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.