Romance World Shenanigans

In previous posts, I’ve talked about how much I love the romance genre. In fact, I made a tag in my early blogging days called the Soul Ripping Romance Tag that made the rounds a bit. I follow the world estensively and I also follow a few WordPress authors who write romance serials on their blogs. Huge, huge fan.

The latest news in the world was initally all about RT and how the website and all it’s affliates were retiring. RT stands for Romantic Times. Most people are unaware of them especially in other countries but every year they host a giant convention that’s like the San Diego Comic Con of the book world. Every, and I mean EVERY, romance author or even authors who only incorporate a little romance (fade to black) in their stories, goes to this convention. It’s a HUGE deal and I had plans to go to one some day but I found out that this year was the last year. πŸ˜”

RT had been in business for an astounding 37 years. They had a regular magazine I got in my email and you could be a member or VIP member and get all these benefits and freebies. I was just a tiny part of the massive, amazing, supportive community but I’m gonna miss them.

In other news, the week before last I talked about trademarking and copyrighting and the differences between them. The subject came up cause there was an author who is currently in a legal battle over the word “cocky” that she felt was her right to trademark. Unfortunately, the saga is continuing.

Another author has filed a trademark for the word “forever”. 😐 I found this news our because an indie author I follow has a book called forever and she’s afraid she’ll be a target now. Multiple people have contacted the author about this and she’s claiming that she’s being impersonated and that she didn’t do that except to trademark her name and her series. Things are sketchy however because it was filed by her publisher who said they were advised by the attorney of this author. The author is still claiming it’s not hers even though the trademark is up officially.

This kind of thing just blows my mind. I don’t understand why these situations have all of sudden popped up. Is this some kind of pseudo marketing scheme to go viral and get your work attention even if it’s negative? I really hope this doesn’t expand past the romance genre because this type of behavior is just unbelievable especially when groups, bloggers and the community in general work so hard to promote and include everyone.

Have you heard about either of these stories? Does it feel like the end of a good era and the beginning of a bad one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

31 thoughts on “Romance World Shenanigans

  1. OMG???? Forever now??? This is getting so crazy!! As far as RT goes, I was very upset when they stopped printing the magazine! That was my book Bible and I would sit there for days reading the reviews!! It’s so sad that they will be no more! WTH is the world coming to Nel???😭

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    1. I know right. These authors are losing their minds!! I’m sad too! Granted the magazine had been around longer than I’ve been alive but I loved reading them! They’re only keeping the sure up for abyear then they’re taking it down for good 😭😭. Sad world we’re living in! We need a good replacement!

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  2. Which author is trademarking “Forever”? This makes me wonder if they trademark it today do they have the right to do anything about other published books published before they get the trademark?

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    1. I think if I’m searching this correctly it’s Heidi McLaughlin? Correct me if I’m wrong.
      I think Judy Blume, Jude Deveraux, Pete Hamill and even Robert Munsch will have an issue with it. I also heard the TM for “forever” was withdrawn. If that’s true that was a smart move even if it followed a selfish dumb move to start with.
      Some other authors( A quick Google search) Sandi Lynn, Cheryl Holt, Emma Dodd, Elle Thorne, even nonfiction author Gail Vaz-Oxlade… I had no idea how many books have ‘forever’ in the title. The list is insanely long.

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        1. Wow!!! That one is huge! I haven’t participated in a daily prompt or community pool in a while but man this is gonna affect a lot. Curious to see where they go next.

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      1. Yes. Heidi McLaughlin. I hope she withdrew the application but can she withdraw it if she didn’t do it in the first place? Cause that’s what she’s claiming. When I saw that the word was “forever” I immediately thought of a bunch of titles off the top of my head. It’s definitely a long list and not just in the romance world!

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    2. As far as cocky gate, that’s what she thought it meant which is why she sent out cease and desist emails to other authors that used cocky in their book titles. I looked at this trademark application and it stated all the way back to 2012 so I think they can try?

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        1. I wonder too since she’s claiming she’s being impersonated. Interesting stuff and I totally read can’t as something else πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ woops

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  3. That’s sad about the convention. Are there others that are similar?

    I saw on Goodreads that yet another author was doing this and it seems so strange to me. I’ve seen others talk about the publicity and exposure, but would people actually do that? Because you’d think they wouldn’t want their reputation ruined like that.
    It doesn’t make sense, but then again, sometimes people don’t make sense haha. Guess we’ll have to see how these pan out. ❀ Great post, Nel!

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    1. I heard rumors that it’ll be renamed but I guess we’ll see!

      As for this latest, she actually did file the application. It’s on the trademark gov website. I don’t think her reputation will be killed like the other lady if she’s telling the truth and it was all a mistake. Yeah, we’ll see!

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  4. What is wrong with people- why would anyone think it’s a good idea to trademark a single word?!!? And “forever” is in *so many* titles- this is so bloody stupid (Sheryl was listing a few, so I thought I’d add the book “Forever” by Judy Blume to that list- which was published in the 70s so… I mean, I don’t have to add how dumb that claim is, cos it’s just so dumb) Also it’s not like this is going to have a positive impact on an author’s sales- I think most people would avoid this sort of author like the plague. Anyway great post again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I don’t even understand wherr the idea even started. That’s what blows my mind. I think the publicity of it helps a little bit because I’d never heard of these authors before and it makes you search them but it definitely tanks their sales. Thanks! 😊

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    1. I don’t even want to imagine. I wish these authors would just stop though. It’s supposed to be a supportive community not a giant competition scheme.

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    1. Yeah! Started with the word cocky. An author blatantly filed a trademark and then sent emails to other authors telling them to cease and desist using the word and to change all their titles and cover art if it contains the word or she’ll sic her lawyers on them. Total bitch. Now it’s a different author with the word forever but she’s claiming she’s being impersonated. 😐 For the former story her reasoning was because her fans couldn’t find her books easy enough on Amazon and would accidentally buy another author’s book so it was hurting her sales and this was her solution.

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  5. How can you trademark words like cocky or forever? I’m honestly confused, because I’m pretty sure those are just words that can be found in every English dictionary everywhere, right??

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    1. You can trademark words out of the dictionary if the meaning for your trademark doesn’t take away from the original definition of the word. Apple is the best example because apple is a fruit but the company Apple trademarked it as meaning something completely different and therefore it’s allowed. What this author is doing isn’t right because she didn’t invent the word she’s trying to trademark and using it as a series title doesn’t detract from the original meaning in any way.

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      1. Yeah that’s what I meant 😊 I meant how can you trademark a word that your literally using as the word πŸ˜… But why would you even want to?

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        1. Her reasoning is essentially cause her readers are dumb and buy the wrong books cause they have a similar title or cover art so she’s losing money. It’s all selfish and greedy.

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  6. HI Nel! I’ve actually been to two RT Conventions and had such a great time at them both! I was so upset that RT was shutting down. My sister told me that one of the people who put on the RT convention was starting her own convention. It’s going to be in New Orleans in May of next year. It will be like RT, but without the writer seminars. It will be only reader events which sound great. I can’t think of the name though! aarrghh!! However, it gives us something to look forward to!

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