I did an event tonight with two other authors: Caro Soles and Rick Blechta. This was my first multi-author event and I was lucky to be paired with two established writers.
Caro Soles has written and edited a number of mysteries, such as A Tangled Boy, Drag Queen in the Court of Death, Blood on the Holly; plus fantasy and other works. http://www.carosoles.com/
Rick Blechta is the author of several mysteries, including The Lark Ascending, Cemetery of the Nameless, and A Case of You. http://www.rickblechta.com/
So, these two know the ropes about events and readings and signings. I learned a thing or two from a couple of seasoned pros.
1. When it comes to reading from your own book, you can read any part; you need not begin at page one.
2. Unless you're good at doing voices, select a passge that doesn't contain a lot of dialogue.
3. If doing events with other authors, don't be shy about shamelessly promoting them - give them a shout out... it's pay itself back :)
4. It may be worthwhile to get someone to read with you (i.e. if the passage has a lot of dialogue).
5. Not all bookstores are created equally. Authors will tell you - based on their own experiences - which stores do more to promote you and to publicize the event.
6. When doing a reading, don't be afraid to skip parts. Some words, sentences or paragraphs sound fine when you read silently, when it's just in your head, but don't work as well with a live audience.
So, there you go. The bottom line - if you're a new author - is BE A SPONGE! Soak up all the tidbits and advice established authors offer. You never know what's going to work, but it's sure nice learning from those with experience.