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Writing Books/Is it a good idea to include a company's name when writing a book?


I have started the process of writing a non-fiction book about my life and experiences in the retaurant industry for the last 15 years.  I'm wondering if it is a good idea or not to include the names of the restaurants i have worked at during this time when i am telling stories and relating experiences.  Or if it would be better to just keep the names anonymous.  I don't want to have a big restaurant company knocking on my door all pissed off.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thank You


Dear Chris:

No, for the reason you stated.

Make up new names for your restaurants, to fit the tone of your book. If your tone is tense and exciting, use some buzzwords: The Bermuda Sinkhole, Carvings, etc. If it's very comic, put some weird words together. If it's neither, try Claire's on the Square, or The Blue Lobster.

If you use a brand name, like Kleenex, Volvo or McDonalds, it's best to put the little R in a circle, to indicate it's a registered brand name. Easier to just make it up. Good exercise for your imagination, also.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 900 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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