Recently, an author made an appearance at a pay venue to discuss his new novel about the New York art world. The interview went so “badly” that the venue offered all ticket holders a $50 gift certificate, essentially giving them a full refund. But what was so terrible about it?
The author was discussing…. art.
And he wasn’t funny.
Now, I haven’t actually read his book, but from the reviews I’ve seen on it, the book isn’t exactly a laugh a minute, nor is it meant to be. So, why would the audience being so angry that they’d want a refund?
Because the author was Steve Martin. And, what is Steve Martin known for? The funny, of course. Never mind that his novel, An Object of Beauty, isn’t particularly a humorous book, ticket buyers still expected to laugh because it is Steve Martin, after all.
We’ve been discussing author branding lately and, in my opinion, this is an example of extreme branding. Steve Martin is known as being funny and when he went outside that sphere,despite the fact that he was on topic, his fans didn’t like it. People get to know you as one thing, and that’s what they expect from you and when you go outside of that you run the risk of negative reactions. Sure, the 92nd Y probably won’t be offering a refund to your fans, but Amazon just might.
I have updated the Free & Cheap Images, Fonts, Sound & Videos for Trailers & Books post with several new links. If you know of a good site that offers free or cheap music, videos, photos or art for commercial use that I missed listing, please shoot me a message and let me know, or comment to this post. (Comments are closed on the other one for some reason).
That last statement is something that writers sometimes forget; especially those who have just started to take their writing seriously. There’s nothing wrong with researching and adapting other writer’s ideas or methods to compliment your own, but when you stack their method up as an unflinching brick wall and fling yourself against it, all you do is cripple your ability to write.
Different people work in different ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you use outlines then you shouldn’t suddenly stop because someone else swears against them. By the same token, if you write successfully without them, then you don’t need to mire yourself in the outline swamp. There’s no such thing as the “perfect universal” method. Just as every story is unique, so is every writer’s inspiration, execution and method.
And what is a “real writer”, anyway? A writer who’s published traditionally? A writer who has a full manuscript finished? A writer who has a successful blog? What defines “a real writer”? I think I can put it simply:
A real writer is a writer who is actually writing and anything that keeps you from that is just so much fluff.