I visited the local Barnes & Noble today to see if I could set up a book signing. The manager, Diana, was still not available. She's still supposed to call me. I think I may try calling her. I did discover that the local Barnes & Noble store will be carrying my book. They have ordered ONE copy.
I went next to the local Walden Bookstore, which is run by Borders; the woman there was very friendly and helpful and gave me her manager's card and told me I could come by tomorrow to meet with her. So I will do that. Perhaps something will come with Waldens.
Then I went to the local Family Christian Bookstore, which years ago was called Sign of the Fish before it was bought out by the national chain. The person I talked to there was completely unhelpful, except to let me know that it didn't look like they were ordering the book (after she looked on her computer). She told me that ordering stuff for the bookstore was all done from the corporate offices in Michigan and so there wasn't much she or the manager could do (so she claimed). She gave me a sheet of paper and told me I could go to "that website there" and see if I could get the corporation to order it. I visited it when I got home and discovered it was for vendors, so that was completely useless to me. Matched my experience with their employee.
I find it hard to believe that a local manager has no control over the inventory of her store, though I suppose that is possible. Might explain a lot. Certainly the company as a whole is apparently not planning on carrying my book since a search on their website does not bring up my book at all--in contrast to all the other online booksellers who are carrying it. Their loss. After January 10 I should send people over there to ask for my book and then when they tell them that they don't have it, my friends can so, "Oh, well then I'll just go over to Barnes & Nobel (or Walden)--I know they have it but I thought I'd check with you first." Maybe enough people do that they will rethink how they treat local authors.
Amazon.com continues to offer the best price on my book, incidentally.