I actually cribbed this from Kelly's post over at Wyrdsmiths today. It's from Lilith Saintcrow's blog and I found this article in particular very... illuminating, and a little bit nerve-wracking.
It's not that I've ever (to my knowledge) been "Z" (in her second example of hard sell: fail), but I can totally understand the desire. When you first sell, there's a huge shift in your mind that goes something like this -- I am now legitimate. Which is to say, it's hard not to fall into the trap of being perhaps more than a little bit self-important, because, you know, suddenly you feel like all those opinions you kept to yourself about how brilliant you were... well, someone else finally agreed, and when that someone else might even be a New York book publisher, frankly, that's pretty f**king cool.
And it's really, REALLY hard not to say: hey, look at me!!
Ehm, moving on....
I do have to say, however, Lilith's advice at the end of the post is worth its weight in gold. The weirdest, most true bit? Thank-you notes. I wrote a ton of them in the beginning of my career, and can say unequivocally that they helped me get gigs. People appreciate being thanked. And it's super-easy to do. Your mom was right. Just sit down and do it.
Her whole blog is pretty awesome actually. Go check her out: http://www.lilithsaintcrow.com/journal/about/