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Don’t Do This, Ever: Faleena Hopkins Cocks The Whole Entire Fuck Up

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Have you ever noticed how a lot of erotic romance novels have similar titles? For example, Fifty Shades of Grey spawned titles like 12 Shades Of Desire, and after the publication of Beautiful Bastard and Manwhore a ton of books came out with increasingly profane titles? For the last couple of years, the word “cocky” has been popping up on romance novel covers. A lot of them.

Author Faleena Hopkins certainly likes to use the word in her book titles. See, Hopkins knows the importance of a brand, as she discusses in her blog post about being the first self-published author to ever photograph her own cover models (she is definitely not). Other authors were copying her on purpose. By…using stock photos that she had coincidentally also used:

My readers were starting to get upset when they saw the Cocker Family on other authors’ covers and/or advertising. I began getting messages. My readers posted on Facebook, on my Fan page, my personal page, and in my group.

“Isn’t this Gabriel? Why is he on this author’s ad? Is that legal?!”

“Look at this! They’ve got Jaxson on their book, same photo. Who do they think they are?” 

I told them about the licensing, because most readers don’t know about the biz.

But their instincts that some – not all, but some – of these authors were copying me on purpose, were founded in truth.

Anyone who reads erotic romance can look at a stock photo and tell you exactly which twelve books it’s on. There are some very popular stock guys out there. For example:

  • Blond Guy With An Untied Tie Around His Neck Unbuttoning His Shirt
  • Guy With Head Down, Face Obscured By Shadow, Wearing An Open Hoodie With Nothing But Abs Underneath
  • Guy In A Suit Facing Windows, Definitely Not Inspired By The Fifty Shades Of Grey Movie Poster
  • White Guy In White Tank Top Biting His Thumb And Pulling Up His Shirt To Reveal His Abs
  • Headless Tuxedo Man And His Headless Pink Dress Girlfriend

and many, many more. But Hopkins knows everyone is copying her, despite the fact that very few authors or readers had ever actually heard of her and despite the fact that her allegedly original and striking covers are indistinguishable from hundreds of other erotic romance novels that predate hers.

But Hopkins decide that she needed to protect her brand. Since her Cocker Brothers series all have titles that start with “Cocky,” the next obvious step was to actually trademark the word “cocky.”

Because no one in their right mind would think, “I need to monitor all the notices and postings about potential trademarks in case someone tries to pull some shady bullshit and trademark a common adjective used on erotic romance novel titles,” no one had enough notice to challenge it. She now owns the word “cocky” and it’s no longer usable in any romance novel title.

The issue came to light when authors suddenly received copyright violation notices from Amazon and Audible informing them the word “cocky” was trademarked and therefore could not be used in their titles. Now that she owns “cocky,” she’s dead set on forcing everyone to remove the word from their book titles…even if they were published prior to her own series or prior to the application date of her trademark.

On social media, everyone weighed in on whether or not the trademark is enforceable or if she can retroactively enforce the trademark for books that predate her application. But I don’t believe it was ever Hopkins’s intent to actually enforce the trademark. She knows for a fact that threats work because authors have already changed their covers and titles out of fear of a lengthy and expensive legal battle. And she’s not shy about openly threatening the work, promotion, and royalties of other authors:

A tweet from Faleena Hopkins that reads "It's a brand. And everyone who wants to can keep their books, rankings, reviews and their money by retitling which takes one day.

Except, retitling doesn’t take “one day”. And it impacts authors in countless ways. For an author to change the title of their book, they must:

  • Change the text file of the book to reflect the new title
  • Change the text files of any books that contain the title in an “also by” section
  • Acquire new cover art
  • Upload the retitled book as an entirely new work on platforms that don’t allow title changes
  • Assign a new ISBN
  • Change the text file of the paperback version
  • Change the cover file of the paperback version
  • Repeat the proofing process on the paperback version
  • Dispose of any paperback copies on consignment through brick and mortar stores and re-stock with the new paperbacks
  • Change keywords on all listings
  • Published audiobooks will be subject to all of the above, but they’ll also have to be edited with the title re-recorded, and unless the book is selling really well, chances are the audiobook publisher will simply pull the book from their catalog and call it a loss
  • If the author paid for the recording and production of their audiobook on their own, they will also have to pay for the re-recording and production or pull the book

If you’re an indie author trying to write and produce your next release, all of these changes can impact your schedule. They are time-consuming and potentially expensive. Those are just issues affecting the actual product. Consider it from a promotional angle:

  • Any book- or series-specific printed promotional items from bookmarks to t-shirts are now garbage
  • Ads purchased on websites or for print publication must be taken down or cancelled
  • Banners and signage printed for book expos and events? Also garbage
  • Author websites have to be updated with the new cover and title
  • Any reviews received from blogs now have the wrong title and, depending on the platform, the wrong buy links

The timing of this move is especially cruel considering that it’s now conference season. Romantic Times, Reader And Author Get Together, Romance Writers Of America, and Literary Love Savannah, plus other local conventions, happen throughout the summer. Authors may have already purchased series and book specific advertising on banners, elevator wraps, videos, and programs, as well as printed promotional items for swag bags, baskets, and promo “alleys” at these events. Some will have already bought cases of print stock for signings, which they now cannot sell and must replace with the retitled versions of their books.

In the same blog post linked above, Hopkins describes her financial situation at the time of the publication of her first novel:

Originally I did begin writing it for money because when the idea for Cocker Brothers came to me, I was flat broke and $50K in debt. Not from shopping, just from living and trying to get a self-published, authoring, business off the ground.

As you can guess, self-publishing is expensive. A single book can cost me anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars to publish. That’s an impossible sum for a lot of authors. Hopkins clearly knows the financial hardship of the business and how expensive things can be, yet she’s seeking to obliterate other authors through financial ruin or the threat of it. There are going to be indie authors that can’t afford to publish after they deal with the mess, possibly never again, let alone fight a legal battle. Hopkins knows this and is banking on it.

She’s also threatening to pursue all royalties earned by any of these authors for the life of their books, as she did to Jamila Jasper:

A screenshot of an email: "Comment: Hi Jamilla, My name is Faleena Hopkins, author of Cocker Brothers, The Cocky Series. The Federal Trademark Commission has granted me the official registered trademark of the word/mark "Cocky" in relation to romance books, no matter the font. Trademark Registration number: 5447836 I am writing to you out of professional respect so that you may rename your book "Cocky Cowboy" which shares the same title as my book, and republish all the versions (ebook, paperback, and audible) on Amazon to keep your ratings and money earned. My attorney at Morris Yorn Entertainment Law has advised me that if I sue you I will win all the monies you have earned on this title, plus lawyer fees will be paid by you as well. I will do that -- but I'd rather give you the option. I have had this series established since June 16, 2016 and I take all of the hard work I put into establishing it, very seriously. Your hard work I also take seriously. You have the opportunity to adjust, rename, and republish before taking further action. You can do so on Amazon without losing reviews. Thank you, Faleena Hopkins.

Yet, in that same blog post linked above, Hopkins claims:

The reason I write this series isn’t for money anymore.

I believe her. I don’t think she’s out to get money from her series. I think she’s out to get everyone else’s money. But she picked a stupidly short-sighted way to do so, as she now faces a potential legal battle with Romance Writers Of America, who quickly involved an IP attorney. She’s also probably not going to make bank off her series now, either; many people have put her on their Never Buy list.

You can find more information about this case from Legal Inspiration! and Kayleigh Donaldson for Pajiba. Author Bianca Sommerland covered the story in video form:

Before I end this blog post, Faleena, I have some words for you that are original, not copied from anyone, and straight from the heart:

You are a nasty piece of fucking work, lady.

Nobody was ever copying you. Nobody knows who you are. The most common reaction seen on social media when your name started coming up was, “Who?” followed by “Who does she think she is?” We had to ask these things because we legitimately had no clue you existed. But boy howdy, do you exist now. See, you’re not famous, but you’re infamous. You probably thought all publicity was good publicity. That is not the case if the publicity you’re getting is just making people become more and more furious and fed up with you. I haven’t seen anyone say they planned to read your really interesting and unique books as a result of your Highlander mentality. I’ve seen a lot say the opposite.

You have burned a bridge the size of the Mighty Mac, Faleena. Not just burned. You blew a bridge up, but you didn’t quite get off it in time and you’ve blasted yourself into the ravine below. No one is going to invite you to their signings. No one is going to include you in their anthologies. If you have the courage to show your face at an industry event, you’re going to find yourself sitting alone at the bar. You might get a drink thrown in your face, soap opera style. I hope someone gets a photo.

Professional organizations will likely not allow you to join. Traditional publishers aren’t going to waste their time on your books now that you’ve shown your entire ass. You have poisoned yourself with your own bile.

I know you said in that blog post:

We indies work in the grit and grime of the biz, so we see more than an author who is protected by a big publishing house, one that does all that grit/grime work for them.

But I wouldn’t trade positions with a trade-pub author.

I have never submitted to a publisher, nor do I want to. Even when judgmental friends or people in the industry assume that if you self-pub, you must have been rejected.

Um…how about if you never sought approval in the first place, dinosaurs?

Readers are an Indies only judges. If they don’t like our books, they don’t buy them. And they happily leave one-star reviews telling you what a pile of horse manure it is.

Give me that over, “Please sir, will you publish my manuscript?” any day of the week.

but no, sweetie. You’re not indie because you’re above it all. You’re indie because you’re too insecure to try. You’re afraid that you’ll be rejected. You’re afraid you can’t hack it when compared to other authors. And that’s why you’re trying to sabotage them. Because you’re afraid that you’re not good enough to succeed on your own merit.

You’re not, by the way. I picked up one of your books. Congrats on being the third overall Kindle return I’ve ever made. Jesus, you’re not even good enough to be first at that. How embarrassing for you.

So, you think if other authors can’t afford to publish, if they can’t promote their books, if you hit them where it hurts, you’ll be the only one out there. You think you’ll get their readers. You won’t. And you won’t ever receive support from anyone in the community. Ever. You’re pretty much universally hated, so…there’s the door. Bye-bye. You can’t sit with us.

PS: your “cocky” series debuted a year after Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward’s Cocky Bastard became a huge hit. So, who’s copying who, you busted ass bitch?

330 Comments

  1. Margaret Bates
    Margaret Bates

    CLAPS!

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Victoria Pinto
      Victoria Pinto

      Man, even if I live in Mexico, this shit of the Farleena Asshole was a huge entertainment and valuable lesson for me about the things an author MUST NOT DO.

      May 9, 2018
      |Reply
  2. *insert every slow clap and crowd applause gif ever*

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • My first thought too. This post deserves ALL the clapping gifs! 🙂

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • leeannlovingthebooks
      leeannlovingthebooks

      *Standing ovation to accompany claps*

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
  3. Sarah C
    Sarah C

    “Not from shopping, just from living and trying to get a self-published, authoring, business off the ground”

    I’m a copy editor (in a different professional area) and this sentence is incredibly painful.

    Also, wtf is up with this woman? Why would someone even feel they have the right to start making these demands? That’s not even “ballsy”, that’s just bullshit.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Chris
      Chris

      Sarah, all of the quotes attributed to Faleena are horrible. She has no concept of basic graamat, punctuation and sentence structure. I have read her books and have learned that she employs one help of an editor.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • Chris
        Chris

        *grammar

        (So embarrassing.)

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
        • Sarah C
          Sarah C

          I got a good giggle out of the irony. 😀

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
        • Elizabeth
          Elizabeth

          Muphry’s Law strikes again!
          “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.” The name is a deliberate misspelling of “Murphy’s law”.

          May 7, 2018
          |Reply
          • Allen F
            Allen F

            I tell people if there isn’t at least one goof in it it ain’t me writing it … 😉

            May 8, 2018
    • Theresa C
      Theresa C

      This!! And did you read the take-down notice she sent? Holy shit. I’ll take Jenny’s word for it that her books suck. I have no doubt I’d want to pull my own eyes out with a fork before the end of the first chapter.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  4. Amy
    Amy

    Just google, “I don’t know the title, but the cover was blue” meme and you’ll get literally thousands of titles and pictures so uniquely the same it’s nearly impossible to tell them apart. Should authors to sue each other for having Fabio on their covers? What about having strange girl in a dress looking over her shoulder? Last year there was a meme of comparing movie posters of characters kneeling down. I did my own book display of “oops! I lost my shirt!” and had about seven books with several topless white guys with the same body structure and poses.

    Miss Faleena, I handle more books in a single hour than you have in your entire life, and I have seen your generic title and generic cover on literally thousands of books. I literally just put the word “cocky” into the search at goodreads and got over 200 hits, yours being NOT the first one to see, and definitely not being the first to have that word in the title.

    Congrats on trying to hurt other indie authors. Maybe you should trying suing titles that have “cowboy” or “millionaire” in them. I’m sure that’ll go over well.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      It’s like trying to copyright “Love” in the bodice-ripper era: Sweet Savage Love, Love’s Tender Fury, A Pirate’s Love. Seriously?

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • A fun one to do with thriller authors is “Man running down a city street at night.” You can even sub-divide it by direction and still have hundreds.
      And for Teen/YA there are a lot which can be described as “Eyeball with photoshop effects around it.”

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Try “gothic novel girl in nightgown.”

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • Jane Eyre
          Jane Eyre

          another popular one is girls in victorian dresses, like with corsets and all that. I’ve seen it on a lot of books.

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
      • Goddesstio
        Goddesstio

        The other half of the thriller genre is usually covered by “Car headlights lighting up a dark street”

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
    • @Amy – Or Werewolves!!! She also has a string of werewolf books on Amazon.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
    • Amanda
      Amanda

      ‘Bye Faleena’ needs to become a thing.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Dawn
        Dawn

        Search on TeeSpring, there’s an awesome coffee mug available already! #ByeFaleena

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
        • Beedoo!
          Beedoo!

          This is a mug I’ll happily buy!

          May 9, 2018
          |Reply
      • Gehayi
        Gehayi

        There needs to be an indie novel called “Bye, Faleena.”

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  5. Rin
    Rin

    I hope she never gets any sleep over this.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  6. Her claims of outraged readers wondering why other books get to use the same stock photos read a little “the lurkers support me in email” to me.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Ann
      Ann

      I don’t see a whole lot of her readers supporting her. If anything, she’s been losing a lot of readers and social media followers because of this incident.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        I’ve been seeing that as well. Her fans are like, “I like her, but I cannot support her in this and if she continues I will back away.”

        From what I hear, her books are okay. Not exactly changing the romance genre.

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • Ann
          Ann

          I just perused her Facebook community page and it’s….not good. Even with her losing readers and fans over this, she still appears to be in denial about being in the wrong.

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
        • VeniV
          VeniV

          A friend and I suspect a lot of her reviews have been bought. On hermost recent book only 51 out of 194 5 star reviews were verified.

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
          • the goodreads stars seem suspect as well….

            May 7, 2018
    • Beesknees
      Beesknees

      Her mom.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        “They’re world-famous in Poland”!

        – To Be or Not to Be

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
  7. Sushi
    Sushi

    I had never heard of this woman before today, nor have I ever written an original book, but I’m damn sure never gonna touch anything by her ever and I’m also now seized with the urge to write a novella simply titled ‘Cocky’, out of spite.
    Also wondering if the book is that bad, perhaps we have a new target for Jealous Haters Book Club after Handbook for Chortles is done???

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Oooh….

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Drea C
        Drea C

        Just read the first two chapters. (I have kindle unlimited, so I’m not out of money for this trash ) It’s pretty bad. Not as bad as H4M, but close. This is my favorite gem so far from the hero’s craigslist ad:

        “And no hipsters pretending they’re loners who are really clingy, needy, insecure fuckers, allowed. No starving-artists who think money’s evil allowed. It’s not evil. Stop pretending you don’t want it.”

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
        • Amy
          Amy

          Now I want Jenny to review this book even more. If I read that in a craiglist ad, my first thought would be, “this guy is a serial killer and he’s gonna steal my liver.”

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            My first thought would be “he’s taken too many PUA workshops.”

            May 6, 2018
          • Charlayne
            Charlayne

            So, in other words, her hero is a male version of her. Got it. Reverse Mary Sue.

            That’s a big ole “Nope”.

            May 6, 2018
          • Amy
            Amy

            The male version of the marysue is Gary Stu.

            Or in other words, “the protagonist”

            May 7, 2018
  8. Spockchick
    Spockchick

    This is why really hardworking talented indie authors get a bad rap. People think they are tone-deaf narcissists. IRL my indie author pals are emotionally intelligent dedicated, brilliant gems and have the work ethic to match. What an odious individual.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  9. Sharmelle LaBoushh
    Sharmelle LaBoushh

    Good lord and little fishes, do I ever have gifs to insert…..

    First off, a standing ovation to you Jenny, for this blog post.
    http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/2012/11/standing-ovation.gif

    I should be writing a term paper right now but I took a cruise through Pajiba and read Kayleigh Donaldson’s article about this unholy mess. Immediately went to Twitter and read your tweets.
    Faleena is a complete jackass for this. She will be completely ostracized from the romance community, as you said. It’s going to end up backfiring on her.
    I can’t wait for the Cocky Cocker anthology coming out due to this (PLEASE tell me you are contributing!) and there should be a list of writers she’s going after, so people can purchase their books in support.

    Now, one of my favorite gifs ever, Dlisted goddess Martina Hill…to properly express my feelings toward Faleena Hopkins.
    https://media.giphy.com/media/10Pj0OFiQieaf6/giphy.gif

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • merari
      merari

      if you look them up i will buy them its soo not fair she is doing this to those authors

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • Sharmelle LaBoushh
        Sharmelle LaBoushh

        Jamila Jasper is one of the affected indie authors.

        She pulled a brilliant move though. Her book that Bye Faleena targeted was Cocky Cowboy. Jamila retitled it The Cockiest Cowboy To Have Ever Cocked. It’s now a best seller on Amazon.

        I made sure to purchase it and her latest, Get Pucked.

        Because of Jenny’s excellent ass-kicking posted above, I also purchased Abigail Barnette’s books Surrender and The Temptress.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
  10. Tmonique stephens
    Tmonique stephens

    Hot damn! Talk about a clap back! Didn’t know she existed until this. Now, she can crawl back under her rock. BYE FALEENA.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  11. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    I think I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ve modeled for stock photos and stock footage (not this kind of cool thing, sadly: it was usually office equipment). The model signs a release and is paid once (or not at all, if you’re dating the photographer…well, you’re paid in sweet talk, and you can add a credit if you know which companies bought the shot).

    And that’s the real issue: who buys the shot. A photographer might list the same shot in three different stock libraries; he gets a royalty every time they sell it, and of course the library gets its cut for featuring the shot. This is why you might see the same family picnic with Goldie in several different ads, from a bank to insurance to security systems, as Jay Leno used to demonstrate. They’re probably not a family, and may never have met before the shoot; even the dog is rented.

    The model signs a release, and the photographer has to go through some kind of process to get the shot listed, some libraries require an initial fee or membership. Given the fact they DON’T want to lose sales, the on-line libraries usually have the studio logo across the image. It’s semi-transparent, so you can see the shot, but you can’t lift it for commercial use without paying the fee.

    I would be VERY curious to know how this woman got her images. If she is dishonest in some things, she is very likely dishonest in others. The models may not have much to say about it now, but the photographers and the stock photo libraries may have a good deal to say, if she did not purchase EXCLUSIVE rights to a particular shot.

    If anyone’s curious, I’ll ask my ex the stock photographer if he knows anything about the protocol here (we parted on fairly good terms).

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  12. Ria
    Ria

    Jesus, what a genuinely awful person. Bye Faleena!!

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  13. Katy
    Katy

    I was hoping you’d write something about what utter bullshit this situation is. I’m not impacted by it, but watching someone pull this kind of crap makes me LIVID.

    I hope everyone she’s trying to screw over gets the legal help and protection they need, and that she is royally fucked for the rest of her “career”.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  14. Cris
    Cris

    Can someone enlighten me about the trademark laws in the US? Because in my country you would not be able to trademark “cocky”. That is, the trademark should be pertinent and original, i.e. not of common use. For example, if you own a candy factory you cannot trademark “sweets” or “sugar”. In the case you pulled some favours–as it happens–and managed to acomplish such a feat, it would be decidedly unlawful and any party affected should feel free to ignore threats and demands. Of course, when somenone is set on hurting you by means of sueing, which is just not affordable for many, this kind of shit becomes a real problem.
    Conclusion, legal systems everywhere suck balls and so does this Rotten Fajita bitch.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      From what I can tell, what she has actually trademarked is the word written in a particular font, when applied to a series. But she’s going after people who have used the word in any font in their titles, whether they’re part of a series or standalone, and is hoping they’ll be too poor and intimidated to fight back.

      Funnily enough, people have done some digging and found the font she’s used and it can’t actually be used for trademarks and the creator has come forward to state that they did not give her permission to use their font in this way.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Ann
        Ann

        I was waiting for someone to bring this up. It’s easily the most entertaining twist in this train wreck

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • HerImperialMaj
          HerImperialMaj

          Best part is she explicitly lied about it in that email Jenny posted. She was hoping no one would do that research. Hey genius, when you piss off the internet, the internet will shove up a microscope so far up your ass you’ll be coughing lenses.

          May 5, 2018
          |Reply
          • Rainy Nigg
            Rainy Nigg

            Loved your comment!! Cracked me up! You are so right!

            May 5, 2018
          • Karen Hrdlicka
            Karen Hrdlicka

            Best comment ever! Lol

            May 6, 2018
          • Ginne
            Ginne

            This comment #ForTheWin

            May 6, 2018
          • Charlayne
            Charlayne

            OMG, I want to meme that statement! LOVE IT.

            May 6, 2018
      • Jillian
        Jillian

        This is amazing! I was wondering about that!

        Also, she’s an idiot!

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
      • Caitlin
        Caitlin

        She has two trademarks, unfortunately. 🙁 One for the standard word, and one for the stylized mark. So you can’t use “Cocky” in”her” font (which seems like a more legitimate claim), and you also can’t use the word “cocky” in ANY font or style (a totally bullshit case that I hope will ruin her).

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • Leigh
          Leigh

          The thing about this (because I looked it up when Paris Hilton tried to trademark “that’s hot”) is that it’s not possible to trademark a common word or words in everyday speech. She may claim that she has a trademark for “cocky” as a word, but she doesn’t. The same thing happened with King Games trying to trademark the word “saga” and even going after franchises that were published previous to the company’s existence.

          She can trademark her MS Paint stylized “cocky” but she doesn’t own the word.

          May 5, 2018
          |Reply
          • Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.
            Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.

            Actually a nice gentleman in England owns the stylization to Cocky and isn’t happy about the trademark either.

            May 6, 2018
        • Karen Hrdlicka
          Karen Hrdlicka

          She only has the TM for a Romance series title but thinks she owns it everywhere. Single titles cannot be trademarked by law but she ignores that. Ironically her last release isn’t listed as a romance in her key words on Amazon

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
      • Bethanie
        Bethanie

        That’s what I was wondering! Because there is legally no way she should be able to get away with trademarking a word! No one can unless they actually made up the word and can prove that they did! I knew there had to be more to this story then what I was reading.

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • Karen Hrdlicka
          Karen Hrdlicka

          Check around there’s a petition to rescind the trademark

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
      • LM Brown
        LM Brown

        Oh and the creator is apparently in the UK which has stricter trademark laws than the US. I am curious to know which jurisdiction it falls under.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
    • Nanani
      Nanani

      The USPTO is notorious among international patent and trademark offices for letting stupid shit like this through.
      It’s usually unenforceable and blows up as soon as a human judge/examiner/decent attorney takes a look, but it can and does scare a lot of people who think it will automatically mean legal battles and expenses attached thereto. Depending on how much money the initial nuisance has to throw around, that fear can be justified.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.
        Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.

        She says something about funding her own Indie movie on her twitter page… So she may have to make a choice… movie… lawsuit…

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
    • Ho-ly shit!!!! This, so perfectly, is a written version of the “What the fuck were you thinking” face anyone who knows Faleena will now be looking at her with.
      How could this woman be THAT stupid, THAT pathetic, and THAT petty? She gives a whole new meaning to the word opportunist.
      I am among the masses that have worked years to gain any kind of recognition as an author. When I finally obtained a modest following on Wattpad with my last book, and I was over the moon from the comments and likes I recieved, but have not ever made 1 dime off of any of my books.
      I would NEVER even dream of doing this to any ther writer, because if you are a TRUE author, your work comes from a love of the craft, not from a motivation of hoping it will be a best seller. She obviously isn’t genuinely one of us by the mere fact that she deliberately conjoured a way to fuck other writers over.
      What a cunt. (Maybe I should trademark Faleena, the cunt, Hopkins and then sue her for gaining noteriety under my trademark.)

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • Shayne
        Shayne

        LOVE LOVE LOVE your reply. Cunt is my favorite word…. and that’s exactly what she is. Cheers.

        May 11, 2018
        |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Scroll down: a comment by “RoseBear” lists a metric fuckton of books with “cocky” in the title published before Hopkins’.

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  15. Stella Price
    Stella Price

    Has anyone looked at her website? her Author Bio? Holy shit is she full of herself… It took me 45 minutes to get through it, because its poorly written and its so fucking self indulgent that I had to take breaks… THE SMUG THIS WOMAN HAS FOR HERSELF IS EPIC.

    to think that your the first to shoot your own covers … Jesus she knows nothing about this industry does she?

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • shel
      shel

      Her bio reads like she inspired Lani (or the other way around.. though her writing seems a little more readable than the Lani mess) about howling at the moon and being soo sooo special… and how she’s also an aspiring director and actor and is working on turning one of her books into a feature film.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Stella Price
        Stella Price

        Honestly I saw it and I was like HOLY SHIT. she acts like she the second coming… Just like Lani… OMG.

        May 5, 2018
        |Reply
        • Liz
          Liz

          Have we seen them in a room together?

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
      • Jamoche
        Jamoche

        They’re both latecomers to that game – Gloria Tesch, self-defined “One of the Worlds Youngest Novelist” (sic), aka “my parents are even more delusional about my talents than that Eragon kid”, was, for the longest time, actually making a “movie” with her parents’ money. Or rather just a movie trailer.
        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/MaradoniaSaga

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
    • I published my first book in 2008 and used my own shitty photography for the cover. Who knew I was some kind of pioneer! lol.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • The cover of my first book was based off a photo I took, in the area the novel was set. Perhaps not the best, but it was my first book, and it suited the theme

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • Amy
        Amy

        I did the same too. I took a cheap black eyeliner and wrote on my bathroom wall to create a “spooky” title, and when I tried to clean it off later, I rubbed off the paint. XD

        I got a good photo out of it that people really seem to like! =D

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  16. […] U.S. Trademark Office has done it again. This time, they’ve allowed an indie author to trademark the word “cocky” so no one else can use it in the title of a romance book, and the author is now going after people […]

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  17. Eneya
    Eneya

    To pull a “Highlander”? Jenny, can you please clarify? I don’t think you mean the TV show/movies about immortals dishing it out with swords, so I am confused?

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      There can only be ONE.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • Stella Price
      Stella Price

      In the Highlander movies the immortal highlanders have to kill each other… because in the end there can be only one….

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Eneya
        Eneya

        LOL… i thought she is referring to another royal fuckup of something with that title and she was making a joke, which I simply ignored. Hah. Thanks for the clarification! 🙂 🙂

        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
  18. Claire Kingsley
    Claire Kingsley

    As an author who is being impacted by this mess, I just want to thank you for the post. It’s been comforting and very heartening to see the awesome people in this community rally around each other.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Petra
      Petra

      I just bought Cocky Roommate too, to support you in this utterly ridiculous situation, and also because it sounds like a fun read.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
    • triflepillow
      triflepillow

      Did too.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  19. The funny thing is, to piss off the writer community because not only are we writers WE RESEARCH. Take Lani’s cover for example. Someone easily found out it was taken from another piece.

    In this case, a few authors noted what font Faleena used in her CockyTM title and found the font author who said that she couldn’t trademark his font. So it just gets better and better….

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      Also, when we see our friends get hurt, you know damn well we’ll step up to defend them. Faleena has probably scared the shit out of several inexperienced authors who cannot afford a lawyer to determine if she has the power to do this. This is what scammers do, they rely on your ignorance to rob you because they know you can’t fight back.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
  20. (Different) Rebecca
    (Different) Rebecca

    Someone get Chuck Tingle on writing a book with “cocky” in the title IMMEDIATELY.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      OMG you got there first!

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      “My Cocky Peacock and Cocky Living Weathercock Pound My Butt Cock-Eyed.”

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • (Different) Rebecca
        (Different) Rebecca

        Yes, this. *nods*

        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          See my other posts–you have inspired me. I’m on a ROLL!

          May 8, 2018
          |Reply
  21. Holly Barcelo
    Holly Barcelo

    Jenny, you are amazing. Thank you for taking this bitch to task because shes so upset that her crappy writing isn’t good enough to make her money that she targets talented authors!

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  22. Alex Silvers
    Alex Silvers

    The Fine Brothers tried to copyright the word ‘react’ about… five years ago I want to say? The backlash from the internet was amazing and I don’t even see them on youtube anymore.

    You’d think people would take a lesson from that.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Preakness Everdeen
      Preakness Everdeen

      That’s exactly what this is all reminded me of. That was not pretty for them.
      But they still have an active youtube and everything but I definitely didn’t see their videos getting recommended or suggested again by the youtube algorithm until very recently.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  23. You might want to edit to include the latest bit of news… the trademark she copyrighted includes a font that is not copyrightable.

    Honestly, I’m breaking out the popcorn. This bitch is gonna be back to 50k in debt in NO TIME.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  24. Ann
    Ann

    I was under the impression her trademark only applied to the word “cocky” rendered in that font, not just any instance of it in a title. Isn’t that why she sent really unprofessional notices through Facebook claiming otherwise?

    *munches popcorn*

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.
      Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.

      Nope. She wordmarked the word too

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • Karen Hrdlicka
        Karen Hrdlicka

        It’s TM’d for use in a series title only but she’s ignoring that fact and trying to scare anyone with cocky in a title

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  25. Two snaps up, ma’am. “Busted-ass bitch” describes this never-gonna-be perfectly.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  26. The whole font thing gets even better. The license doesn’t just prohibit use in a trademarked logo, but the use of the font itself on *any* trademarked product.

    The stylized trademark is DOA and 100% unenforceable on that point alone, and the other trademark is unenforceable as well unless she changes all her covers and removes ALL use of that particular font in her series. So now she’s the one committing the most egregious violations of her own trademark, in addition to theft of someone’s intellectual property. Because if you’re using it for something you don’t have permission for, it’s theft.

    This is one of those rare moments where I sit back and go ain’t karma a bitch?

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • HerImperialMaj
      HerImperialMaj

      That’s amazing.

      Oh, Jenny, Jenny, please, write a follow-up when she gets sued. For the good of the realm, let us know when she starts writing desperate, ass-covering blog posts. Annihilate her, Jenny.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      I’m really hoping the font creator goes after her on this one, they’d have the backing of pretty much the entire Indie Romance community and it would be *glorious.*

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Karen Hrdlicka
        Karen Hrdlicka

        The designer weighed in on Twitter and said he’d be bringing his own suit when he’s back from vacation lol

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  27. Renae
    Renae

    I bet the only person who likes Faleena Hopkins is Lani Sarem. Someone finally took the spotlight off her.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Nah. She wants ALL the attention, even if it’s negative.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
  28. MC Denmark
    MC Denmark

    Anyone else google Morris Yorn who she claims to be her lawyer? Well, I did and it is just one single page. No links. Just an address in Las Angles and a phone number. Not even sure the lawyer is real.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Kevin Yorn in state bar association. No Morris Yorn in state or county bar association.

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Doesn’t say which partner she retained.

          May 5, 2018
          |Reply
          • Amber Stingel
            Amber Stingel

            The USTPO lists the attorney as Jonathan Pollack, Esq.

            May 6, 2018
  29. Sarah
    Sarah

    When you look up “cocky bastard” on Amazon, the search results return her series labeled as “Sponsored,” so she deliberately is trying to ride on Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland’s popularity. It’s hilarious and ironic because one of her Facebook posts disparaged other authors who allegedly do this to her: “Perhaps they know that in AMS (headlines and sponsored ads) my name and my series are called a ‘high traffic’ keyword by Amazon…Now they will have to create their own following.”

    The hypocrisy and lack of respect she affords to other type of creatives’ IP, e.g., exceeding the scope of the license for the copyrighted font, is disgusting. I really hope the law firm she name p-dropped in the C&D letters comes forward because I can’t imagine they gave her permission to use their name in this manner, as it doesn’t make their firm look good because so much of what she included in her threats was just legally inaccurate and it is bad for their business.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Now that you mention it…when I was having ex-landlord trouble, I was specifically told NOT to mention the lawyer I had consulted until I had officially retained him. At that point, he sent out letters on his firm’s letterhead.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  30. Bethany
    Bethany

    And then there was you, Jenny Trout. You just busted the Internet. I bow down to you. Thank you for breaking this down and setting her straight. She’s a narcissist, so she’ll never see what she did wrong and will always play the victim, but we readers have a good memory and will never forget her name.

    Thank you for writing this.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  31. This is right up there with the time French Connection UK tried to copyright the letters FCUK. In any order.
    Think about that one for a second.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Anna T.
      Anna T.

      Oh, f***. That sounds a right mess.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
  32. While on one hand this story is entertaining, it also is/should be cause for alarm amongst all authors. If Fellatio had INVENTED the word “Cocky,” I could understand. But she didn’t.

    “SNIKT” belongs to Marvel and Marvel alone. Because that particular word/SFX didn’t happen until Logan McWolverine unleashed his big ol’ metal claws on us all. It makes sense. Len Wein’s “Snikt” is understandably trademarkable.* It’s a great word. It’s Wolverine’s claw-sound, and if you write SNIKT, everyone knows who and what you’re referring to.

    But if common slang can so easily be copyrighted, this might be the first of many similar situations leading to lawsuits which no one can possibly afford to fight. How on earth did Fungal get “cocky” trademarked? Is this just the first of many cases where words which are just part of the vernacular will be taken away from authors already struggling to find titles for our books that haven’t been used yet? Oh, and can we even describe characters as “cocky” within the text of a novel, anymore? Has she reserved all rights to title alone, or has she managed to snag the adjective altogether?

    If we get to just pick and choose dirty words no one else can? Dibs on “felching.” That one’s hilarious. Also, “twat” is just fun to say. It’s like snapping an elastic band. Can I PLEASE have felching and twat? **

    ~~Rach

    * Running off to trademark “Trademarkable,” because according to spellcheck, I just made that word up.

    ** If I ever need to come up with the name of a law firm again in an ER parody, it’s totally going to be called “Felching & Twat, LLC.”

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • You are so right about this being cause for alarm! And I love the name of your up and coming law firm!

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  33. Fun fact: now she’s using Jenny’s favorite term “witch hunt” over on twitter.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Sleepwalking Sam
      Sleepwalking Sam

      Is she also claiming “no collusion”? ;-D

      May 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.
        Deliaria Davis. Cocky USA Today Author.

        #dead. I have been saying this #SmellslikeCheetos

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
  34. I agree with every word you said. I will never support her work. Not ever. Falenna is a self-serving opportunist.

    This comment is not mine, but copied off of Twitter.

    The font she used for “COCKY” appears to be Northwell Alt Regular from Creative Market. Their T&Cs specifically say you can’t trademark designs using items purchased from there. @SetSailStudios stated on Twitter he DID NOT give special permission for COCKY to be trademarked using their custom font.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  35. MJ
    MJ

    Best post ever! #byeFaleena

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  36. Further to Suzanne’s comment

    From the Set Sail Studios FAQs:

    “Can I trademark a design I create using marketplace items such as a logo?
    You many not register a trademark the item or the end product incorporating the item – not even logos. If you use the item to create a logo for yourself or a client, keep in mind that third parties can us the item too, even in another logo.”

    Horrible woman, but a brilliant written piece about it all – especially love the message to her. Having seen some of the other cease and desist letters she’s sent, she deserves everything that’s coming to her – especially as she now thinks that she owns the name Luna (see her one star review of The Bodyguard by Elena Davinski on Goodreads) But don’t worry, someone has already warned J.K. Rowling about it.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • She’s claiming ownership of the name Luna? Even setting aside the Potter fandom (Which is kinda big), that will get the MLP fandom angry (Who are also kinda big).

      But the real question is, does she really believe that she came up with it, or is she just that bad a scammer?

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • Jane Eyre
        Jane Eyre

        Lol let her try and sue Hasbro for using the name XD I can already see how well THAT will go.

        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
      • Athena
        Athena

        Don’t forget the Sailor Moon fans!

        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Oh wow, the cat, I forgot!

          May 8, 2018
          |Reply
  37. Kim
    Kim

    There is a petition, pleas design it. I hope the font company, photog and stick site sue her too #byefaleena

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  38. Patti
    Patti

    Funny how she THINKS she knows about the “BIZ”. Well, her career is in the toilet. I wonder how many morons are in that trademark office?

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  39. Wendy
    Wendy

    Bravo for speaking out! Who? In the hell does this chick think she is??

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  40. Gabriela Fernandez
    Gabriela Fernandez

    I can’t wait to hear what becomes of this bullshit. It’s like that lady from Kitchen Nightmares that copyrighted the word “hon” in the Carolinas and badgered everyone who used the word in conjunction with their business. Ramsey finally got her to let go of the copyright but… I dunno, I want to see Gordon Ramsey take on this bullshit now too.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Jane Eyre
      Jane Eyre

      I was about to brought it up too. It backfired on her too, since whole town of Baltimore gone after her and stopped eating at her restaurant and she called Ramsey because she was sinking. I forsee same future of Faleena or whatever her name is.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  41. You go girl! I had forgotten that I even bought her books (which were free, so yay I didn’t waste a dime on her “stuff”) or that I followed her friend page.

    It wasn’t until I found her on Twitter and saw how she was addressing people (because hey, I like to give people the benefit of doubt) that I said … I’m not down with her antics.

    Her words were laced with threats and inuendos.

    And she promptly unfollowed and her books delete, unread from my Amazon cloud.

    Ain’t nobody got time for her crap.

    Thank you for this. I will be sharing on my blog and my personal page on Facebook.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  42. Lily-Ann Johnson
    Lily-Ann Johnson

    Right on Jen. None knew who she was until this BS and when my 14 year old asked me why i was upset I told him. He looked at me and said.. What???? You can copyright a word like that. Is she stupid? If a 14 year old can get it… why can’t a “grown” adult.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  43. Angie
    Angie

    I wish I could use a GIF of a standing ovation for this. Burned! Ha ha ha. This was great.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  44. So on point. She’s going down hard now. Rumors of big 5 pubs getting involved now. #ByeFaleena #CockyGate #FaleenaWho #Cocky

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
    • Margaret Jane Bates
      Margaret Jane Bates

      Really. I heard whispers about penguin random house. Anyone else?

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  45. Kris Johnston
    Kris Johnston

    Bravo! This affects us ALL, every single one of us who writes. Because what’s next? We aren’t allowed to use the word, “the,” in a title? It’s shameful. It’s an atrocity. She doesn’t deserve to be called an Indie Author.

    May 5, 2018
    |Reply
  46. Kimberly
    Kimberly

    I have not read all the comments but it has come to light that Faleena took the fonted word, which she copyrighted, from a gentleman’s page without his permission. Now, who is in the wrong here?! I hope he goes after her with the same zeal.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  47. Torie James
    Torie James

    Jenny Trout…you are my hero!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  48. Jamoche
    Jamoche

    In-depth lawsplaining:
    http://legalinspiration.com/?p=503

    “So, first issue: Only using the mark in association with a series of books can infringe the mark as registered, because that is what it is registered for. Normally there is sort of a buffer zone for similar goods, or something we call the “zone of natural expansion,” but with book titles, not so much. Using it in the title of a single book, under most circumstances, cannot constitute trademark infringement. So if in fact the publishing company and/or its attorneys are representing that using the word “Cocky” in the title of a book infringes the trademark, they are likely in error.”

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  49. Jessica
    Jessica

    You are all kinds of awesome, Ms. Trout! This post deserves a standing ovation. I wonder what dear Faleena would do if say 50+ authors all posted books with “Cocky” in the title on the exact same day and flooded Amazon with them? The woman is obviously batsh*t crazy.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      “Cocky Tudor Plays Hot Cockles With Fighting Cocks.”

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  50. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Her profile somewhere mentioned live comedy and film/TV, so I looked her up on IMDB.

    To her credit, she’s actually been in something I’ve heard of – “Masters of Sex”.

    Think she’d be best sticking with film/TV/theatre, and quitting the book biz.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  51. Angela
    Angela

    It’s a shame 20BooksTo50K has decided to side with the author in this matter, going so far as to offer her an undisputed forum, shut down comments and prohibit dissenting opinions, probably making them the only indie writers’ group on the planet to take this contentious position.

    I’m very disappointed in Michael Anderle and Craig Martelle. I thought they had our best interests at heart, but as it turns out they don’t–not when push comes to shove. Their smug response to the whole debacle has left a very bad taste in my mouth. Maybe if Miss Hopkins had trademarked the word ‘gambit’ instead of the word ’cocky’ they would have thought twice before slapping the entire romance writers community in the face.

    Just so you know: we don’t forget.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • Apparently, she was a speaker at the last 20Books to 50k conference, and was booked to appear this year. Word is that she was a mod on the FB group too. I suspect she’s personal friends with Craig at least.

      One friend of mine already cancelled her conference ticket and got her refund before sending a very snarky letter explaining exactly why.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  52. I’ve been watching this unfold all day. It’s like a train wreck…
    And claiming to be the first India author to photograph her own models? I’ve been photographing my own models for my (non romance) covers for over three years. And I don’t think I was the first to do so…
    And trademarking a font she doesn’t have copyright on or permission to do so…
    Oh, dear.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  53. Holly
    Holly

    In her very own intro in one of her books, she laments HERSELF at how hard, time-consuming, and expensive it is to retitle a book! A Marine told her that no Marine ever answers to “soldier”, and her book is about a Marine! She decided NOT to retitle because of the aforementioned issues. Yet, she INSISTS that these other authors (who, btw, in many cases, had published works before FH’s was published) retitle theirs in one day??? FH is so full of it!!!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • Ash
      Ash

      Omg, calling a Marine a soldier… they despise that. What an embarrassing mistake, especially when she apparently doesn’t see why it’s incorrect.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        I dated a Marine vet and a friend’s father was a Marine. You could only insult them worse by calling them “Sailor” (long-standing feud between Marines and Navy).

        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
  54. RMH
    RMH

    This scandal has made me look to so many authors I haven’t heard of, and subscribe to Bianca Sommerland (she is great). I hope this, overall, sheds light on the authors who have been threatened with lawsuits, and eventually leads to Hopkins being shunned.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  55. Johanna
    Johanna

    I looked up her books on Amazon. It seemed really suspicious that they had such high reviews, and lo and behold: an F from Fakespot. They think every single review is unreliable. Every single one.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  56. Bookjunk
    Bookjunk

    What a mindblowingly awful and exceptionally stupid thing to do! Hopkins just took a torch to her own writing career.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  57. Blog Post of the year!
    Standing ovation
    xox

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  58. Louise
    Louise

    I’ve been a book blogger for over two years and my response was simply “who??” I’d never heard of her or her books and now they’re on my never read never promote shit list! And it’s a very short list…

    Bye faleena
    Oh wait faleena who? ?

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  59. This was an awesome post until the end where it said the “B” word. That just made this kind of immature. Name calling her only stools to her level. You don’t want to lower your standards to her low level of thinking.

    If you read her Facebook post on this, Faleena lied publicly that she didn’t 1-star or bully anyone regarding their books or book titles. Then moments later, an author posted her own “review” of the author’s book where she obviously 1-starred a romance story using the first name of her characters (kind of like if the name “Sam” was trademarked) and online cyber bullied the author proclaiming the characters in the random author’s books were hers and hers alone. The trademark over cocky has nothing to do with character names, unless the character name is “Cocky” yet she is lying it is and online bullying authors on their book characters now as well.

    Give a kid an inch and they want a mile.

    In the same Facebook post she lied she didn’t bully anyone, several of her own readers came forward in the poet’s comments and denounced her, thousands of her own readers refused to read her books anymore because of this.

    In fact, she claims her readers were saying her books were stolen when in fact her own readers have come forward to contradict her own trademarking. She has not only lost readers and sales, publishers have refused to work with her, graphic designers have pulled out on her, and other authors in her romance book genres have kicked her out of their book communities and businesses. If she intends to sell any more books, she is going to have to go somewhere no one knows her name, because this kind of “fame” is not a good thing.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  60. Louise
    Louise

    Well said. I just hope and pray that Karma bites her so hard on the ass she can’t sit down for a year.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Looks like it’s already raised more than a few lumps …

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  61. J. Lewis
    J. Lewis

    Said it perfectly! I swear I didn’t even know who she was until this cockgate the day started on social media.. then I remember wait!!! I return her book because it wasn’t good at all! No negativity in my thought but I didn’t think it was good to keep reading. I didn’t pick up any more book after that first one

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  62. I’m so in the dark about things happening around me because I’m usually busy doing other things like cleaning and writing and trying not to get sucked down the TwitterTunnel. Dr. J. texted me and was like ‘you need to see this!’ and so I came to see who had screwed the pooch this time (because it always tends to be someone fucking up everyone else’s world).

    I don’t get it. I couldn’t even watch her video. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to bother reading her books. This is the lowest I’ve seen anyone go in awhile. If she needs money so bad, there’s this thing called ‘a day job’. I have one. I know other authors that have one, or even two.

    Anyway, thanks for your response. XoXo

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  63. small jar of fireflies
    small jar of fireflies

    I don’t understand the part where her fans were flocking to all methods of communication to tell her that her cover models were working more than one shoot, or the stock rights to the same image were being sold again.

    I do not have published author problems. But if my readers seemed to skew both toward “very sensitive” and “rather dim”, I would take a second look at how my writing might be coming across.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • Miimers
      Miimers

      They’re probably not. Blaming things on someone else (readers) is what people who do unreasonable things do.
      Like, if you are an indie author and you have a board/forum, like she probably has on FB, where readers can post things, the sensible thing to do in a case like this would be to address the readers directly. “No, no one is stealing my covers, there’s a limited supply of stock photos and they get reused often. No, not everything with the word cocky is by me. The things I’ve written have my name on them and cocky is a very common word in the romance/erotica section (since we can’t use directly lewd words). Please, look for my name on the book and it’ll probably be mine. If it doesn’t, it’s by someone else.”
      But nah, let’s just make a big ole mess cuz hey, publicity!

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
    • Stella Price
      Stella Price

      All that Cover Model shit is ROAD APPLES because at least 3 of those covers are pictures WIDELY FOUND on stock sites and she did NOT take those pictures… So her argument is bullshit anyway.

      As a cover artist I have done at least 10 covers in & YEARS with some of these dudes… STOCK BTW. and if she thinks to get Exclusives, they DONT DO THAT (much like the font… LOL) So shes all sorts of stupid…

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  64. Miimers
    Miimers

    Revoking a trademark is a thing. It happens often enough.
    I’m not hoping she knows this. I hope it blindsides her as the Romance Author’s IP lawyer gets on the case. And that’s not the kind of a thing I say lightly. The last time I hoped someone tripped into their own soup and burned themselves was when 45 was elected.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  65. Kimberley
    Kimberley

    Hunnnnyyyyy, YES! Reading this gave me so much LIFE.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  66. Michele Mills
    Michele Mills

    *high five* Jenny! Exactly! I have an SFR releasing soon. It’s titled Cyborgs’ Claim. This would be like her sending me her DIY C&D saying she sees my cover reveal and I need to change my title now prior to release because she’s TM’d “Cyborg”! My professional response to that- “FYB” Right now I’ve already spent $1500 on nonrefundable marketing. So yes, even if you don’t have Cocky in a title – all authors need to band together and do a scorched earth campaign on this crap. Because it sets a dangerous precedent and could hurt us all.

    And I’m sad about the whole 20booksto50k position. I have a ticket to their Vegas con! But right now I’m like, do I want to go to a con where this person could potentially be there and be put on a pedestal? Oh hell, no.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  67. Isabelle
    Isabelle

    I’m sorry, but what kind of world do we live in when someone can copyright a word like ‘cocky’?
    I’ve always been told Book Titles and Song Titles couldn’t be copyrighted.
    And does this apply to other countries. Seeing as I’m from Europe, I’m guessing her Trademark thing only applies to the country she’s from.
    Also? Does it apply only on title, or does it apply to the entirety of the novel?

    Sounds strange that the FTC would agree to such an idiotic thing.
    If her trademark is country based I’ll be releasing a shit load of crappy romance novels named Cocky in the next few months.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      “The Coxswain in the Cocked Hat Pounds My Butt.”

      “The Cockney in the Cockpit Pounds My Butt.”

      “Cocktails, Cockaleekie, and a Butt-Pounding.”

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
  68. Stacy
    Stacy

    Brilliantly stated! *claps*

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  69. Sara Frail
    Sara Frail

    I hope all the authors are able to reverse this in some way. No one wants a precedent like this set for trademarking common words. She needs her author card revoked. I will never read her books. As an avid romance reader I have read many books with similar titles. Why she feels entitled to ruin this for everyone else-seems very selfish to me.
    #byefaleena #goodriddens #mayyouneverpublishagain

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  70. How to torpedo your writing career with a single monumentally stupid move.

    Two cardinal rules in this business: You never respond to reviews (except to say thank you), and you never, NEVER piss off your fellow authors. We have long memories, and bridges are a bitch to rebuild.

    A year from now, Hopkins will be working for minimum wage at the knockoff perfume store in the mall, wondering where her writing career went.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • Allen F
      Allen F

      As flip as her mind seems, my money would be on her changing her name and the titles/names in her books and trying to sell them again – maybe she’ll trade out ‘smelly’ for ‘cocky’ … 😉

      May 9, 2018
      |Reply
  71. It sounds to me like the copyright office is at least partially to blame in this. Someone, somewhere should have realized that copyrighting a word like “cocky” was bound to cause some problems down the road and blocked the request. After all, they’re not under any obligation to accept a request. That said, this whole thing stinks to high heaven of desperation – if she can’t make it by her own merits, Faleena is going to by God game the system. Good on everyone smacking her around for this; it’s crap like this that hurts everyone and she deserves every bit of scorn heaped on her.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  72. The Streisand Effect is applied here in so man ways.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  73. Traci Hyland
    Traci Hyland

    She makes me sick …..to do this to fellow authors …. I have no words …. its disgusting….
    I truly hope they take you down …. I for one, will not EVER read a book written by Faleena Hopkins …. My loyalty are to those loyal to the book world….

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  74. Dee
    Dee

    Oh my god. So much yasss. This article is everything. I want to stand up and clap. The P.S really sent it home best thing ever!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  75. Mary Ovalle
    Mary Ovalle

    Very well said!! I applaud you!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  76. Matt
    Matt

    I will start posting on every site to inform people NOT to buy any of her books. This is just a way for her to sue other people to make money. She is one Cockie Bitch.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  77. Mandypar
    Mandypar

    Career Suicide by her. I’ll never buy, read nor review any of her books. Respect, applause, etc for you <3

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  78. Heather C Leigh
    Heather C Leigh

    She cannot copyright/™ the word Cocky and forbid everyone from using it. She CAN copyright/™ the “Cocky Series™” for use in ebook romance which is what she did.

    Furthermore, people can and will challenge this, because there were other romance series called the “Cocky Series” before hers, which means even though she ™-ed it, they can take that away from her.

    Book titles are NOT exclusive in the US. There are hundreds of books with similar or the exact same titles, and that’s perfectly legal, even if all one hundred are in the same genre.

    This chick is a few crayons short of a box.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  79. Vicki
    Vicki

    I am saddened for all the authors affected by this and I hope the vile creature to blame gets hers. Karma is a bitch.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  80. […] Inspiration: Romance Author Gets Unduly Cocky Over Registered Trademark         By Jenny Trout: Don’t Do This, Ever: Faleena Hopkins Cocks The Whole Entire F@ck Up               […]

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  81. S
    S

    I guess this is one way to get your name out there. Unfortunately for her it seems to be that it’s getting out there only to end up on ‘never read’ lists. Negative reviews are even showing up on her pen name ‘Sabrina Lacey’.

    So her cockiness seems to have cocked her up fairly thoroughly!

    What I find most interesting about the whole thing is that I’m not seeing ANY support for her. Even Sarem had some supporters, as twisted as that is/was, there are always some people to back these things if only to be contrary. Other than her ‘private emails’ there doesn’t seem be anything out there…well yet anyway.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I’m sure she will amend that shortly.
      and 3, 2, …..

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      I did see someone on her FB page supporting her because they apparently kept getting emails recommending books with the word ‘cocky’ in the title and she kept buying them without bothering to read the author’s name or anything… so it would appear at least one of her fans is actually as stupid as she says and that’s a good enough reason to throw everybody else under a bus. Would’ve been quicker and cheaper to just tell this one twit to actual pay attention to what she’s buying.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
    • Sushi
      Sushi

      On another note, one thing I found hilariously sad is that she got shaded by E.L. James. Like, how terrible do you have to be to get shaded by the woman who sold her plagiarized Twilight fanfiction.

      May 6, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        What’d the Eel have to say?

        May 6, 2018
        |Reply
        • S
          S

          “It’s bank holiday here in the UK. What are you guys reading? This is my holiday read #CockyBastard pic.twitter.com/PDrAJX3uft”
          https://twitter.com/E_L_James/status/992506995495309313

          I have to agree you know you’ve taken a wrong turn when EL JAMES is calling you out on ethics.

          And then there’s this which is just fantastic because it shows us all how wrong we are. It’s only difficult for her to change her title. For everyone else, it’s totally simple!

          “NEW DEVELOPMENT, PEOPLE. Gather round. This is from book #6 of her series. ”
          https://twitter.com/TheBookVulture/status/992979748086104064/photo/1

          May 6, 2018
          |Reply
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            From what I could see, she said only that she’s reading the Ward and Keeland book, so the trademark scandal must be well-known enough she knew her readers would pick up on it–which their comments indicate they did.

            Unwonted subtlety there.

            May 7, 2018
          • Stormy
            Stormy

            Oh sure, NOW EL James demonstrates the capacity for subtlety.

            May 7, 2018
          • Sushi
            Sushi

            Wowwwww so she knows from personal experience that retitling isn’t easy, but she still tried to claim otherwise. What a piece of work.

            May 7, 2018
  82. Cheryl Gates
    Cheryl Gates

    I am not a writer but I’m a reader. I have laughed heartily at these comments. What a great smack down by a witty group of folks.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  83. Harlie Williams
    Harlie Williams

    *claps*

    She’s an idiot! As a blogger for the last 8 years, I’ve never heard of her until now. I’m glad that I didn’t. I would be deleting every post that I had on her.

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  84. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    “‘Ow ‘now, you ‘ot little ‘ussy! Ye never ‘ad a man loike me, not wiv ‘em ‘ighborn chaps whot ain’t ‘arf me soize. Just ‘oist them hoopskirts over yer ‘ips, and Oi’ll be ‘eavin’ me John Thomas inter yer ‘indquarters…’Ell’s bells! Me ‘ats fell over me eyes; Oi can’t ‘ardly foind yer bung-‘ole!”

    From my masterpiece in progress, “Cockney With a Cocked Hat Pounds My Butt.”

    NOBODY PLAGIARIZE THIS!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  85. Sylkia
    Sylkia

    *slow claps with astonished face*

    YOU ARE FUCKING AWESOME FOR THIS!! So much fucking yes!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  86. Alex Wolf
    Alex Wolf

    Epic post! BRAVO!

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  87. Lynda Kimpel
    Lynda Kimpel

    Karma is warming up and ready to kick some ass. I hope Faleena is ready for it.
    #ByeFaleena

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  88. Kieran
    Kieran

    So I was curious if Jamila Jasper retitled Cocky Cowboy, and she did…

    Into The Cockiest Cowboy to Have Ever Cocked

    I’m so proud~

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  89. Trudy Scrumptious
    Trudy Scrumptious

    I’m not a writer or publisher, but this is clearly bullshit. I’m glad there’s already a lawsuit in the works.

    Are you sure this person isn’t the same person who is the subject of your “Worst Person You’ve Ever Met” blog? I mean, a fake writer who is delusional about their talent and insists that everyone eats the gold they shit out?

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  90. Amanda S.
    Amanda S.

    #ByeFaleena

    May 6, 2018
    |Reply
  91. EmmaG
    EmmaG

    I suspect she’s intentionally lying in that letter. I suppose she could be acting on really bad advice from her attorneys. But I think it’s much more likely that she has been made aware that she’s on very shaky legal ground, and thus took to bully tactics.

    Copyrights and trademarks get conflated by people a lot, including by Hopkins it seems like. But they’re actually distinct forms of intellectual property rights with different purposes. Trademarks are designed to protect a company’s association with a particular product or service, and the boundaries of trademarks are notoriously fuzzy. By design, this system tends to benefit larger companies that have greater capacity to enforce their claim through intidimation, even if their claim is dubious.

    I think Hopkins picked up that, knowing that cease and desist letters can be powerful even if they are legally unenforcable. But she should have paid more attention to the several instances where a company’s trademark lawsuit is regarded by the public as harrasment and unjustifiable conduct. It’s very preditacble that this would backfire on her. Big cooporations have the ability to weather a storm of bad publicity coming from a sketchy lawsuit (but even they sometimes have to back down). An obscure indie author? Not so much.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I doubt her lawyers, if she actually has any, told her anything of the kind. Your lawyer usually handles that kind of correspondence. If you’re a big corporation, you might have a legal department in-house, but any communications of that nature go out on the department’s or firm’s letterhead.

      As I said in a previous comment, I consulted a lawyer at one point, and he told me which ordinances to cite in the letter, but specifically told me NOT to mention his name since I hadn’t retained him yet. Once I had retained him, I turned over all communications from the other party to him, and I was never to respond to them independently.

      Either this firm is really fly-by-night or…is it possible she’s so up herself she picked a lawyer’s name off the web and tried to use it to intimidate other writers?

      Btw, one reason so many brands are deliberately misspelled (Playskool, Krispy Kreme, Publix) is copyright issues:
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensational_spelling

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • EmmaG
        EmmaG

        I agree with you. Any law firm would be unhappy to see a client sending out homemade cease and desist letters.

        And i very much doubt that the firm told her that not only was she guaranteed a win, she would be awarded the full profits AND attorney fees. It has to be an exceptionally strong case for all that to happen, and her case looks pretty weak. Also, consider that many trademark lawsuits end in settlements.

        It looks more and more like she’s using the registration to convince Amazon to take down the titles, even abusing copyright violation reporting options. There’s a lot of backlash, so maybe Amazon can be made to reconsider their policy on this. Maybe.

        … I know of a handful of cases, where men have hired attorneys and threathened defamation lawsuits against women, who talked publicy of sexual assault committed by them. Those men did not have the money to go through with it, but it still worked out for them, because it’s scary as hell to be brought in to the bewildering world of civil lawsuits. So many people shut up or retract.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
  92. Kathryn Dee
    Kathryn Dee

    A brilliantly worded Blog response to this stupid twat of a woman who has the audacity to call herself an Indie Author.
    This women clearly has a n agenda but as you’ve so beautifully pointed out, said agenda is very short sighted and I really want to be the person who throws the drink in her face. I will provide photos.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Footage better. Link to it if you can’t upload here.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
  93. Adrienne
    Adrienne

    Wonder why she never felt the need to trade mark any of the other series names out of the 60+ books she’s written between two pen names?

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  94. Margaret Jane Bates
    Margaret Jane Bates

    Of course now she’s started deleting her passive aggressive victim Facebook posts and the posts attacking other authors. I don’t think she gets it’s the internet and everyone saves caps.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  95. Maaike
    Maaike

    Savage, Jenny, savage!
    But boy oh boy, trademarking the word cocky, that’s ludicrous. I hope that gets straightened out, she shouldn’t get away with this. Are you gonna do follow up post once RWOA have taken action? I need to know that reasonable people still exist in the industry after the succes of EL James.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  96. Jenny Trout, I demand you allow my dried up ovaries the opportunity to come out of retirement and HAVE YOUR BABIES! <3

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  97. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Jenny, PLEASE spork this thing, if you can stand it.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      One of the links on your article is worth quoting extensively:
      ****************************************************
      Choose a genre with voracious readers. Space marines, post-apocalyptic, and all sub-genres of romance are popular. Get your social media accounts set up and make sure they already look popular before you publish a thing. Write so fast you’re basically publishing a first draft. Once a month is a necessity, once a week is even better. You probably can’t do anything long at that pace, so try out what the MVP — minimum viable product — is for your genre. Put entire other books in your back matter to beef up your page count if you have to. Put the book in Kindle Unlimited and email strangers on GoodReads for reviews. A lot of reviews. If you’re buying reviews, don’t admit it. (But you’re probably buying reviews.) Now you pour all your money into advertising.

      From:
      https://medium.com/@CeeEmStone/how-indie-publishing-got-all-cocked-up-1731733d0340
      ****************************************************
      The emphasis on marketing and palpable contempt for the product itself is an insult to both writers and readers. I used to like Regencies (you can laugh, it’s OK), but I found I liked Joan Smith’s better than most, so I looked for her NAME, not the usual key words of “Miss,” “Duke,” “Lord,” or the inevitable girl-in-high-waisted-dress on the front, with or without gentleman-in-top-hat-and-cravat.

      BTW, even Georgette Heyer wouldn’t get five-star reviews for EVERY book.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • Failed Indie
        Failed Indie

        Thanks for that link. People tend not to believe me when I say how tough the indie world is (you’re a loser if you don’t quit your job to focus on marketing, etc.) – so I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt out of step with the Easy Plans For Ultimate Cash.

        And I have plenty of respect for an ethical hustle! But I care about craft, too, which is um… not typical in that world.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
        • Miimers
          Miimers

          Yeah, there’s a distinct push to be appallingly productive if you go indie. What a lot of those people who promote stuffing and publishing a book per month fail to always mention is that they also make money from affiliate marketing on various websites they run and selling workshops purporting to train other, new authors to make those 5-6 figure sums.

          I’m not saying people shouldn’t do workshops or sell webinars or online courses for writing. Nor that you shouldn’t have passive income sources.
          What I am saying is that there is a certain section of indie publishing that is structured like a pyramid scheme.

          May 7, 2018
          |Reply
          • Yep.
            I’m an indie author, and I’m constantly bombarded with ‘sign up for this webinar on how to make 6 figures!’, ‘Let me teach you how to earn big money in these 7 steps!’ and so on.

            Like, Mate, I have two shift-work day jobs to pay the bills, because I focus on releasing two or three well-written books a year, rather than churning out book after book that is pretty much the same story with the setting and a few details changed.
            Has anyone else noticed that the people who release a book a month are usually releasing instalments of a series or individual books that are overpriced and turn out to be much shorter than you expected, or is it just me?

            As it stands, I’ve published 15 books over 3 years, several of which had the first draft written before I took a chance on indie publishing. They are also Novella-length, since I write mostly for a teen audience and noticed while working as a TA that very few students went for the thick books if there was a shorter option available.
            Maybe one day they’ll pick up in sales and make me rich. Until then, I’m happy with the 5 – 20 I sell per month.

            May 7, 2018
  98. Chris
    Chris

    Because I’m on a deadline, I read her bio (because someone here said that it was a great read) and I noticed that she’s pulling a Lani Sarem at the end too. Or what do you call it when someone randomly inserts *feminism* into their text? Where the fuck does that sentence “even if we’re women” come from? What? Why? How? Why?

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
      • Chris
        Chris

        Didn’t know that one. AWESOME, thanks! 🙂

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
        • Bookjunk
          Bookjunk

          My pleasure! I LOVE that sketch, especially the zinger at the end.

          May 7, 2018
          |Reply
  99. Jen Mc
    Jen Mc

    What a POS. Really. Why would this even be allowed? What’s next “lover” , “alpha male”. This author needs to STFU and hope anyone EVER buys from her again!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  100. Anon
    Anon

    What I find most baffling about this is how she got the FTC to approve it in the first place. It’s a common word.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  101. Well said! There are so many burning questions. Such as, how in the hell did she get the trademark to begin with? Is she truly such a narcissist that she didn’t think anyone would be upset? Does she truly believe she has upped the game and changed the industry as she has claimed? (I have a screenshot if you want it.) I have more things I’d like to say, but not in polite company. 😉

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  102. Stormy
    Stormy

    Possibly it’s because I’m a provincial rube unfamiliar with “the biz,” but I fail to see how “change your title or I’ll take all your money” equates to “I never threatened anyone.”

    Also, if you can’t explain things like “stock photography licenses” to your provincial, rube-like readers, you may not be the talented writer you thought you were.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I think she must have as much contempt for her readers as she has for other writers. The concept of stock photography libraries is pretty simple: they used to send a huge catalog of genre pictures of “sunsets” or “happy couples” around agencies, but now it’s all on the web. You choose your picture, and if you don’t want anyone else to use it, you’re going to have to pay a lot more, if the photographer and library even allow exclusive sales.

      My ex- sold certain shots repeatedly (usually cityscapes) for in-house industrial films. If he’d sold something like the exterior of the diner used as an establishing location shot in “Seinfeld,” they’d have to pay him and the library every time they use it or show the episode.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
  103. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Re: Hopkins’ legal representation: There is a Jonathan Pollack who is listed on LinkedIn as “Attorney at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Entertainment Law Firm.”

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-pollack-b48baa32

    Wonder if anyone’s tried to interview him yet….

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  104. Zzzzen
    Zzzzen

    “As you can guess, self-publishing is expensive. A single book can cost me anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars to publish.”

    I’m sorry for asking, but I am genuinely curious as to how self-publishing could cost anywhere near that much. I publish through Createspace.com and it costs less than $3 per book, and there is no minimum amount I am forced to order. I can literally just order one book if I want. Createspace prints high-quality books. Even the paper stock they use is on par with the big publishing houses.

    Are you counting promotion of your book in the above price?

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • Stacy
      Stacy

      Not speaking for Jenny, but I think she’s referencing costs before any book is even made. There are lots of places that will print books for you, all you need is some quality time with google. The thing is, the book that comes out is only as good as the book that goes in.

      From an earlier post at http://jennytrout.com/?p=11855

      “Q: Looking through old Big Damn Writer answers, I saw you said it takes anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 to self-publish. What all does that get spent on?

      A: On one of my books, the breakdown goes (in approximate values):

      $600 for content editing
      $400 for line editing
      $40-$100 for cover art

      That isn’t factoring in stuff like software that I had to buy that I use on more than one book, or advertising because I very, very rarely advertise. I don’t find the ROI on advertisements is quite as good as just buying prizes for a giveaway. And since many editors charge by the word, longer books cost more to edit than shorter ones. If A Song Of Ice And Fire was a self-published series, George R.R. Martin would not arrive in the same price neighborhood.”

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
  105. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Let’s not use that and cunt as insults. That’s and cunts are both useful and pleasant.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Twat*
        $-@# spell check

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
  106. Karen
    Karen

    I really wish Disney/Lucasfilm would release ‘Don’t Get cocky’ T-shirts to coincide with the release of the Solo film. Let’s see you try to sue The Mouse, bitch.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  107. Bree
    Bree

    I hope Faleena Hopkins gets sued into the ground for this by Romance Writers Of America’s IP attorney. In the meantime, Jamila Jasper re-titled her book to “The Cockiest Cowboy To Have Ever Cocked” which is honestly a total power move.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Notice she even avoids the split infinitive!

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • Bree
        Bree
        May 8, 2018
        |Reply
        • Bree
          Bree

          I tried to reply with the hand clapping emoji but I guess it didn’t post?? Anyway yeah she re-titled like a champ, including avoiding the split infinitive. But I’m still mad that she was bullied into doing so in the first place by Faleena. Like how insecure must she be as a writer that she trademarks the word “cocky” to avoid other books with that word from rightfully outselling hers?

          May 8, 2018
          |Reply
  108. Chris Huennekens
    Chris Huennekens

    Opportunity missed: Bye Faleena! 🙂

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • Also this book she has “banned” was out BEFORE Faleena’s. Hopkins is just a damn tyrant.

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • Jane Eyre
        Jane Eyre

        Wow, just wow.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Why aren’t her lawyers sending out the notices on letterhead?

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • My guess is she’s going to need quite a few lawyers after this is all over.

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
        • Miimers
          Miimers

          Does she actually have a lawyer? None of this sounds in any way like it has a legal blessing from someone with even a fraction of legal knowledge. “My lawyer” could refer to a distant relative or someone from the FB book group, and not anyone she has paid for. Just my two cents, but wouldn’t an IP lawyer decidedly advice against this sort of behaviour?

          May 8, 2018
          |Reply
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            I ran this by someone who is currently dealing with lawyers, as I did recently. You don’t name drop them in any correspondence with the other party just for a consultation. You have to retain them. Once you’ve retained them, THEY issue all communications on the legal firm’s letterhead, and you are not to communicate with the other party in any way.
            This smells.

            May 8, 2018
          • Bree
            Bree

            In my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, if you’re name-dropping a lawyer the way she is, you’re doing it to drum up fear and get a certain reaction. On the occasions that I retained a lawyer, I never communicated beyond the words “please speak to my attorney, here is her information” – who then handled all communications for me. The fact that Faleena is threatening all kinds of legal recourse and telling authors “my lawyer said this, that, and the other thing” tells me that she’s just fear-mongering. She’s banking on people being unable to fight the legal battle and choosing to concede, and unfortunately a lot of people ARE in that situation.

            TL;DR: I don’t believe she actually has a lawyer, she’s just a horrible person.

            May 8, 2018
          • Bree
            Bree

            On the occasions that I retained a lawyer, I never communicated beyond the words “please speak to my attorney, here is her information” – who then handled all communications for me. The fact that Faleena is threatening all kinds of legal recourse and telling authors “my lawyer said this, that, and the other thing” tells me that she’s just fear-mongering. She’s banking on people being unable to fight the legal battle and choosing to concede, and unfortunately a lot of people ARE in that situation. She might have consulted with a lawyer or spoken to someone who has some legal experience, but likely more in the sense of “Can I technically sue this person? Yes? Great” and then ran out to threaten and brow-beat hardworking authors into submission because she’s an asshole.

            TL;DR: I don’t believe she actually has a lawyer, she’s just a horrible person.

            May 8, 2018
          • Bree
            Bree

            Agh, sorry, that posted twice – I thought the original one didn’t post so I rewrote it… 🙁 sorry for clogging the feed

            May 8, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            If she actually has them, she needs to fire them. Or else they’ve given her proper advice, but she’s not listening to them.

            May 9, 2018
  109. Lisa M
    Lisa M

    I had never heard of faleena before but she’s now on my NEVER BUY OR READ list!
    I hadn’t heard of you either, chance brought this post to my newsfeed … I think I love you!!!!
    I’m now following and getting to know you

    Hi

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Read Jenny’s sporks of the Fifty Shades series. Hilarious, and quite informative about writing techniques

      May 7, 2018
      |Reply
      • Lisa M
        Lisa M

        Will do

        May 7, 2018
        |Reply
  110. Mar
    Mar

    Did she by chance trademark CUNTY too?
    Because she is.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  111. Love, love, love this! Mediocrity will always show itself. Bottom line, instead of writing well and continuing to publish, the way most of us try to succeed as Indies, she pulls this to get attention. I am so proud of the authors affected by this for not taking it lying down and of the community for calling it like they see it.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  112. FuzzyBear
    FuzzyBear

    Technically didn’t she trademark the word in a particular font? Why are others changing their book titles? Is she being deliberately misleading or just stupid?

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
    • Jemmy
      Jemmy

      She did both from what I’ve seen. In a specific font and generally.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  113. Linda Bloodworth
    Linda Bloodworth

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Thanks for speaking up what authors are thinking. I would also love to see someone get a picture of said drink in face.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  114. My application for the words ‘A’, ‘The’, ‘Girl’, ‘Boy’, ‘Train’, and ‘Love’ is pending so be warned. Seriously though, what an excellent post about a sadly deluded idiot.

    May 7, 2018
    |Reply
  115. fiona
    fiona

    Clapping here, I’d never heard of this woman before in my life and wished I’d never now. I am shocked and disgusted how she is finding the whole thing amusing. I live to read. I’m in Australia and am following this closely. No respect for this person at all.

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      No kidding! I was almost feeling sorry for her for being so self-destructive, but then I saw her smirking comment about eating ice cream.

      This woman is the female equivalent of Pharma-Bro.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  116. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    In recent updates, Faleena Hopkins is suing Mother Goose, citing infringement in the cases of “Who killed Cock-Robin?” and “Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross.”

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
  117. John Smith
    John Smith

    Love the “this-stupid-bitch.jpg” and “more-faleena.jpg”

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
  118. JB
    JB

    If someone else published a romance novel with the word Cocky in the title BEFORE this stupid bitch, then they can EASILY and CHEAPLY file a petition against the copyright currently held and simply prove they did it first. All you need to do to win such a claim is prove you were using that copyright in business before the current holder, and the copyright is reversed and transferred to you.

    Just sayin’.

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
    • Mena Reven
      Mena Reven

      They have. But she’s also used Amazon to have other author’s works taken down that were published PRIOR to hers, causing them an income loss. So she could have a class-action lawsuit brought against her as well. Plus she fraudulently used the font as a part of her trademark, which is a criminal case. Interesting to see how this plays out. Oh, the photos she claimed to have taken herself? A google search finds them on clothing sites and other similar websites.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  119. Amanda
    Amanda

    First, it looks like she also trademarked “cocker brothers”, can we trademark “cocker” and claim all of her royalties? I’m going to look into that…

    Second, she only trademarked it in a certain font (that the creator of didn’t give her permission to do…) and, yet, she’s claiming in her letter that it applies to any font. Scare tactics.

    Third, the grammar in that letter makes me grind my teeth. It’s f*cking awful.

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      WWJCS (What Would Joe Cocker Say?)

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
  120. anonymous
    anonymous

    Watching that Facebook live stream she did, I feel like Falafel is approaching Laurell K. Hamilton-like levels of delusional hubris now. Without the actual “career” to back it up, of course.

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
  121. Not Into Social media
    Not Into Social media

    I saved the video (347 MB !) off this morning. If you want a copy let me know where I can upload it without needing to create Yet Another Account. I am not on youtube, facebook, twitter, nor dropbox. Merely a lurker.

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
  122. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Someone posted the video on YouTube, and “Harley Jameson” put the link right on Fajita’s Twitter page:

    May 8, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I’ve watched about 4 minutes. I’ll try again later. I don’t think I can get through this without taking it in increments.

      May 8, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        You are awesome!

        Jeez Lou-freakin’-WEESE….How could Hopkins think it was a good idea to post this in the first place? When I had an issue with one of my committee members in grad school, I waited 24 hours before I sent an email, and it’s a good thing I did. Mad messaging is no better than drunk dialing.

        If she actually has lawyers, which a number of people (including me) question, she needs to fire them and get new ones.

        May 9, 2018
        |Reply
  123. J.S. Frankel
    J.S. Frankel

    Thank you, Ms. Trout, for saying what needed to be said. I’ll also admit that I had never heard of FH before all this happened; I write YA Fantasy and don’t have a great interest in the romance genre, although I greatly respect those who write in that genre, as I respect all writers, no matter what genre they write in.

    But Ms. H’s sense of entitlement totally reeks, IMO. She’s not the only one who uses “cocky” in her titles, she’s not the only one who’s done photo shoots, and she’s not the one who’s being hurt by her actions. (Now, though, that’s a different story).

    That video of her where she claims she’s the victim was, in a single word, unbearable. (Okay, I’ll add ‘cringey’ as well). Keep bringing the truth, Ms. Trout. Superb article.

    May 9, 2018
    |Reply
  124. I couldn’t even get through the first two minutes.
    I’ve never seen such a fascinating combination of delusion, entitlement and wah-wah-I’m-the-REAL-victim in a single person before.

    May 9, 2018
    |Reply
  125. OMG awesome post and I died laughing at some of these comments. I must admit , I thought I had never heard of her until I trawled my own goodreads and found one of hers from 2 years ago I 3 starred (my version of a 1) with no actual review (meaning I disliked). I had to read the blurb to even remember what it was about and then other reviews before I clicked. Mediocre story that was written badly. I hate what she is doing and so many of my fellow authors have now been affected with amazon removing reviews with the damn word and penalizing keywords now too UGHHH
    She is not an example of an indie author and she is not welcome in our tribe!

    May 9, 2018
    |Reply
  126. I’m just writing this as a hybrid author. I salute your article. I stand by you. And the laughs this honest, true post gave me says everything better than I ever could. Thank you, from an Indie and traditionally published author who supports you as do the masses.

    May 9, 2018
    |Reply
  127. “ If they don’t like our books, they don’t buy them. And they happily leave one-star reviews telling you what a pile of horse manure it is.

    Give me that over, “Please sir, will you publish my manuscript?” any day of the week.”

    She’s a pathological liar. Do you think she believes this shit herself?

    I know for a fact she went to my friend’s review for her book, which was low and left unimpressed comment.

    My friend raised some excellent point, still didn’t mark it as one star and only suggested the book was forgettable.

    Faleena left a comment suggesting thankfully the review wasn’t worth remembering either.

    That’s her idea of taking “readers’ opinions” over “talking” to publishers?

    This woman is delusional at best, psychotic at worst.

    May 9, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amy
      Amy

      I once wrote a story that was pretty forgettable in people’s minds. But strangely enough, there was one scene, just one, in the middle of the book that stood out in people’s minds and was remembered long after.

      I’ll admit it did hurt my feelings to know people didn’t like the story, but I was tickled pink to know that one scene stood out so much, every single reader remembered it years down the line.

      And Faleena is lying. She remembers that review. Obviously since she took effort to write back a nasty, ugly, unnecessary response.

      May 11, 2018
      |Reply
  128. LGiles
    LGiles

    I saw that she’d attended the 20 Books to 50K conference in the past in one of the links I was reading. Curious to know if she’s going this year. If anyone else sees her, please toss a drink in her face from me. 🙂

    May 10, 2018
    |Reply
  129. I’d suggest if we see her sitting alone at the bar at 20B-50K, I’d suggest we are nice, gracious (in victory because lets face it the trademark is going to be struck down when Kevin Kneupners petition gets processed), and buy her a drink without being at any time nasty or offensive.

    Not because we like her or support her shit in any way, but because we are better, nicer, kinder people than she is.

    May 10, 2018
    |Reply
    • H
      H

      Pardon my French but fuck that. I’m all for niceness but I definitely won’t be spending any of my hard earned money on buying a drink for a woman who literally tried to destroy the livelihoods of some authors in the name of “indie publishing” and “creating a brand” out of a common word. The kindest thing to do in that situation would be to simply ignore her rather than call her ass out in this figurative bar.

      May 11, 2018
      |Reply
      • Beedoo!
        Beedoo!

        I’m with H. In my experience if you’re nice about things, you just get treated like a doormat, the violator learns no lessons, and they try to pull the same shit again somewhere else after making a baseless apology. Nail her to the wall. Make sure she never works in this industry again.

        May 11, 2018
        |Reply
  130. You go girl! Way to tell her like it is! I love it! (throws confetti and does wild dance on my chair!)

    I love how you tell it like it is, Jenny with no holds barred. Keep shining your light. The world needs you!

    May 10, 2018
    |Reply
  131. […] What’s Cockygate, you ask? I won’t spill any more virtual ink on this topic, but here’s the lowdown: Some crazy author tried to trademark the word “cocky,” and then she tried to get Amazon to pull ANY OTHER ROMANCE BOOKS with the word “cocky” in the title. (Want more? Check out Jenny Trout’s fantastic summary of the entire shit-show by clicking here.) […]

    May 10, 2018
    |Reply
  132. […] get the full scoop check out Jenny Trout’s post on it here.   She has written so eloquently what everyone in the writing community is feeling and she gives you […]

    May 12, 2018
    |Reply
  133. It never occurred to me to use “cocky” in any of my titles. Now I will be sure to do so.

    May 16, 2018
    |Reply
  134. From a brief glance, it looks like she’s taken down anything that isn’t abundant praise, particularly for her Cocky series.
    Think I’ll avoid that particular train wreck for now.

    May 16, 2018
    |Reply
    • Beedoo!
      Beedoo!

      Good point to be skeptical about anything that only has high reviews. Indie authors should probably not have the power to moderate their own reviews. (Not to say you can’t have a mod swing a ban-hammer at someone leaving illegitimate reviews, but you shouldn’t be able to erase the bad ones just because you don’t like what was said. That’s censorship, and misinformation.)

      May 19, 2018
      |Reply
  135. Jane Doe
    Jane Doe

    “Authoring.” Dear ghod. I will never read a word of her stuff — not just because the one excerpt I saw sounded like it was ghost-written by Sarah Palin, but because this chowderhead thinks “author” is a verb…

    May 18, 2018
    |Reply
    • Beedoo!
      Beedoo!

      Well, you can author a book, you can have authored several books, but to say you’re “authoring” a book sounds mighty pretentious. Usually it’s a word others use when referring to your work; you don’t use it for yourself unless you’re extremely vain, case in point.

      May 19, 2018
      |Reply
  136. The reviews on my books are mostly 4-star, but the highest number of reviews I have on a single book is 8, so it’s not like scrolling through dozens of “OMGZ I Love it!!!!111!!” responses like you see with certain authors.

    May 19, 2018
    |Reply

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