One of the scariest things anyone can say to me is "marketing" (yes, even the word marketing is scary). But worse than marketing is "self-promotion," which is the most horrifying form of marketing known to man. When someone says, "You'll need to market yourself," to me, I am shortly thereafter cowering in a corner. Because yes, I really am that shy.
I know many authors are comfortable with singing their own praises (or the praises of others), but I suspect most of us aren't. We're writers, for godssake. No other profession conjures up visuals of lonerdom more (well, maybe computer programmers, but I believe they're just the techie version of fiction writers -- code-writing is a very creative pursuit). I'm a girl who goes to parties and only talks to people I know, and only then if they aren't otherwise engaged. I don't mean to be anti-social, there is just no way in hell I can go up to a stranger and introduce myself. (BTW, this is also the reason I didn't do well in retail sales. "Can I just fold shirts and organize everything?" doesn't go over well with most store managers. I still don't understand why. I'm SUPER at organizing.)
I'd love to be renowned, celebrated writer (because who doesn't want to be good at what they most want to do?), but I have a healthy, realistic sense of my own abilities. And my opinion is: "I probably don't suck. I hope I don't. But I might. And if so I'd really rather not call attention to myself while sucking at the thing I've felt born to do since I was eight."
I'm afraid the most self-promotion I'll be able to pull off is to beg book bloggers to review my novel... while I try really hard to grow a tough shell, because they've got to be honest, and I understand that.