From December 1988 to May 1990, I did 89 book signings at bookstores, festivals and libraries, selling and autographing 1,664 books (gross sales $6,240 at $3.50 per book), an average of 22 books sold at each signing.
(Yes. I did keep track of all of this.)
Each time one of my books came out, I did signings at about a dozen of the same stores and appeared on the local TV show Murphy in the Morning. Every newspaper in the area eventually wrote about me. Even Writer’s Digest wrote about my writing success. You can do this too.
Self-promotion is an integral part of success as a writer. It's up to you to do it yourself. With a little money and a good attitude, you can promote your novel yourself.
By the way, there's nothing wrong about tooting your own horn. You are a talented member of a skilled profession. You are a writer. There's no reason to believe you're any less important than the guy downtown who sells carpeting. Be professional, be proud of being a writer, be sure of yourself. It adds up to a positive corporate image.
Those who meet you will see you as a professional, talented member of your community because that's the way you see yourself. It's called positioning. Corporations do it all the time. You can "position" yourself as an author, thus generating press coverage.