Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gratuitous Trademark Symbols: Corrected

William Gibson has always loved to drop brand names. Ever since he set the example in the early 1980s, cyberpunk writers have no doubt been faced with the temptation to throw in a whole bunch of gratuitous trademark symbols, just like some of those pretentious postmodernist professors like to do in those essays and theses they publish way too much of in order to not perish.

Me, I gave in to the temptation a few days ago. I suspect I contracted the disease from the old Toren Smith/Adam Warren Dirty Pair comics. I put a lot of ™s and ®s into most of the posted chapters of Spanner. It struck me as pretentiously pomo, something a professor would do. So I removed them.

It's ridiculously easy to make mistakes, even when you think you know what you're doing. What sounds great at first blush turns out to be stupid in retrospect. The problem with going directly into print is that it's extremely difficult to correct your mistakes, requiring changes from printing to printing. That's why editors are so important in publishing; if the editor sucks, or the author has protection from editors, the mistakes can ruin the book. The virtue of self-publishing online, at least at first, is that you can edit your posted chapters at any time (though it's a good idea to let your readers know there's been revisions).

Sometimes I like to try out new things. Sometimes they don't work out. This idea didn't. It probably won't be the last...

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