Monday Musings – Trademarks and Trade shows
I missed last week’s Monday Musings because I’m trying to get as many words written before I head to the United States on Tuesday. So, here’s what’s been on my mind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about trademarks recently – especially with the magazine and some other ideas I have under the umbrella of Love’s Great Adventure.
In a previous working life, I’ve been down the trademarking route before. It is time consuming, relatively expensive and not a light commitment.
At the moment I’ve been working on the brand value (yes, it’s all very marketing speak, I know).
What do you, the reader, expect to experience when you open up one of my books?
I hope my stories live up to the brand promise implied in Love’s Great Adventure – romance, adventure, authentic historical setting and periods, and a happily ever after (naturally!).
It’s my view that I have to earn that reputation first before I can do something as bold as trademarking my name or my tag line, which brings us too something which has exploded in the publishing world over the the past week.
An American indie author unknown to me, by the name of Faleena Hopkins managed to trademark the wordmark and the stylised word Cocky as it relates to ebooks and print books.
This might have continued to go wholly unremarked upon, except she started sending threatening cease and desist letters to authors who also happened to have the word Cocky in their titles.
Well, the whole imbroglio blew up bigger than Kim Kardashian’s bum – and shows no sign of deflating soon.
There have been all sorts of commentary about it from legal experts, non-legal experts who are good at researching and come up with an unfortunate (for Ms Hopkins) legal precedent, and those who have an interest in typography:
We reached out to the designer on Twitter. He is on vacation, but he very nicely explained that no, she definitely did not have his permission to use the font in a trademark.https://t.co/7lV8xoZoX9
— Courtney!!! Milan 🦖 (@courtneymilan) May 5, 2018
I really don’t have too much more to add on this subject other than my opening remarks about demonstrating brand value first, although an author from a Facebook group asked why Ms Hopkins believed her readers would not remember the name of the author over a series title. Good question, I can think of a number of reasons – one in particular relates to the fact that Ms Hopkins is an actress and aspiring filmmaker. I suspect she’s visualising her Cocky books as a series of romance films (indeed she’s planning to film her first film soon). Another thing I know, is she is enjoying the attention. One might suggest that she is actually reveling in the controversy – the usual Twitter mob tactics that would quail a lesser ego are not going to work on Ms Hopkins.
Yay! I honestly can’t believe my tweet has been seen by so many. My phone has been blowing up & all of it is positive support for our indie authors #byefaleena 🙅🏼♀️ — sheisfondofbooks (@sheisfondofbks) May 5, 2018
There is no downside – even if her trademark is withdrawn she has still won because it has drawn attention to herself and increased her SEO.
The Romance Writers of America is already looking into the situation and formulating a response. The font creator has been informed and is considering his options. Those directly affected by the C+D letters have a course of action they can take directly.
To everyone else, I have some words of advice. This is how one handles such a personality in the workplace:
Maintain a positive outlook. If you are dealing with narcissists who derive pleasure from watching others suffer, then seeing the pain they cause will only egg them on to more aggressive counter-behavior. Don’t look ruffled, even if you’re feeling annoyed, and eventually that behavior will diminish in frequency. Furthermore, by keeping the previous tips in mind, you may be able to help ease the situation so things actually improve.
There are so many people I’m looking forward to meet face to face for the first time – my publisher Kathryn Le Veque, editor Scott Moreland, my delightful Bluestocking Belle colleague Sherry Ewing as well as many, many other authors and readers whom I’ve got to know thanks to the wonders of the Internet.
My husband and I have decided to make a real road trip of it with a hire car for just over two weeks. It’s going to be great fun.
There will be a photo spread from the road trip as well as from RT in the June edition of Love Great Adventure magazine.
If you’re coming along to RT as either a writer or a reader – please do stop and say hello. I’ve have Tim Tams to share.
I can tell you more about this upcoming edition. I’ve had a sneak peek at the cover and it is sensational. It’s nearly finalised and I hope to share it soon.
In this edition – we have a special feature with not one but three historical romance authors who have new releases set in Queensland. And since Queensland Day in on June 6, I thought it was perfect to showcase stories set in such diverse settings as Tropical Far North Queensland, the great pasture lands of the Southern Downs and the canefields of the central coast.
I’m thrilled to have Jude Knight do an interview with Gil Rutledge the hero of her latest release The Realm of Silence.
Morwena Gambino – the heroine of Shadow of the Corsairs shares her playful side and plans an authentic feast and shares her recipes with us.
Caroline Warfield takes over our Games page in this edition with puzzles relating to her title The Renegade Wife. So, dive in, by the book if you haven’t already, so you’re ready.
We’re delighted to have Victoria Vane as our regular historical fashion correspondent. Her insight into costumes will be in every edition.
Noelle Clark, author of Stone of Heaven and Earth will be sharing some fascinating research and family history she uncovered when researching her book which is set in China in the early 20th century.
You can read the first edition of Love’s Great Adventure here. The March edition is exclusive to subscribers. But it is free – just sign up here to get the most recent edition and be on the list to receive each new edition.