Monday, May 7, 2018

#CockyGate and My Thoughts on the Topic

If you follow the book world, then #CockyGate is probably familiar to you by now.  If not, let me explain what's going on.  An author, Faleena Hopkins, decided to trademark the word Cocky.  Obviously that's a problem because bestselling authors like Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Sean Ashcroft and hundreds of other authors already have (and had) books with that word published in the title already.  I even have a book titled 1/2 Cocked which isn't Cocky, but it helps you understand the issue.  In the romance world, Cocky is a common word, and obviously this author had no chance in taking every single person to court who use it in titles, inside the books, and for promotional reasons.  The entire author community came together to protest as you can see by this petition.

Personally, I found it rather cocky for an author to think she owned the right to a word, and I'm sure it won't hold water.  I'm not a legal expert, so if you want to read about the legal ramifications of this follow this link:  In my opinion, this was done in bad taste, and though I'd never heard of this author before, I certainly would NEVER buy any work from a person that felt the need to use controversy like this to get book sales.  If this was done as a marketing ploy, I find it in bad taste, and as you'll see from some of the comments I've captured below, so do the majority of romance authors.  Below you'll find a letter sent to one author with the word, Cocky in her book.

Now, let me just say, had I been this author, I would have taken her to court and laughed the entire way there.  I don't know the financial burden this author who was sent this cease and desist letter to is under, but I hope she's in the same position and can afford to go head to head with Hopkins to fight this.  I'd even take it one step further and encourage every romance author I know to come out with a book titled with the word Cocky in and get a band of people on her side.  Then again, I'm a little petty, and I don't like the idea of some author thinking she can bully people instead of selling books because of her skill.  That's how I personally see this.  You don't try to destroy another author because of your lack of confidence.  I find it not only COCKY but it bad taste.

Apparently she's also trademarked a font that wasn't hers to trademark as shown here:
You can follow that topic from Set Sail Studios here:  and the hashtags to follow on twitter (and Facebook) are:  #CockyGate #ByeFaleena and #FreetheCocky which are pretty hilarious and good for entertainment if you need something to brighten up your Monday!  Feel free to write the US Trademark office and share your opinions to, because they have some 'splaining to do as well for allowing this

This type of idiocy can't be allowed to continue.  What's next?  Someone decided to Trademark these phrases too:  New Adult, Reverse Harem Romance, Contemporary Romance.  That puts things into perspective.  While I think this is a marketing ploy gone sour, I think it brings a topic to light that needs to be discussed.  Let me know your opinion by leaving a message below of hitting me up on twitter @MichelleHughes_ or Facebook

Since I'm feeling a little COCKY about all this, I decided to release my book 1/2 Cocked for free and hoping someone is idiotic enough to challenge me about using my title or the word cocky in it.  Go ahead and take my free gift and feel cocky when you do it!

1/2 Cocked on Amazon

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