Nothing really, since, like your friend, I simply ignore it. I like to download the free samples and make up my own mind.
It is just regular people trying to find others to pay attention to the projects that they've worked on. People just want acknowledgement and to find people who will pay them to do what they love.
Most people have a tendency to reject an unknown quantity right away and from what you have expressed you can see why it can be difficult to let people know about you. If you are an unknown, how else can you get people to pay attention unless you use social media, send your material out to others, etc.?
I hate repeated spamming. There have been a couple of serious offenders here on the B&N forums, notably Edison43, who post dozens of advertisements for their e-books in the same forum (sometimes more than one on the same day in the same forum!) and across multiple forums, often in inappropriate threads.
A variant of that is an author who replies to existing threads with insubstantial comments plus a huge book ad. Or starts a bunch of lame threads just to include the book ad. This gets very old very fast.
I have no problem with a single tasteful introduction of one's work, even if repeated in a few appropriate areas such as a posting on the Read My Book thread in the Community Forum and a posting in the NOOKbooks forum. I do recommend that the introduction be written in the same general form as one would use for a query letter to an agent; readers want to know the same information — genre, word count, who the main characters are, and the set-up for the story — and the posting will be judged as a sample of your writing ability so put some work into it.
Tasteful "bumping" of your announcement thread with news — announcing some good reviews that people have given the book, or a price change, or whatever — is still acceptable. I say "still" because eventually there will be enough titles out there that bumped announcement threads could dominate or even flood a forum (the NOOKbooks forum comes to mind), rendering it pretty much unusable.
I certainly have no problem with a link to one's book(s) in one's forum signature. Again, "tasteful" is better than "gaudy".
Not a matter of "hate", but rather of tackiness, is nominating your own work in the "Great Pubit Reads" thread and the like. Don't pretend to be an unbiased judge of your own work.
Readers are, by and large, reasonably intelligent and thoughtful. Treat them with respect, and you shouldn't have any problems.
Thank you all!
This kind of information is very helpful to determine whether or not my vanity-press advertising decisions will be received or not.
I hope this at least sounds tasteful enough, enough to get people to try less annoying ploys:
1. Creating my own thread solely for the book, and post once and only once each new entry in that one forum. This includes coupon codes, contests, etc. concerning my book. I update that thread regularly to weed out old news and only bump with new information.
2. Instead of running around to every blasted book forum on the internet, filling out the membership, and repeating forementioned foolishness, I looked into creating one page on Facebook for the book.
3. Twitter account, connected to the Facebook page for the book (what I post in the FB page shows up on Twitter automatically).
4. Facebook advertising is actually quite cheap, and boasts a reach of upwards of 140 MILLION viewers. I've been researching the benefits of 'Pay By Click' and 'Pay By Impression' (per 1000 impressions and the clicks/likes they get). You set a bid for how much you want to pay per click, and FB calculates the actualy cost, prorating if necessary. The result is having your own ad placed within the sidebar ads on the website. I have no qualms in stating I've placed well over 50K impressions for $5. 50K people potentially shown this ad, and potentially drawing them in to buy a copy. I sell two copies on Nook and the royaties pay for the ads.
Adding one's two cents in forums is useful to gain more knowledge of what not to do. I've always been quite satisfied with those who merely place the link to their site(s) in a signature line like Doug's.