in San Diego this July.

Expressing gratitude on behalf of the ABA, its CEO, Allison Hill, said in a statement that bonuses for booksellers given out by Patterson are "a wonderful surprise and a great way to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day."

"His generosity to our industry is incredible and we continue to be grateful to him not only for this meaningful financial support of independent booksellers but also his recognition of the valuable role they play in the industry," Hill said.

ALA President Emily Drabinski also thanked Patterson for his contribution to librarians "in celebration of the truly amazing work librarians and library workers do to serve their communities."

"I encourage our members to nominate themselves or others to take advantage of this opportunity," she said in the statement.

PHOTO: James Patterson’s new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians" was released on April 8, 2024.
James Patterson’s new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians" was released on April 8, 2024.
Stephanie Diani

Patterson's announcement comes at a time when many libraries are under increased scrutiny and subject to book bans and other challenges. New data released last month by the American Library Association showed the number of books targeted by critics surged 65% from 2022 to 2023. Public libraries saw a 92% increase in challenges to books, according to the ALA.

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A prolific author who has had more than 100 New York Times bestselling novels, Patterson has donated millions of dollars to education and literacy programs over the years.

His notable works include "Alex Cross," "Michael Bennett," "Women's Murder Club," "Maximum Ride" and "Jane Smith," among others.

Patterson has also received an Edgar Award, 10 Emmy awards, the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation and the National Humanities Medal.

His new book, "The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians," which takes readers inside the lives and livelihoods of booksellers and librarians, was released on April 8, 2024.

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