I do understand. I mean, it's not like most publishers do much for new authors these days, if they ever did. If you don't market your book yourself, it might not get noticed. And there's so much competition, yada yada. Been there, done that.
But let's talk about the annoying come-ons. After all, it doesn't do an author any good to alienate potential readers. As a reader, what is likely to turn you off, and what is likely then to make you consider buying a book?
What turns me off:
You know what I hate. Facebook. Well, I don't like Facebook much, actually, but what I really hate is this idea of "fan". I keep getting email solicitations from some new author to become her "fan". "Betsy Brilliant wants you to become her fan!" (This alone makes me want to delete my Facebook account-- which I never check, so if you've friended me, nothing personal, but I probably won't ever respond... I don't even remember my password. :)
I know "fan" ia just the term Facebook uses, but it's creepy. I don't even know this person, and I'm supposed to be "her fan"? Like she's the Beatles? It really resonates with that icky "I want to be a celebrity!" vibe that is such a feature of our reality TV era. Hey, if your book is good, I will hear about it--- and THEN maybe I'll be interested... but actually, you're going to need even more than one good book to make me a "fan".
What works with me: Alas, authors have no control over most of this:
Good reviews from reviewers I have reason to trust.
Recommendations from friends.
A free copy mailed to me or delivered right to my hands at a conference, and I know this doesn't SELL a book. But it might sell the next one.
Good back-copy. Hate to say it, but I'm a sucker for this. I'll often buy a book because of the back-copy, even though I know all too well how little connection it might have with the actual book. What can I say. I'm easy.
Excerpts (good prose, well-punctuated :) online, especially at the point of sale (Amazon or Bn.com, for example, where I can immediately buy the book, or I'll probably forget).
Ease of purchase, like it's right in front of me at the bookstore, or there's a link to a purchase site at the review or excerpt. Also, Amazon's "One-click" has made impulse buying way too easy for me.
What Really Works (and the author does have control over this):
A really terrific book, because I'll talk about it and buy additional copies to give to friends.
So-- what annoys you, and what works for you, when it comes to soliciting you to buy a book?