Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away US$1 million (NZ$1.21 million) of his own money to independent bookstores.
On Wednesday, Patterson announced the first round of 55 stores to receive over US$267,000 in funds. The remaining US$750,000 will be given out in stages throughout the year.
Patterson's publisher, Hachette Book Group, released a statement saying the author feels that bookstores are vital to communities and that they leave a lasting love of reading in children and adults.
The bookstores can do whatever they want with the grants, which range from US$2,000 to US$15,000.
Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, making him among the world's most prolific and popular writers.