The Essential Guide Rocks America Tour Pitchapalooza #5: Death @ the Bookstore – The Murder of Joseph-Beth in Pitsburgh

It’s hard to tell sometimes whether the universe has it in for you, or life is a series of random events.  At our first event at Borders outside Washington DC, the manager of the store didn’t know there was an event there that night, and had only 3 copies of our books on hand. Then, two days before leaving for Pittsburgh, we found out that we’d be the last event at the Joseph-Beth bookstore there, as they were closing their doors later in the week.

When we walked into Joseph-Beth, it looked like the fall of Saigon, people grabbing gigantically discounted books hand over fist.  The book distributor who supplies the books for the store had moved in palettes of boxes, just waiting to ship out inventory.  So we did our event in front of the gallows, with the hangmen waiting to slip the noose around the neck of yet another bookstore .  It certainly seemed like a sign from above.  Or maybe from below.  With all the rumors going around that the book business is going down the toilet, it seemed cruel and ironic that we were dropped down right in the middle of a bookstore execution.

That being said, a bunch of brave writers showed up with dreams in their hearts and stardust in their eyes, ready to jumpstart their publishing career, and have their dreams of becoming successfully published writers come true.  And we had two fantastic panelists, Vince Rause, a client of Arielle’s who has written, among other things, the New York Times bestseller, Miracle in the Andes, a truly inspirational book about the rugby team that crashed in the Andes.  Our other panelist was the mystery writer, Nancy Martin, who revealed that she has written over 50 books.  Suddenly we felt so insigrnificant.

As always, we heard some great pitches.  The winner, Candace Bangs, gave an airtight pitch for her YA novel full of tragedy, drama, and paranormal activity.  It’s funny how once the event starts, the focus becomes so intense that everything else is blocked out.  So while we were listening to and deconstructing all the pitches, the madness raging all around us faded into the background.

Yes, the book business may be going through troubled times, but it seems like human beings will always tell and listen to stories.

Plus we got a great tour afterwards from Vince amd had some crazy good tacos.  Pittsburgh rocks hard.