TM Concerns and Judge’s Commentary

Judge’s commentary is included per Writer’s Digest provisions: *If you wish to reference this review on your website, we ask that you cite it as such: “Judge, 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards.” You may cite portions of your review, if you wish, but please make sure that the passage you select is appropriate, and reflective of the review as a whole.

Entry Title: Beware the Sleeping Dog
Author: Karla Libby Reidinger (pen name: k.a. libby)
Judge Number: 44
Entry Category: Genre Fiction
Total number of entries: 680

Judge’s Commentary*:

… The author does a great job of describing settings in nice, rich detail. Putting the reader in the scene is a great skill for a writer to possess. Also, this author is more than adept at use of visual and sound cues. Her description of the (snow falling is) great!

. . . Over-all, I was very impressed with this debut novel and hope to read more of this series in future installments. Nice entry through and through.

Your struggling blogger, K.A. Libby, notes: This was a learning experience for me as the first official and unbiased feedback on my novel. I thought it would interest others as a learning experience as well. The judge expressed concern with my use of Trade Mark names. I need to research the constraints on that and make sure I am appropriately using the TM names. Any specifics you can share on how you’ve handled this would be appreciated.

Trademarked items were mentioned … Be sure to give credit to these companies and note that they are TM items to avoid issues later.

Since this original posting, I’ve researched trademark law and feel reassured that my usage did not infringe on any TM restrictions. The law basically states an occasional reference to a business should not be of concern as long as endorsement is not implied and cannot be inferred by a reasonable person. Thus mentioning the business(es) in a positive way is generally acceptable.

In the interest of full disclosure, the judge expressed criticism of my cover which s/he indicated did not reflect the mystery theme and my blurb which was “too short and too vague”. S/he identified instances of passive writing as an area for improvement also.

Overall, this evaluation, as well as generous feedback from other readers on, energizes my writing.

Thank you one and all.

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