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Can you believe it’s June? I know I can’t! Somehow I’ve missed pretty much life in the last couple weeks. I know I missed my weekly blog last week – and nearly missed it this week though at least I’ve caught it on Tuesday!
This week we cover what I’ve been doing with myself, what stage my TBR pile is in, and where my attention has been in general.
For the first part, I think part of missing last week was because I was prepping for, and then attended a trip to St. Louis. Making sure all is right with the house before I leave, all is right with the fur babies while I’m gone, and that all is packed in my bag so I won’t forget anything before I leave the city for my trip.
My best friend lives out in the St. Louis area, so getting to spend some quality time together, in person and not just over the interwebs means the world to me, and I was glad I was able to make the trip.
The weather was hot. Very hot. But that’s okay. We managed. With lemonade, chicken on a stick, and the shade of a large tree – we managed it.
I also had my Writer’s Group the Thursday before I left so I was rushing to get my submission to them last week too. Not the best, rushing. I’ve already started working on the submission for June’s meeting so I’m hopefully not rushing come the end of the month this time.
Reading wise, it was a little slacked in May. Because of that, I’m moving my May TBR forward to June. What are those books?
- The Elite by Kiera Cass
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
- Chosen by Harlow Thomas & Anastasia James
- Daughter of Persephone by Helen Scott
- Doppelganger by Alyssa Drake
The books above will be some of my focus to read this month. I’ve also slurged and bought an anthology. It’s huge. Like, 40 authors submitted shorts to the anthology huge. The anthology in question is Cocktales, an anthology that is only running for a limited release (until August).
Why is Cocktales a thing? Well, for the long answer I’d say check out #cockygate on Twitter for the answer to that – just be prepared for the long and deep rabbit hole. But the short answer is an indie Romance author decided to trademark the word Cocky. The result, aside from the anthology, is that a lot of authors – indie and traditional, romance and other genres, have banded together to learn trademark law the best they/we can without being lawyers our selves, to better combat this trademark of a very commonly used word, but also to hopefully stop any other trademark that may surface that is too common in the words department. As an author, words are our bread and butter, our music, our paint. We need them as deeply as the air we breathe. And if you’re wondering, the whole thing started May 4th, or thereabouts and has been going on for the last month (so there’s a lot to dig through), and is currently still ongoing. There’s a Cancelation that’s been filed in the hopes of getting the trademark canceled. But the author in question has also sued two (it was three until the Judge removed one of them from the case) people over this. The case is ongoing – the preliminary hearing was June 1st – and to keep up with how everything is going if this interests you, I’d recommend reading up on #cockygate on Twitter. All new information is being posted there.
And if you’re wondering my stance on the issue? I don’t think the trademark should have been granted. I don’t think the trademark should hold up in court. I do think that this was the overreaching of someone who thought she’d be able to corner the market of a very well used word and has gotten burned in the process. I also think that instead of backing up after being burned, she committed herself to it full flames and stepped into the fire to try and defend her actions – which is only making things worse in the grand scheme of everything.
I will say, well I do not wish the author in question ill, I in no way am under any sort of illusion that she won’t get what she has weaved for herself in this. She’s built herself a house of cards, and while it will be sad, that house is doomed to eventually tumble on top of her.
There’s also that age-old saying, Karma’s a bitch.
Authors have been sharing similar covers (in any genre you’ll likely find a theme that works well for a lot of authors), as well as not only words in titles but words in series or whole series titles. And up until now, no one has ever sued or tried to claim mine over any of it. At the end of the day, you could give the same prompt or title to 50 authors and tell them to write the story they saw for that prompt or title and you would get 50 different stories. Because even if there are surface similarities, we all interpret prompts in a different light, we all have different ideas in our head, different characters in our head, and sometimes completely different worlds in our head. No two stories would come out the same, despite sharing origins or a title. And that’s the beauty of writing. We’re all unique.
There’s a reason why retellings of fairy tales are so popular. Everyone has their own take on it.
But enough on that. I have more editing to do. And more writing. The creative life is never done, merely put on hold! Be magical, my readers. Because every little creative spark you share lights up someone else’s life for the better. And that’s a beautiful thing.
I didn’t know about the trademark! Trademarking words and phrases is a tricky issue. has an author ever trademarked a word before?
Most authors don’t trademark words or phrases because in genres there’s usually going to be some overlap in themes or words used. Some will trademark if they created the word because it’s unique to their creations – and by create the word I mean like they actually came up with a word that’s not in the English language specifically for their book world. It’s also not uncommon IF the series name is expressively distinct enough to serve that ideally no one else could/would put that series name together themselves.
The catch too is Trademarks don’t fully work for protecting, or stopping someone else, when it comes to titles. Because a Title of a book is a descriptor – to a point – for what the book contains. Titles aren’t subject to a trademark, only series names. So how the author in question brandished the trademark club is a little unlawful in and of itself. Which is fairly apparent as well because she admitted to writing cease and desist letters herself and sending them to other authors, instead of getting legal help and advice on if it’s even the way her trademark should have worked. Standalone books with the word Cocky in the titles should have been safe from her trademark as a whole.
But generally, trademarks are also not usually given for single words that are fairly common in the English language. Because they’re so overused everywhere. Part of the problem is, she rebranded everything the month after she submitted the trademark request to reflect that it was her series title, when in fact for a year it had NOT been. For the first year, before the trademark request was filed, her series had a completely different series title, that didn’t have the word Cocky in it at all (the titles of the books did, but her actual series title did not). So she basically lied to the Trademark board to gain her trademark, claiming that this was her brand all along.