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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.

 

Weekly-ish Update-April 7

I had a little moment of panic when I saw my last Friday post had been on March 31. “March??” I thought.  “Aw hell, you mean I haven't posted since March?”

Yep, Kris, that's right, you slacker. March. i.e. last week.

Shaking Up The Muse

I've been trying to shake up the muse, who keeps wanting to write big old plots rather than honed-in-like-a-laser-beam romances.

I tried dictating.  I tried through a mic, which was incredibly unsettling, to watch the words try to appear, after a huge delay, on the screen, as I was saying them.

So then I set up an entirely internal system, where I dictate to a digital recorder, download the mp3 files to a software program, that runs yet another software program, and the dictation happens software-to-software. 

 

Dictation Results

Much better results, distraction-wise. As far as output…? Here's a sample

The line I dictated, which had some ‘administrative' type instructions for myself, ran something like, “She was standing by the window, in a wash of spring sunshine–remember to use the original typed paragraph for this intro–when Brian de Lisle walked in. He smiled at her, tray of food in hand, and kicked the door shut behind him.”

What did it transcribe for me?

–> “Next field decrease her organs store Foster handler for two Mesa County pointe shoes undercover with some bubbles it was a finders crisis.
So are shine.” He said <–

Close. So close. Should speed things right up. 💩

 

Short Story

I'm writing a short story, to use as bonus material for an anthology I'm going to be part of in the summer.  The anthology will include three other historical authors, and we're going to use existing stories, but include little ‘extras,' as a way to reach new readers & cross-promote our work.

My bonus contribution is a short story that connects to Defiant.  A paragraph of the short story is above. As is the word-vomit hallucination of a transcription.

 

Contemporary Romances

Dare: I've written about 110K on DARE, my sexy contemporary romance  follow-up to SPIN, featuring Finn & Janey Mac, but it's all circling the romance.  So I'm rejecting all this nonsense, and will keep hammering away.  My goal here is another 50K super sexy story.

Out of His System: About 20K in, and we see, again, the too-much-plot problem.  Curse this story.

Untitled Christmas Novella: DONE!  But it's in a super rough state, right down to the fact that there are still a lot of incomplete sentences. But at least this shows me I can still actually write.

 

Recent Reads

I finished J.A. Huss's Anarchy Missing: Alpha Case. Super fun!! Sex and violence and love and crazy shit. So. Much. Fun.

Then I started in on a re-read of Lord of Scoundrels by Lorette Chase.  Because…shaking up the muse.

Hope your week was everything you needed it to be, and your coming weekend is everything you want it to be!

Weekly-ish Wrap-Up, Jan 27

Because I'm that sad, we can't even have something nice occur weekly. It has to be “weekly-ish.”  You can't take me anywhere.  

Books On Lists

I was incredibly touched to see all my books made it onto several of All About Romance's mega lists of the best, noteworthy titles within the tropes we romance-loving souls so desire.  If you don't know AAR, check them out. They're one of the go-to sites to get reviews & information on the genre.

Tortured Hero

Jamie Lost (Defiant), Kier (Deception) and Griffyn Sauvage (The Conqueror) all made this list. Do you detect a theme? 

Irish Romances (set in Ireland)

Shockingly, The Irish Warrior is on here…  

Road Romances

The Irish Warrior and Defiant made this list.

These lists are only updated every so often, as in years, so it may be awhile until there's another round.

Rebranding

I'm in the midst of rebranding my new series. I should just say ‘branding,' because absolutely no thought ever went into answering the question, “How to let readers know what they'll be getting in my books, and moreover, that it's just what they're looking for, and moreover-over, it'll knock their socks (and corsets) off?”

That means covers, titles, series title…the whole works.  Stay tuned for more!

 

Glitch in Preorder

The preorder release date for THE KING'S OUTLAW (title to be changed, see above) was accidentally changed by 4 days at Amazon.  Amazon may have alerted anyone who preordered the book. So sorry about that!  I sent a note to my newsletter subscribers to update them, so they'd know it was just an error, and all sorts of sexy hijinks are still on their way. Now you know too.

If you're not on my newsletter & want to be (it's the best way get the latest news), you can sign up here.

If you haven't preordered yet, you can do it here! AMAZON | iBOOKS

Onward to February!

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