James Patterson is one of those authors who write books that you often see in airports. The prose of a Patterson novel is quick and punchy and the plot is suspenseful. He has sold a lot of books – 240 million, according to his publisher’s web site – and he’s made a lot of money
For the past two years Patterson has given back some of that cash to a sector of the literary community that can use it – he’s pledged to give away $1 million to independent bookshops. One Seattle book shop has just been named a beneficiary.
Seattle Mystery Bookshop, at 117 Cherry Street in Pioneer Square, is the recipient of of a Patterson grant. In applying for the grant, shop owner J.B. Dickey proposed to use half the grant for targeted advertising in social media, and the other half to reward staff who have voluntarily curtailed their work hours to save the shop payroll expenses. The shop’s business has been impacted by e-books and Pioneer Square parking restrictions, among other things. Dickey declined to name the exact amount of the reward, but said it was the average amount for the second round (Patterson granted $268,000 to 43 booksellers for an average of about $6,200).
Dickey thanked both Patterson and “endless thanks…to all of our loyal fans who wrote to him on our behalf.”
Patterson has also been a vocal critic of Amazon for its tactics in its current dispute with the publisher Hachette, tactics that include refusing to take advance orders of Hachette books. Patterson is published by Little, Brown, a Hachette imprint.