Unfortunately I'm going to pollute this thread with a post actually about marketing and self-promotion. I'm working on a theory, not exactly a grand theory . . . well it's just a modest theory really . . . actually it's just a bunch of half-thought-through, pick-pocketed ideas that I've thrown together but here it is:
You gotta do a little bit of everything and you can't be an obvious whore most of the time, although sometimes you have to be a little easy. You gotta blog, but you can't blog exclusively about your book or your book-related appearances. You gotta post in forums, but you only discuss your own book in threads started by others about your book, i.e., you can't hijack threads or spam the board. You gotta go to cons, but only to socialize and to answer questions, not to plug your book at every opportunity. It ain't about you.
Except when it is.
When is it about you? Well, when making sure that your publisher sends out ARC's to the right reviewers, or--more likely--when you use up your own precious supply of author copies to send to reviewers. Aunt Patty and Aunt Selma can damn well buy their own copies. When making sure that all of the magazines and review sites and fan sites know that the newest, up-and-coming, fresh-faced author is available at any time for an interview. When contacting every assistant producer of every television and radio program that ever broadcasts a segment on literature, no matter how unlikely it is that they will book you. When setting up bookstore readings and signings for every weekend. And when doing all of these things yourself because your publisher's attitude is that you should be damned grateful that they printed your first novel and not expecting any marketing budget to boot.
Mostly, a realistic and humble approach is key. If fiction sells by word of mouth, then a loyal and vocal fan base has to be the best marketing tool of them all. But that takes time and it ain't going to happen with your first book. Maybe the most you can hope for is a good experience, laying a foundation, getting your feet wet and getting your name out there, and to follow up relatively quickly.
Those are my thoughts for now. Do you think I missed anything? Hopefully very soon I'll get the chance to try these ideas out.
ETA: ooh, 199 posts! Quick somebody give me something to spout off about!