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Author James Patterson wants to give holiday bonuses to booksellers

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(Read caption) In this Oct. 18, 2012 file photo, James Patterson attends a screening of "Alex Cross" in New York. '[Booksellers] should be rewarded for spreading the joy of reading,' says Patterson.

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He's donated $1.25 million to school libraries across the US. He gave $1 million in donations to independent bookstores. And he's donated 450,000 books to New York City students.

Now, author James Patterson wants to give independent booksellers around the country holiday bonuses.

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The bestselling author-cum-benefactor announced Wednesday that he will give away a total of $250,000, with payments ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

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“This is to keep hammering at the need that’s out there for our bookstores and booksellers," Patterson told Publishers Weekly. "Booksellers should be considered heroes in our society."

“[Booksellers] should be rewarded for spreading the joy of reading,” he added. “These holiday bonuses are my humble acknowledgment of the important work they do all year.”

Patterson said he got the idea of offering holiday bonuses from applications he receives for bookstore grants, according to Publishers Weekly. In one, John Hugo at Andover Bookstore in Andover, Mass., wanted to give his father, who hadn't received a pay raise in years, a bonus.

Anyone – from patrons to store owners to authors – can nominate a bookstore employee for a bonus. To do so, they must simply answer the question, "Why does this bookseller deserve a holiday bonus?"

Instructions are available at www.bookweb.org/bonus, part of the website for the independent bookstores' trade group, the American Booksellers Association.

The nominating period runs from Wednesday, Oct. 7, to Nov. 1. Patterson will personally review the submissions, and recipients will be announced the week of Dec. 14.

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In recent years Patterson has become a benefactor of independent bookstores and libraries, donating millions of dollars in donations, grants, books, and more, to support literacy, bookstores, and libraries.

He's also been hugely successful as an author.

He's sold more than 300 million books, from crime thrillers to children's books, since his writing debut in 1976. In the past year alone, he published 18 books and made $89 million, according to Forbes