Here’s an email I sent to a local branch of Waterstones today, a branch where I have signed many times, and have always been welcomed with (metaphorical) open arms. I have given the store coverage in the local paper, and got on well with the staff who have been helpful and friendly. My visits have given their sales a welcome boost as they are not a central store that can attract big names.
Thank you for your email. No one has been in touch with me, so this is the first I have heard of this event being cancelled. You clearly only contacted me in response to my phone call. Unfortunately it is now too late for me to arrange to sign at a different store in two weeks' time. It would have been courteous of you to have contacted me earlier, and I do hope you will treat other authors with more consideration in future.
I am really sorry that our long and friendly working relationship has come to so abrupt an end, and wish you well for the future.
It’s hard to understand why a bookshop would be forced to behave in this way. Their email says they are sorry to cancel my visit but: “Our hands are tied”