"What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done."A public relations pioneer named Edward Bernays, who was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and lived to be 103 years old, has been called 'The Father of Spin." But maybe he got the idea from Sherlock Holmes!
-- Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet, Part II, Chapter VII, "The Conclusion"
In this very first tale, Holmes is bitter that he does all the work and Scotland Yard gets all the credit. Later, he cheerfully tells the various inspectors that the work is its own reward and they can have the credit. But how do we know that? Because Watson tells us so in stories that Holmes allowed to be published! So methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.
When Holmes tells Senator J. Neal Gibson in "The Problem of Thor Bridge" that "I do not think that I am need of booming," it is because he has already been well boomed by the good Watson in dozens of stories.
What I am suggesting is that Holmes paid more attention to developing his reputation, and thereby his career, than it might seem if you take his words at face value. For all his grumblings about Watson's stories as romantic exaggerations, he never told him to stop. As a consequence, he becomes "the famous detective" in later stories, and characters often indicate they know him by reputation.
That reputation could have been even stronger, it seems to me, if he hadn't explained his deductions. Every time he did, Watson or someone else always said, "How absurdly simple!" or something along those lines.
What do you think -- was Sherlock Holmes, through Watson, a self-promoter?