Monday, August 9, 2010

Rainy Days, Trademarks, and Publishing

Rainy Day Blog Fest
Down at the Writer's Hole, Christine is having a Rainy Day Blog Fest. I think that's a super idea. How often do you think about how your characters feel about the rain? Rain is an important feature in my new novel, Syzygy. But I was just thinking how I have been neglecting the rain in my newest w.i.p.

Trademarks in Fiction
I stumbled upon this useful site, the Publishing Law Center, that discusses the fair use of Trademarks. I had some concern because my characters drive Mustangs (the car, not the horse), wear Converse, and eat Skittles. I'm not disparaging the products or even drawing attention to them. They are incidental and the appearance could in no way lead a reader to believe there was any sponsorship involved. So, I think I'm safe.

"As He Sat Brooding" seems to be a success at Smashwords. It's getting an ISBN number. Can you believe it?!? I'm hoping to publish Syzygy on Friday the 13th. My artist (and niece) Jasmine sent over the final cover image.


karabu said...

It looks great! Even the thumbnail photo from your facebook status looked good, so I'm sure it will be great for the smashwords site. Yea you!

I don't use trademark names much, but I'm curious to read that article. I always wondered how Prada felt about the book "The Devil Wears Prada"

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Thanks, Kara. :)

Prada, yeah. That was a lot more bold than simply letting a character buy a Snickers and Coke.

Actually, I use "cola" or "soda" instead of a brand. But some things just demand a certain type of candy, car, shoe.

But when I have Bea work at a juice bar, I don't name a particular one. I felt the event I staged there (no spoilers now) was too major to name a particular juice shop.

The same with my w.i.p. novel. I didn't want the characters to walk into a Jack in the Box and find dead kids laying around. Better it be an unnamed burger place.

In the book I'm reading to the kids they talk about McDonalds. The characters even name their dog after it- McGrowl.

Medeia Sharif said...

I use some trademark names. I feel it adds to the setting.

Yay for the cover. It looks mysterious.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Medeia, I agree. And Trademarks/brands make it seem more realistic.

Thanks- about the cover. I love it so much! :)

Missantrhopics said...

As far as I'm aware, in so far as trademarks and brands go, as long as you capitalize the name of said product it's fine to use for the most part. More of a concern is whether or not you want to date your work to a specific time. If you want your work to remain contemporary as possible 10 years down the line using specific brands can date it. There is always the option of making up your own brands.

Grats on your novel by the way!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Thanks, Sapphire. :)
(Beautiful name, by the way. I finally know your name now that I found your micro fiction site.)

I think you must be right. I've never heard of a writer getting sued for giving her character a bowl of Cheerios or a Rolex.

notesfromnadir said...

I drive a Mustang & mention it more than once. You can write about Coke or Pepsi -- or both!

I really like this cover in part due to the color scheme. I find it very dramatic.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Thanks Lisa. :)

I love Mustangs. :D
My beloved character Sam, who is my virtual son, drives one.

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