The Case of CockyGate and Missing Reviews

There’s been a lot of craziness going on in the Indie world (in case you didn’t know. Which I assume you didn’t, since you’re not a self-published author. Unless you are, in which case, you probably know all about this. Recap for you!)

The first thing is this whole trademark thing. If you haven’t heard, an author by the name of Faleena Hopkins has successfully trademarked the word ‘Cocky’ in book titles, meaning no author—regardless of their publication date—is allowed to have that word in their title. It might not seem like such a big deal, but SHE TRADEMARKED A WORD IN A TITLE. So sorry, but I thought words were free for all of us to use? You know, to write and talk and communicate with. Is that not the case anymore? But, if the possession of a word in a title isn’t crazy enough, every other author who has that word in their title HAS TO CHANGE IT. LEGALLY.

(pause to really let that sink in)

You’ve worked for hours (and hours and hours) writing the thing, several more on imagining the brand/theme/colors, spent (even more) time and (lots of) money on cover design, editing and marketing, and now…what? You’re just expected to change it all? Because of ONE word?

But okay, let’s forget those who had to (or are in the midst of) changing everything for a second. Trademarking one word in the title isn’t really too terrible, right? Except that authors—now scared at the *possibility* of having to update their work—have come forward with their own trademarks. ‘Forever’ and ‘Dare’ and ‘Shifter World’ are all in the process of applying for trademarks. GUYS. What’s happening?!?!?!

The second other huge crappy thing is that Amazons is fucking us over. Authors, I mean. I considered going to KU (Kindle Unlimited) with my Arizal Wars series since I do absolutely no advertising and figure maybe I can score some page reads (KU pays by the page read, not the book purchased) and gain a little something there. Except, authors with LEGIT page reads are not able to access their royalties because Amazon’s saying they’re committing different kind of fraud like book-stuffing. Then a BUNCH of reviews went missing from like, a BUNCH of authors and they’re not sure if it’s a glitch or what. Regardless, losing reviews means less people’s opinions on a product which means (possibly) less interest from a potential buyer. And that’s the other thing—supposedly, Amazon is only allowing a ‘verified purchaser’ to leave a review, so if I lent you a copy of my book, you wouldn’t be able to review it there because you didn’t buy it. I don’t care who bought it, JUST REVIEW IT BECAUSE REVIEWS HELP US.

So those are the things swimming around in my head. That, and pushing BTT and writing/planning to market for BTN. And Deadpool. And maybe going to see Solo.

If you’re interested in following the “Cocky” situation, check out #cockygate. The RWA (Romance Writers Association) is even involved with the reversal of the trademark. This shit is getting super real.

What do you guys think? Big deal? Not a big deal? Having a lovely Wednesday?

5 thoughts on “The Case of CockyGate and Missing Reviews

  1. Loni Townsend says:

    Yeah, she’s made many enemies with this move, and it makes me facepalm that her latest post is about her being the victim of cyber bullying and how that’s not cool. Really? You’re going to complain after you told people, “no, you can’t use that word” and try to slap down their sales with C&D letters? No, I don’t think so.

    I wonder how Deadpool would handle this situation?

    • cgcoppola says:

      I don’t know, but I would LOVE to find out. *sigh*

      I don’t understand her motives. She must’ve known she’d get a response like this, right? Maybe she didn’t. I really have no idea.

      …I’m still thinking about Deadpool.

  2. Iphis of Scyros says:

    Trademarking a single word in a title is definitely absurd and contrary to all forms of logic, legal or otherwise. (I wonder if the same clerk approved it who allowed that one woman back in the ’90s (or whenever) to copyright “Happy Birthday” despite that she blatantly didn’t write the song.)

    I’m half inclined to start using the word “cocky” in all my fanfic titles just to thumb my nose at her, but I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I supported her…(or that I _was_ her…)

    • cgcoppola says:

      yes, DON’T have people think you’re her. She’s quite *unlikable* at this moment. It’s just… the nerve some people have, you know?

  3. Joleene Naylor says:

    Yeah, the whole industry is getting “smaller” – tightening up so that it’s only people with money to throw at it that will be able to participate. We knew it was coming, the wild west can’t stay wild forever, civilization comes and squashes all the freedoms eventually. Though I admit, I thought it would be more about gate keeping for “quality” than the monetary thing it’s turning into. That came as a shock.

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