What can folks do in such situations? My immediate suggestion is to "bite the bullet," because the less you do to for your book, the less exposure (and sales) it will receive. Even famous -reclusive- writers cannot afford to stay away from the spotlight.
When writers are not prepared and willing to assist their publicist, agent, and publisher, then why are they in the business of authoring a book that hundreds or thousands of people will read? I hope that I am getting through to people with my point.
Ah, and it does not help one bit to be surrounded by "friends" who support those attitudes. I shake my head every time I see it or hear it.
Writing and publishing a book is not a game. It is a serious business. Readers and fans want to talk to authors, listen to what they have to say, have a picture taken with them, have their book autographed, ask them questions. Granted, most readers buy many books and might never wish to get to know or speak to those authors.... but some do. And this number is not small.
The ideal scenario for folks scared to face "reality" is that their fabulous book will sell itself. Now, how realistic is that... It is not only illogical but incomprehensible. Writers who have the guts to do all above mentioned succeed in this business. Of course, when some only aim to sell 40-50 books, then their wish will come true.
Once a serious writer understands that writing and publishing a book does not stop there, they find themselves facing their fears, and positively overcoming them.