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Writing (checks) for small business

The Broadside Bookshop in Northampton and The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley are among 54 bookshops across the country that received grants from James Patterson this week as part of the suspense author’s pledge to distribute $1 million to independent book stores.

“It is absolutely wonderful,” said Hannah Moushabeck, children’s department director at Odyssey which received a check for $5,000. Likewise, Nancy Felton, co-owner of Broadside is thrilled. “We were very, very happy when the check came in the mail.” She declined to specify the amount.

Last fall the renowned writer announced that he planned to give away money to independent bookstores over the next 12 months. He invited stores to apply on his website and also asked readers and other authors to nominate bookstores. The first round of checks ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 for a total of $267,000 went out this week. The stores can do whatever they want with the cash.

Moushabeck said Odyssey will use the grant to support the children’s author appearances it hosts at the store and in local schools. She said the idea is to partner with a nonprofit group that works with low-income children to provide transportation and buy books for them at these events.

“There is something really special about being able to get the book signed and then take it home,” Moushabeck said.

Moushabeck said she received a letter from Patterson last fall saying he was impressed with what he’d heard about the shop’s children’s offerings and inviting Odyssey to submit a request for up to $10,000.

“So naturally we made a proposal for exactly $10,000 with every dollar accounted for,” she said. The wish list also included creating a reading nook in the children’s area with comfortable furniture and purchasing a color printer and Photoshop software for the shop’s website work. The list will now have to be pared down now in light of the amount Odyssey actually received. That’s OK, she said. “We’re thrilled with what we got.”

She said the store went all out in its effort to win the funding, even asking local authors to send Patterson testimonials.

For example, Tim Federle, author of “Better Nate Than Ever,” and winner of the 2014 Stonewall Award wrote: “There’s a reason the Odyssey has stood tall through half a century, and risen from the literal ashes after several fires: it is a community hub, a two-floor literary paradise, and a home to a staff who always knows just what you want to read -- usually before you do. The Odyssey isn’t just independent, it’s indispensable.”

Felton said Broadside, which asked for and got “considerably less” than The Odyssey’s $5,000, took a more modest approach. “Our strategy was that we would be more likely to get what we asked for if we didn’t ask for much,” she said.

The money will be to buy video and sound equipment to enhance the store’s author events, particularly for posting them on Broadside’s website and other social media outlets.

“I just can’t say enough about what James Patterson is doing to support independent book sellers,” Felton said.

In conjunction with the grant-giving, he has been conducting a public campaign on behalf of independent book stores with interviews in major media outlets and full page ads in the New York Times calling for support for them. Felton said she just learned that Patterson is giving gift certificates to high school students heading off to college to allow them to buy books from independent bookstores. “He is someone who is a real champion of literacy particularly for children and young adults. I’m amazed by his generosity and support.”

Likewise, Moushabeck is grateful for his backing. “It’s just wonderful the Patterson, with his monumental success, is acknowledging what independent bookstores do. It’s very flattering.”

Debra Scherban can be reached at DScherban@gazettenet.com.

It’s not just the money, but making people aware that independents are suffering.”

i htknk it is such a sonerfry thing a lot of autehoar do all thea tt hey can to give back to their local indpe book stoer but patesona with his huge monumnetal success it sjsut swonder full it not just hte money it aslo s amnkin peool aware that indpe boodkshoperat are suffering and they do som much for you r comm while it so very easyt to go to amazon or bug box stoers we re rth one s who buy irl scougt cookies and have the 4th graders read thery poeme here at an even t here a w we donagte lots o money per youre to loca org a and he is heping makne poe,. awaer of what we do for hte comm nice to have someone who the public recog as an authorait ack wht we do you nkow it’s very flattering

got $5,000

Hannah gopt a ltter from Jmes patesron poselheard about hte great work you’r doign with chiodren pls submit a grant porpsoa for uo to 10,000 so naturallwe made a grant propso for examctly 10,0000 with evey doallar acocunted for fordiff peorgram we swant to go

we got 5,0000 whichis si absolutely wonderful we re so threill ed

need to relookand see where wer are gong to allocate our money

one of our gi=biggest porag parnrket with a nono profit org that wokes with chlde in under pirevasl are want to giveve kids access not only to authoer but books as weell we have such an extsen aoutrhoe promgar we wantd to give the pop not to just kisds who could moe meet the autohe and buy the boooks but alos kid who couldn’t we wanted to ba ablet to provde tahe books and the tranpsoorsation for htem so that is one of the porgrea we were reallyexcited about

so they had eh op to m eet and other and geat it singed and take it home and read it ther si soemkthign erally speicaly about that it really ststicks wtih kids being able to keep the book is very impt

another thnksg we talkek aoaut educatio liaison working more closet wit shcool do a lot of in schol auteoihgr eents bering authreo to schoosl for frees with no charge to the school Laurie Halse Anderson , youn adult abuthoar of sevearsl award winiong books

most recenty Tlocal althoier Greg Ruth and Jeff Mack middle grade next week Shannon Hale a Newbruy HOnor winner of princess academy books coiming from Virginai gtravlenig a long way to visit som e of our schols which is erally great

have a lot of f ariendshiow with teaaher sho shop a lot here at the odyssey illl contat ehm first a nd se if they are interste in events March 20 educatioj ro night inviing teachesr and libararis ann from all ove rhate pipenner valley and will in grovduce to this program a hoping for a lot more applicats iti is a trarend now for indpe bookssotres hlloking for m oe and iddf ways to sell books one is being authore to schools for free thay have to pay t hoauhssasns of dollare to get auteohr so grea t opp for us and for them

some of the gran household items color pirnter which we dont hav and woudl really love photo shop strugg el to do simple images for our website things that will make our lives a litle easreisr will have to go th owru and see shat m akdes the cut another idea to buidl g a little reading nook play area in our chidrend departme lovely comfy chare what to do moere to make safe sapce for kisds to just curl up ad read some of my faviaeraty boodk soers in m y livfe had those and so i would love to intro that h ere at the oddyssey got word

kind of fuunn we had been walkroing on eggshless holdin our breate h opin for hte nes joan the owner of hte odd looke at her desk and buire don her desk was the letter might have beete sitting ther a couple of cayy were all jumpinrg for joy so excited gland she had time to lok under her papaer so r we sthll migh tnot knkow

the desk of an indpeatmenta bookseller is a messy thing

appliled about a mnth berofe chirst did not knwo when we were gonn here reached out to all the local autehor sho have connectieons with thoe odddy snad aske thenm to srihea tal ittel blurbs we just had an amazing ourpoit of quote Jane Yolen Aaron Becker who just wont he Caldicoot hone prinze put teh mall toegher and sent to Jemas patear son we knwo we alreasd sent you a grant n but if you are sitll on the fence abuat it here is what our loca authors have to say about us we rewe r eally gunning for it

i htknk it is such a sonerfry thing a lot of autehoar do all thea tt hey can to give back to their local indpe book stoer but patesona with his huge monumnetal success it sjsut swonder full it not just hte money it aslo s amnkin peool aware that indpe boodkshoperat are suffering and they do som much for you r comm while it so very easyt to go to amazon or bug box stoers we re rth one s who buy irl scougt cookies and have the 4th graders read thery poeme here at an even t here a w we donagte lots o money per youre to loca org a and he is heping makne poe,. awaer of what we do for hte comm nice to have someone who the public recog as an authorait ack wht we do you nkow it’s very flattering

Hannah Moushabeck chidren’s department director

Nancy Felton Broadside

Frist can say enouyg abuta JP and hwat he is oind jsut went on his website this mornt in additno og to ginvi out these grants has a prog where givng gift cert to hisgh school stunets heading off to collge to buy books from indp bllk store that i hadnt know about befoer he is soemone sho is a real champio of litersacy partilu for chiodrenand young a dults and incept books sellsl so i am amazed by his genreaosityh and support

we put in a grant for some d]equp to hlep us improve our evenst sand to film our events gt=et vieos or =f our events so we cna pu them up on our webisete and use for social media rather not say dont kno w how tehy feel about it we ogt ess than 5, 000 we gog soconserbly less than that cuz we asked fo less than that our stragety is we wouelebe more likey to ger what we ask for is we dont ask for so muc we’re t hrelileddw when chekc cam in the mail we were very very happy

to file gotan ipad mini to film hte evenst and want to ge t a sound systems for evernts cuz pel been having to just talk loudlyy got wrod on it wednesday

got one a week or tw ago sayin we were finalist s rewuitst more informaton s jsut sent this and we did and a check showe dup in the mail on wed.

Today, author James Patterson announced the first round of bookstores receiving a portion of his own money, and we’re happy to proclaim that the Odyssey is one of them! The staff here at The Odyssey Bookshop wants to thank Mr. Patterson, for not only his money but also for supporting independent bookstores far and wide! We’ll be putting that generous funding to good use over the next few months — on projects benefiting children in our community. We will focus a portion of the funds to promoting literacy in at risk communities, working with nonprofit organizations. We also want to extend a very special thank you to all of the authors who wrote us glowing recommendations and their continuing support!

Here are some of their heartfelt testimonials:

“As I anxiously awaited the debut of my first picture book, I always hoped that our best local Indie might put it up on their well curated shelves. Little did I know that they would become the book’s greatest supporter: tirelessly hand selling, hosting my book launch, staffing and stocking local readings and gallery shows, and coming to my house with boxes of books to sign. The Odyssey Bookshop is everything a good indie should be and more, and I often tell people that in these trying days for neighborhood booksellers, it is stores like the Odyssey that remind us why they matter and why they will survive.” - Aaron Becker, Journey, 2014 Caldecott Honor Winner

“There’s a reason the Odyssey has stood tall through half a century, and risen from the literal ashes after several fires: it is a community hub, a two-floor literary paradise, and a home to a staff who always knows just what you want to read -- usually before you do. The Odyssey isn’t just independent, it’s indispensable.” - Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, winner of the 2014 Stonewall Award

The Odyssey--as its name suggests--leads readers on a long, wonderful trip through the magical world. . . of books. I’ve been doing (free) bookstore events there since the eighties. Here in the Pioneer Valley we probably have more children’s books writers and illustrators per capita than anywhere else in the world: Newbery, Caldecott winners, National Book Award winners, national bestsellers--we have them all here. The bookstore that does the most for children’s books around here is the Odyssey and supporting it is our way of helping give back to our area, our children, and the literature of childhood. - Jane Yolen

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