If you're a fiction book-lover of romance books, you might have heard of the most recent scandal, #cockygate. So as a reader, I wanted to give my 2 cents. As a preface, before this all happened, I'd never heard of the author. And since this whole thing was apparently about protecting her brand, well, it's not a well known brand, like Harry Potter or Twilight. Well, it wasn't until this all exploded. Not that it could even reach those levels. I also hadn't heard of the authors told to change their books, since I'm not a straight up romance reader.
Another thing I'd like to say is that now knowing about her writing and this series, I won't be reading them, even if they sounded really interesting, because I don't want to support her. Because in trying to protect her brand, she took it too far, in my opinion.
If she'd trademarked a logo on the cover (and it looks like the series have a logo that she could've used) then it would've been fine. But she trademarked (which is apparently different from copyrighted, so if I use the wrong terms, oops, I'm a reader, not a lawyer!) "cocky" in terms of romance books, titles and series, apparently. And went after authors who had the word in their titles or series titles. Yeah. No.
Cocky is a pretty common work in romance books, and she wanted authors who used it to change theirs. This was just taken way too far. There's an image floating around the internet of what looks like an email one author received from her saying that if the author didn't take out the cocky they were using, then the lady would sue them and get the money that author had gotten from the title. Which is pretty horrible. Because she hadn't put in the work to write that book.
Apparently, one reason why she did what she did, was that readers had said that they'd bought other books thinking they'd be getting hers. As a reader, that's insulting. There's plenty of ways to make sure you get what book you're looking for. Author. Research on sites like Goodreads or the author's website. Most, if not all, authors websites have links to buy their books. Bah!
It's also insulting on another level. We readers love to read, and if I'd bought a book thinking it was another, well, hey, new book to read! And it supports more authors. There's plenty of reader and reader time to go around.
One thing that I'm seeing, too, is the idea that the people who came after her using cocky were copying her. But ideas and words like cocky have been around for a long time, and it's like, there's no original idea under the sun. It's how and what you write that's unique. So saying other others copied her, nope, sorry, you're just another person who had a similar idea, over and over.
Part of the outrage, it feels like, is that she only has 2 years in the industry, I don't know if that's being published, and by being part of the industry, I don't mean writing, but being an author, with writing, editing, and publishing. So she's new, and she's basically ignored the way the industry is. Ilona Andrews wrote a post, which started off with Burn for Me, and the two other books with the same exact title and of which there is no legal trouble. That she's a newbie and just disregarding the common practices of the industry, not cool!
One article I read said that she's a person, and to not attack her. OK, I think I succeeded with that. It mentioned that she made a business decision. Ok, she did. Well, I really hope she made some wrong choices, took things too far, and apologizes for the damages she's caused other authors. But I, as a reader, won't read her books. Sure, I'm only one person, but I doubt that I'm the only one. I don't hope that she lost readers because that'd be mean. (No sarcasm!) But I'm almost 100% certain that she did, because readers don't like authors who misbehave and who hurt instead of support, other authors.
A metaphor I thought of, is she's like a child who took a huge hunk of pie. And then told everyone that she was the only one who could make pie now. And took away the pieces of pie from the people who'd gotten it just before her, and made sure those who were after her couldn't have it, either.
All in all, after all this is over (hopefully with the trademark of the word cocky is revoked, and law precedents and stuff happen so this can't happen again) I hope that we remember the lesson-but not her. Why should we occupy our brains on this situation, the negatives? It would be a kind of justice that she did this to protect her brand, for her and her brand to be forgotten.
And sure, I'm just a reader/blogger, and this won't do anything to the situation, but I wanted to talk about it. Yeah. My two cents.
And now I'm going to curl up with a good book and my doggies!