Harry Potter and the Crippling Fear of Self-Promotion

Apologies in advance, this post has nothing to do with Harry Potter.

Am I bothering you? I hope I'm not bothering you. You probably aren't that interested in what I have to say, anyway. On the list of things that matter to you in this moment, I'm probably somewhere below the precise list of particles found on the bottom of your shoes.

Right? Or is that my fear of self-promotion showing through? 

I've always been hesitant to talk up any of my projects to people, particularly people I don't know, but family and friends, as well. If I do, I usually mask it with a stupid joke, because haha, if you don't care about what I'm saying then I didn't really care either, I was just goofin'.

But a huge part of being an author is knowing how to talk about your book to people you don't know and who don't care (or, hopefully, simply don't know yet that they do care). So I'm gearing up for those potentially embarrassing encounters.

First, I'm reaching out to book reviewers to pitch them on writing a review of Heaven's Forgotten. This isn't too bad, because chances are, if they don't want to read it, they just won't reply. Then I can pretend the rejection doesn't exist.

That's not enough, though. I'm trying to work on my elevator pitch -- i.e. the quick but encompassing summary of what my book is and why you'll think it's awesome. 

I was volunteering a couple of weeks ago with First Book, an awesome charity that gets books into the hands of children in need, and a couple of ladies I was helping asked what I did for a living. That allowed me a (shockingly unsubtle) segue into a quick pitch about my book. Now, the book isn't out yet, so that makes it harder to "close the deal," so to speak, but I'm thinking of it as practice.

Anybody find themselves in similar situations? Any strategies for overcoming what I can only assume is a learned insecurity about one's own work? I'd love to hear about it.