Faleena, please grab a cup of chamomile tea, have a sit down and clear your mind. Put all of your #cockygate concerns in a little box, lock it up and shove it in a corner for the next few minutes. Just read.

Admitting you made a mistake is NOT a sign of weakness. It is not ‘backing down’. It is not letting others diminish or steal the little light inside you that you’re so desperate to protect. I’m not sure what happened to you that you think others are always trying to keep you down, or derail your life, but no one, lemme repeat that…NO ONE wants to do that.

Admitting your mistakes is the STRONGEST thing you can ever do. It is a sign of character, of maturity and humility. No one would’ve kept #cockygate going IF you had just admitted your mistake. If you had just said, you know what, Trademarking Cocky was the wrong thing to do. I’m going to rescind it and Trademark it the right way. “Cocker Brothers; The Cocky Series” upsets NO ONE. It is in fact, the right way to protect the brand you’ve been working on for so long.

All this nonsense in your blog does nothing to further your cause. It does nothing to improve anyone’s opinion of you. And you may dismiss that last line by being defiant, claiming that you don’t care what anyone thinks of your choices. But remember, dear. All these people who now have soured on you were potential readers. They were. Now they aren’t. And readers talk. Especially when there’s a hint of negativity or scandal. An author’s reputation can be made in a few minutes, or destroyed equally as fast. It’s all on you.

Claiming people were out to get you by pirating your book on iTunes trying to get you kicked out of KU – do you really think you’re the only one it’s happened to? I know of at least three other authors. None of which have Cocky in their titles. In this respect, you are not unique or special. We’ve all been pirated to some degree, because nothing is hack proof anymore.

Unfortunately, the way you chose to handle this is the root of the uproar. Instead of sending C&D letters yourself, trademarking single words, and filing lawsuits, perhaps you should’ve dealt with Tara Crescent and these “other authors” who allegedly copied you on an individual level. Even if that required a lawyer. Trademarking a word that affects hundreds of authors or potential authors was the wrong move. The word cocky, by the way – Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland started the trend, so I’m sorry to say, you should not, under any circumstances, try to claim this as yours alone. A surge of Cocky books did not pop up because of you.

A surge of book covers with titles designed like yours was not because of you either. I myself, published two books in 2015 and 2016 with a block font, and a script font for the title. It’s a common design theme. Now I won’t get into minutia about the timeline of what you did and when, but I can assure you, no one was copying your book covers.

The point of all this? We’re all sick to death of #cockygate. And we’re all angry at you. Yes. You. Because this is

ALL. YOUR. FAULT.

Please read that again. Absorb it. And repeat.

You are playing the victim here. But you are not. You are the antagonist in this story and now it’s time for you to write the final chapter. You can do it the right way, or you can continue down this awful road you’re on.

Just remember what you’re doing. You’re limiting other authors and would-be authors from expressing their creativity. Now we have to spend time searching the USPTO to make sure we won’t be sued.

You have spawned an unlimited amount of copy cats. Single words are being Trademarked everywhere in all genres, flooding the USPTO with more frivilous trademark applications than they can probably handle. Thus, generating more stress and confusion for authors, and undoubtedly, more time consuming and expensive law suits.

The very worry you have about “Being crushed” by lawyers is EXACTLY the future you’ve setup for the rest of us. We’ll all have to live with the threat of being sued because of random words.

This is your legacy Faleena.
Not who you are.
Not the light inside you.
Not your friends or family.

And most certainly, not your writing.

Why? It’s not because you’re a horrible writer.

It’s because you’ve buried your books under a shit ton of controversy and anger and a narcissistic need to be in the spotlight, playing yourself as the victim, over and over.

That is your legacy.

Why don’t you do what’s right? Drop the lawsuits, pull the Trademark. Refile it for “Cocker Brothers of Atlanta: The Cocky series” or something similar.

Recover your reputation and make yourself known for being humble and strong enough to admit your mistakes.

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