Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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James Patterson pledges $100,000 to Australian and New Zealand bookstores

US author James Patterson has announced he will donate a total pool of $100,000 to Australian and New Zealand bookstores to spend on projects to get children reading.

Australian and New Zealand booksellers with a dedicated children’s book section in their store can apply for grants of between $500 and $5000 to spend on their proposed initiative. Applications should cover what the bookseller plans to do with the grant to encourage children in their community to read.

Patterson, who is on tour in Australia, said in a letter to local booksellers that he is ‘open to all sorts of ideas’ and that the ‘tricky task will be deciding which shops to help’. ‘There is no doubt in my mind that bookshops play an essential role in the community in getting kids reading,’ said Patterson. ‘So many bookstores are already making a difference in their communities and I’m looking to help bookstores who want to do more.’

Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) CEO Joel Becker said in a statement he is ‘thrilled’ by Patterson’s support for Australian booksellers. ‘This is great news for an industry that is already seeing significant growth in sales for younger readers,’ said Becker. ‘We are excited about the opportunity that these grants will provide for bookshops to reach out to new audiences, and to develop ideas and programs that encourage young people to engage with the world of books and reading.’

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Patterson ran similar initiatives for independent booksellers in the US and the UK. Australian and New Zealand booksellers have until 30 June 2015 to apply for the grant. Application forms can be downloaded from the ABA website here.


Category: Local news