Sometimes you just have to ask to get a book-signing. Our author, Trevor Pacelli landed a book-signing at a bookstore near his university campus in Tempe, Arizona a few years ago. He recently held another book-signing at University of Washington Bookstore's Bellevue location. He sent letters to the two closest independent bookstores, and they responded right away with forms for him to fill out with various options for book-signing events, as well as consignment sales.
He filled out the paperwork, which consisted of a bio, book cover photo, headshot, and a book description. They also asked that two copies of the book be sent to the store. The store in Arizona charged $75 charge for the book-signing, but University of Washington didn't charge anything. Both stores expected him to publicize the event, and said they would publicize it as well. At the UW event, he was given about 30 minutes to talk about his book.
The Arizona store accepted copies of his book to sell on consignment with 60 percent going to the author, and a $25 fee to stock the book. He simply has to supply them with books and they will send him checks as the books sell. It's not a big risk, and will bring attention to the book beyond the immediate bookstore sales. UW also kept a few copies after the event to sell, which Trevor autographed.
If you have written a book, check with your independent, local bookstores. Some stores host celebrity book-signings, but are willing to accept a first-time author as well. It's builds good community and brings traffic and visibility to their store, while helping a new author get more visibility for his book.
Patty Pacelli, author, editor and publisher, writes hints and tips for authors and writers about self-publishing, writing and marketing your book.