I tend to stay out of book dramas these days, but something has been unfolding over the last few days that I want to mention.
Self-published author Faleena Hopkins (heard of her before now? Nope, neither have I) has somehow managed to trademark the word “Cocky”, and is going after any other romance author using it in a book title, threatening them with lawsuits unless they rename their books and series and buy new covers. She’s even going after authors whose books were around years before hers.
Note: the word in question was first recorded in the 1540s!
To add to her awfulness, the font she has copyrighted is actually one she stole from someone else.
She is also upset that everyone is “copying” her book covers, both because of similar stock photos used, and because… well I don’t even understand.
Here are a few examples of Ms Hopkins’ oh-so-original cover designs:
I bet no romance reader has *ever* seen covers resembling those before, right?
I’m not going to say more here, but you can read all about it on many sites. I think these explain everything you need to know:
Cocky Writer: Romance Author Faleena Hopkins Trademarks ‘Cocky’ and Tries to Shut Down Others Using the Word
Don’t Do This, Ever: Faleena Hopkins Cocks The Whole Entire Fuck Up
Cockygate: Faleena Hopkins Has Registered a Trademark on Cocky, and is Using it to Threaten Other Romance Authors
Now the big US organisations (e.g. Romance Writers of America) are getting involved from a legal standpoint, and surely common sense is going to prevail. As for Ms Hopkins (and her earlier pen name Sabrina Lacey), she’s earned herself a spot on my “Nope” shelf on Goodreads, and I hope to never hear her name again.