Posted in Writing

The Faleena Hopkins Saga

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s Mother’s Day Weekend and I’m excited to celebrate my mom.  We’re all gathering at her house because she’s lives kind of in the center of all of us siblings.  That means I won’t be able to spend as much time writing as I would like, but it’s always like this at the end of the school year.

Anyway, today I thought I’d talk about a big blow up in the writing community.   This is one of those stories that is stranger than fiction and it’s totally true. We’ll call it The Faleena Hopkins Story.

Photo on Visualhunt

To 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 the facts on how it all came about. I’ll give you a quick run-down. Faleena Hopkins is a self-published author who has a series on the market with the word “Cocky” in her titles because her characters are the Cocker brothers. She has trademarked the word “Cocky.”

Now everyone in their right mind knows they can’t trademark titles or even words for that matter.  Because if you can, I’m going to trademark the words “The” and “And.” Do you see why you can’t do this?

Photo credit: cheerfulmonk on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

We all know Faleena is mistaken.  Her biggest mistake is that she doesn’t understand the difference between her brand and her title. “Cocky” is a word she is using in the title of her books. It is not a brand. Titles cannot be copyrighted and neither can names of characters.

To protect her “brand” she has sent cease and desist orders to other authors with the word “Cocky” in their titles. This has caused quite an uproar in the writing community and we have to question her motives. After all, I’ve never heard of Faleena Hopkins until this transpired. Now, all of a sudden her name is in blog posts and tweets have exploded on twitter discussing this issue. Could this be a publicity stunt that has gone hopelessly awry?

Photo credit: Steve Crane on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

No. I don’t think it is. I believe Faleena actually believed she was protecting her brand. She misunderstood what a brand was and unfortunately, this misunderstanding has hurt her writing career. Most likely ruined it. I know there are many readers who’ve been put off by Faleena’s actions. So if she’s hoping to ever get a traditional publishing deal…yeah…well that bridge has been burned.  The RWA (Romance Writers of America) has joined this battle to help some of these authors who now have to engage in costly legal battles to keep their titles.

We can all learn from Faleena’s mistake. When you start marketing your books, set some goals and figure out a way to reach them. If you have questions on how to do this, talk to other authors who are doing it. The writing community is filled with people who are willing to lend a hand. It’s such an amazing group of people and for God’s sake make sure you understand the difference between a brand and a title. It’ll save you all kinds of money in legal fees if you do. To get more info on the saga just follow the hashtags #cockygate and #ByeFaleena on Twitter. It’ll be interesting to see where this all goes.

Photo credit: m_shipp22 on VisualHuntCC BY

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What are your feelings on the Faleena Hopkins saga? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

22 thoughts on “The Faleena Hopkins Saga

  1. I hadn’t heard about this, but it does seem to be a mistaken case of overreach. On the one hand, I give too little thought to “my brand” but on the other hand, this just seems absurd. Thank you for bringing this to my attention and for approaching it from a balanced perspective. You’re right, I’m sure she’s not trying to be ridiculous. But then again, when we’re being ridiculous, we often are the last to know.

    1. Yes. I’m sure when she started out, it made perfect sense, and unfortunately her legal counsel didn’t advice her properly when she applied for the trademark. I’ve heard she must’ve lied on the application to get the trademark but this is a rumor that I have no way of substantiating. However, recently I’ve been informed that she’s taken this to the media and now with media coverage it’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out. I’ll be keeping my followers posted. I just feel writers should know about this so if they’re ever in this situation they know they can do something about it.

  2. Poor Faleena doesn’t realize she IS the brand, and not her titles. Hmmm… lucky you didn’t name your series The Super Cocky Spies. LOL! Great post, and very eye-opening, Lisa! Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day, girlfriend!

    1. Yes! You are so right, Sharon! I dodged a bullet on that one, didn’t I? I had to laugh when I first heard about this and then again when it blew up. She doesn’t even realize she’s killed her writing career. The last I’ve heard is that she’s gone to the media with this story. This is going to be interesting that’s for sure!

  3. I have no plans on writing a book, but this woman makes me want to so I can name it “The Cockiest of the Cocky.” Who wants to trademark poop anyway?

    1. LOL! Oh you made me laugh so hard! It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer and sharing your thoughts and for the laugh! 🙂

  4. I have not heard about this saga but it seems so bizarre. How on earth this deluded woman thought she could copyright ‘cocky’ is beyond me! It is a shame that it has got so out of hand now though and may even ruin her career! ‘There is nowt so strange as folk’ as the saying goes! 🙂

  5. I hadn’t heard of this! It reminds me of Taylor Swift trademarking something I thought strange too- gone out of my head!
    Have you given the blog a new look? Very pretty!

  6. I hadn’t heard of this either. Are there that many books with cocky in the title?
    …And if there are so many, than surely one of the older authors would be able to sue Faleena back. I don’t think she thought this through!!

    1. No, she didn’t and it’s quite a mess. She’s sent out another batch of cease and desist orders. I’m wondering if all this attention has helped or hurt her book sales. I’m intrigued by this whole situation.

      1. I wonder. I have to admit receiving a cease and desist order wouldn’t endear her to me if I was an author, but maybe some readers are curious about who is making a fuss!?

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