Are you famous yet?

Someone I hadn’t seen for several years got in touch recently and was most interested in my books and website. ‘Are you famous?’ she asked.

‘Depends who you ask,’ I replied.

But that set me thinking: how do you know if you’re famous. Is fame quantifiable? Do you have to receive a certain amount of fan mail or hate mail, or have a stalker? (some, none, and no, since you ask).

Or do a certain number of people have to know who you are, and if so, how well do they have to know you? Do they have to recognise your name, or your face, or simply be aware that you exist without actually being able to remember your name or know what you look like?

Trying to put this into figures, I would estimate that roughly 200,000 people have heard of me at least once. And about half that number, 100,000, actually know who I am right now – ie, they’ve read about me in a magazine recently, seen my photo, read one of my books, or visited my website.

How famous does that make me? If a million people need to know who I am, does that make me one-tenth famous? If so, my aim is to become one-fifth famous by the end of the year!

How famous are you? And how do you measure it?

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