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WTFery: Trademark on the word "Cocky" in romance

Well, here we go.

Authors, publishers, cover designers, and really, anyone in the…world should care about this.

The Story:

Many of you already know this, but a romance author has trademarked the word “cocky,” both as its specialized font, but also the word itself (i.e. a wordmark).

Please don't tell me she can't: she has. It's a done deal, was approved May 1.

Although titles cannot usually be trademarked (or copyrighted), one author who contacted the USPTO was told that a “likelihood of confusion clause” would probably apply, allowing them to not only apply the trademark to a SERIES titles, but BOOK titles too. 

This is an incredibly unsettling precedent, that someone can be granted the exclusive right to a COMMON USE word. Additionally, a word already used on a plethora existing book titles in the genre. 

This is insane. If other authors begin trademarking common use words–oh, say, “warrior” or “duke”–we will be left with nothing but prepositions in our titles. 

Equally important: this does not seem like a move designed to protect her own brand. 

It feels like a move to suppress competition.

That's not what trademarks are for.

She is in the process of issuing cease & desist letters to other romance authors, claiming they must change their titles, or they will be sued and they will owe her all their earnings.

She has indicated that this is “no big deal,” and should only take the authors “one day” to do.

Um…no.

We'll see what happens.

 

For your continued reading pleasure: 

http://www.pajiba.com/think_pieces/cocky-writer-romance-author-faleena-hopkins-trademarks-cocky-and-tries-to-shut-down-others-using-the-word.php

http://legalinspiration.com/?p=503

And/or, you can follow #cockygate, #freecocky, and similar threads on Twitter.

 

Help An Author Out...Plus a Kiss

Okay, girls, I'm gonna need a cover for the upcoming release of THE KING'S OUTLAW. Who wants to help??

 THE KING'S OUTLAW originally appeared in the anthology Captured by a Celtic Warrior.  

← Here's the cover from the antho. ←

It's HOT, and will be revised for this standalone release with some additional scenes of hotness and adventure, to make it worth your while.  

If you enjoy perusing images of hot guys & sexy clinch embraces, using your design eye &/or readerly “Oh, yeah, I'd buy that guy,” sensibilities, this is totally for you!

Just post any link(s) to image(s) you think are worthy of consideration in the comments. Nothing's off limits, and everyone's welcome! 

My only requirements are that it screams “medieval/knight” and “drop-to-your-knees sexy.” 

Feel free to share this far & wide with your romance reading buddies!  Got a photographer friend with warrior-esque shots in their portfolio? Pimp 'em like a pimp!

If we pick the image you suggest, you AND ANY 2 FRIENDS YOU WANT get a copy of the ebook!! Because this is all about helping each other out.

Tips: If you don't know much about searching for images…. Stock photo sites are usually the best places, like istockphoto, shutterstock, bigstock, fotolia, 123rf.com or dreamstime (all followed by .com) You can enter various search terms. Different sites allow different amounts of control over the parameters (such as controlling for the gender of models, or number of models, etc). Play around, and have fun!

Here's an excerpt from the first kiss of THE KING'S OUTLAW. One of my favorite kinds: the ruse kiss!

***

…There was nothing for it; he made his decision in a heartbeat.  

Sliding his hands up her arms, he spun her and almost flung her up against the side of the nearest building, then reached up and tore off her headdress.

“Good Heaven’s,” she cried, her hands flying up to capture the silky veil, but he already had it off and was tugging off her distinctive cloak next.

“Mon Dieu,” she gasped, grappling for the cloak, but he fisted it and the veil together in his hand, down by his hip, then stretched out an arm and planted his palm on the wall, blocking her face from the visitors now hurrying down the quay.

“Kiss me,” he ordered.

Her pale face tilted up, full of shock and confusion. “I beg your pardon?”

“Kiss me, then run.”

“What?”

“If you kiss me, you’re a whore. If you stand there staring, you’re a merchant with a pouch of stolen seals in her hand.”

Magdalena looked down at the pouch, then up at him, into his beautiful, no-doubt criminal, eyes. Then she pushed on her toes and kissed him.

She could have done nothing more ill-advised.

She had barely touched her lips to his when he descended, his mouth hard and slanting. He plowed her open with teeth and tongue, exploring the depths of her wet mouth with sinful abandon.  There was no prelude, no warning, no kindness or care, no quarter given. She was a whore and he was having her.

He played the ruse exceptionally well.

Dizziness and heat swooped in for her like hunting birds, dispelling sense and reason and anything else that might have been of use to her at the moment. She could do nothing but cling to him, her hands around his neck, her head forced back, her spine cupped, her body…thrilling.

Madness. Madness, all.

The hand not holding her cloak and wimple closed around her hip and began to tug up her skirts. She made a feeble attempt to stop him, but his grip grew fierce, and he yanked on the gown, dragged it up the side of her leg until she felt cool air on her shin and calf.

Her head spun as if she’d been twirled like a top. Picked up by a bird and sent flying.

Her knees grew weak, but she did not break the kiss. She could not. He’d become a field of energy, the way a metal filing is pulled toward iron, or how one drop of water clings to another. She was affixed to his kiss, to his chest, which she’d somehow pressed up against, to his shoulders, which she’d somehow wrapped her arms around, to his tongue, which was tangled with hers, his hot male breath, his cunning male hand, his hard knee now making all manner of incursions between her thighs, and she, she, reveling in it.

This could not end well.

***

Or COULD  IT????

Have fun out there!

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