Elaine Petrocelli

President of Book Passage

Elaine Petrocelli is the president of Book Passage, the fiercely independent bookstore in Corte Madera, California, and at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

The two stores host over 700 author events a year. Book Passage hosts many famous authors – including Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Lewis Black, Isabel Allende, Amy Tan, and Salman Rushdie – but many once unknown authors say that an author event hosted by Elaine helped lead to their success. She is often called by major media to comment on books, authors and the book business.

Book Passage classes and conferences help make it more than just a business. These classes teach everything from writing memoirs to marketing your manuscript. The calendar is anchored each year by the Mystery Writers Conference, the Children’s Book Conference, and the Travel Writers Conference. With a reputation for solid content, an engaging professional faculty, and an international base for students, Book Passage has brought the community bookstore to a new level.

But aside from all that, one of Elaine’s proudest memories is of the time that Richard Nixon called her a "known communist" because she refused to carry his books.