Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores.

On Wednesday, Patterson announced the first round of 55 stores to receive over $267,000 in funds. The remaining $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 $2,000 to $15,000.

Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, making him among the world's most prolific and popular writers.

Some of the stores, according to the New York Times:

  • Percy's Burrow in Topsham, Me.
  • Page & Palette in Fairhope, Ala.
  • A Whale of a Tale in Irvine, Calif.
  • Bank Street Bookstore in New York City
  • Hicklebee's in San Jose, Calif.
  • Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe in Asheville, N.C.
  • Book Passage in San Francisco, Calif.