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?


So, okay. WHO has a review with a follow up author-interview?


Sorry… *wipes sweat from crazed happy dance*…but I had to. Can I just say OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD because that’s how I feel right now. Insanity mixed with a healthy dose of disbelief. This has been a good week. Like, an amazing week because 1.) I understood most everything I did at work and 2.) my books are currently free on Smashwords until the end of the month so I’ve averaged at least one sale (sometimes 2) a day which beats the last few months of epic nothingness and a choir of crickets. Oh and 3.) The Best Slice of Pie, a new book review blog reached out to ME. This happened about two weeks ago but Monday they sent me a questionare. Like, an author questionare. You know, the kind I’ve read a dozen times over and secretly envied the author who wrote them. And I finally got mine, an ‘interview’ applicable solely to the first book in my series, Escape from Harrizel.

*runs around doing happy dance again*

The sweat is definitely worth exercising my happiness over this tiny little step that projects me just that much closer to the dream of saying ‘fuck you’ to a cubicle and ‘hello lovely’ to my recliner forever.

Look at it. Waiting for me to sink and start writing.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

Where the magic happens. Bam.

It’s weeks like these that keep me going, reminding me that, okay, today is just today. But tomorrow can be something totally better if I work at it. And I am so glad I did. Because this feeling is AWESOME.

Want to read the review? Of course you do. You can find it here, along with the author interview (my author interview) here.

*happy dance ensues again*

Sorry about that. Sheesh. It must be a disorder.

I’ll have to look into that.

One Foot After the Next

I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve been looking at book review blogs and I had NO idea what I was getting into. It’s not a kiddy pool. It’s a motherfucking ocean and my orange floaties are only half inflated. This indie publishing stuff is hard. And apparently, an entirely different world that I didn’t know even existed. Don’t get me wrong—I’m psyched that I have the ability to put my stuff out there. But so does everyone else and MY GOD I’m standing in a flood zone. The water’s above my head and I’m trying my best to keep breathing.

Keep breathing.

But fuck.

Holy mother of everything sacred—there are MILLIONS of review sights with requests backlogged until December and here I come like a lost nomad, tapping on someone’s shoulder, hoping for a measly handout. Wow. Have I been not paying attention all this time? I mean, I only ventured into self publishing last year so*obviously* I’m learning as I go. I get that. But it’s like… a thing. A really competitive, really adult-professional thing that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and drown myself in a book. This is an Odysseus-length race and I’m still at the start line, scratching my head and wondering why I’m surrounded by a cloud of dust. I’ve got my water bottle and my sandals straps are tied and all, but I know I’m going to fall. A lot. I’ve probably already fallen and not realized it. The good thing is I can still get up, dust off my knees, retie the laces and try again.

It’s all about one foot after the next.

I’m glad no one told me it was going to be this hard. Actually, I’m ECSTATIC. Because even though I’d like to give myself credit, I’m not sure I would’ve ventured forward knowing what I do now. Okay… maybe I would. Just because this dream is that potent. But I would’ve needed a lot more wine and a few dozen bags of Oreos. Fuel for the journey to Troy.

Because that’s what this is.

A journey. Most times it seems impossible. Ridiculously, mind-numbingly impossible. I keep thinking how am I going to do this? How will I reach the finish line? There’s no way I can get there—not in this lifetime. But at least I’ve started, right? That’s good. That’s something. Every journey starts with a single step they say. And I’ve taken one or two of those. A stumble, maybe, but there’s been progress. I just need to keep breathing, have faith and continue putting one foot after the next.

And I’ll get there.

I know I will.

I Can Do This

Today was one of those days. It started raining on my way to work which I normally don’t mind (the rain, not work) but it caused more traffic which meant I arrived later than normal so no time to read before clocking in and I had to park further away. I know—world catastrophes. I wasn’t in my favorite outfit and was definitely feeling bumtastic. But what do I care? I’m normally the least chic person anywhere. And then…*sigh*… there was more work training.

I started a new job last month because I quit my old one and I’m not a filthy millionaire. Not yet. It was kind of a risk but I don’t mind new beginnings. I like to think of them as an adventure except—and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this—it takes me longer to get things than other people. No, I’m not stupid. Well, maybe a little. And only about certain things. Like math. I’m very stupid in math. But typically, I need a little more time to grasp simple concepts. I just think it’s because I get other things most people don’t and NO ONE can be great at everything. Even Mary Poppins, that self righteous bitch. So when it comes to learning things, I’m… shall we say… perpetually using training wheels. I’ll get going eventually but I really have to make sure I’m balanced before I can get ready and go. So why am I telling you this? Because there was more training and more moments when I thought, wow, did I really survive Darwinism? How is that possible? Shouldn’t I have been killed off already? I hate these thoughts. Because they’re negative and do nothing good for me. But I have them. And you have them. Everyone has thoughts of self doubt that make them question if they’re good enough. Smart enough. If they have what it takes.

So I’m always anxious when I have to learn something new, especially when it has to do with numbers (it does) and when I’m surrounded by other, younger people who apparently already know the answer to everything. Then look at me like I’m dumb. Because yes, sometimes I am. But so are you sometimes, so shut up. Mix that with parking far away and not feeling pretty AND THEN, letting those sad thoughts that tell me I’m never going to succeed, never going to be anything more than a mediocre wannabe invade my brain. Suffice it to say, I was feeling down. Maybe I’m just being a super emotional girl. That happens too. But today, for some reason, it just struck me. Sometimes life is bummy.

But then I checked my Amazon account and found someone left a comment on both my books… good comments. Like, “hurry up and write fast. Can’t wait to read the next one” with five star ratings and everything. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Did she leave it on the wrong book? No! I checked and then double checked. It was MY book she was rating. MY book she was giving five brightly shining stars to! And I don’t even know this person. Which makes that EPIC. Some other person in this world actually read something I wrote and without feeling obligated because we’re friends or family, said something positive about it. And wants to read more of my work. Yeah, I got teary eyed. Right there in my not so private work space. I don’t have a cubicle to cry my happy tears in but I might someday. Or not. Because I don’t want to end up in a cubicle. WOW. Five stars on BOTH books. It was just what I needed. The reminder that okay, maybe I don’t quite suck so hard. And maybe *just maybe* I won’t have to be a file bitch for the rest of my life (part of my current job). Maybe I’ll actually be able to do this.

I can do this.

In case you doubt my sometimes-retardation:

I was sitting in traffic the other day, scanning the local shops and came across this sign:


My first thought: they misspelled caution. Idiots.
Then I glance to the other, LARGER sign above it.

And I’m dumb.