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?

Thank Bank. It Works.

I’ve decided to have a Thank Bank. It’s kind of like a Spank Bank but way different. Instead of a collection of erotic ideas, images, what-have-yous, it’s a place for me to go whenever I’m feeling like shit and everything I do/write is shit and the whole ‘I should just give up now’ mentality is taking over, because a Thank Bank is place I store all the positive things people have said about me/my writing that I’m so grateful for. Alas, a Thank Bank. 😉

I’m prepping myself for the release. Right now, I’m gung ho because the excitement is still high with optimism, but in the next week I’m going to be hit with the ‘what-ifs’ and that is the WORST part because that’s when all your life choices come to light. AKA: the heavy drinking starts. WHAT IF no one likes it? WHAT IF it doesn’t sell? WHAT IF I missed a bunch of things (plot holes/typos). WHAT IF everyone knows I’m a fraud? The list goes on and on. It’s a super fun time.

Hence, my Thank Bank.

We authors/creators/introverts take a lot of stuff to heart. Even if it’s a passing comment or a two-sentence bit of criticism. It goes a long way and sometimes, we’ll think about that comment or criticism for far longer than we should. Don’t blame us. We hate it ourselves. Just a reminder that your words hold a lot, so when you say “has anyone told you what a great writer you are today? If not, allow me to do so!” it goes a really long way. Seriously.

*Clink*

One deposit into the Thank Bank 😊

Also: the Faleena Hopkins thing has been blowing up all over my Indie platforms. Have you heard about this? Apparently this author is trademarking the word ‘Cocky’ in book titles so it can’t be used by other authors, and now a bunch of them have to change their titles. Wtf? Let’s get it together, people. Enough with the bullshit.

In other news, I started watching Hemlock Grove on Netflix. Um. I don’t know how to describe my reaction to it. But I’m still going to watch Season 2. This is on you, Shelby.