Greetings Liz fans and stalker-types.
Here we are…the dog days of summer….August. When the air is hot, the grass crispy, the beer hopefully cold and out of a can because you’re at the lake/ocean/pool.
I took my vacay early this year as you all know because you’re such loyal followers so I’m stuck in the (1950’s un-air-conditioned) house with a panting dog, two cats who stare at me as if to ask “why you no turn off heat, stupid human?” and a few puttering fans. But it’s okay. No, really, I’m fine.
What I also am, however, is late with my not-at-all-professional analysis of “cocky-gate.”
Here we go…
A few months back, an author who will remain nameless although you likely know her name now (I’ll be circling back to that point in a few, be ready), who had a series with the word “Cocky” in the title, decided that her livelihood vis a vis her book sales was being directly threatened by a few other authors who’d decided to use the word “Cocky” in their titles. She filed for a trademark or copyright (I can never keep them straight) on that word, “Cocky,” and also for the font she used on the covers of her books which, if I can be brutally honest, until this came up in Romancelandia I had never heard of (again…foreshadowing. You’ve been warned.)
The word “cocky,” is one of those middle-school-giggle including ones that means, literally, “conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold or impudent way.” If you’ll allow me to impose some of my own personal opinions on that point—which you have to do because this here is my monthly post—I’m calling that a bit … pejorative. Not exactly a compliment. But we’ve, that is to say, “royal we the romance authors of the world” have done our job if our job includes convincing readers that “Alpha male” means being a jerk or even an a**hole. And that all these sweethearts require is the love of a twenty-five-year-old beautiful and quite possibly nerdy and/or introverted virgin for them to do a three-sixty, personality-wise.
“Liz!” you squawk. “Don’t you dare diss what we like to fantasize about lest you be subject to our twitter-flame, vague-book posts about ‘some authors who need to learn their place.’ You might lose a book sale.”
To this I say, “I’m not dissing, fair reader. I’m merely stating a well-known fact about trends in “heroes,” which thank the Good Lord above in Her Wisdom, is fading a bit.”
That said, for those of you still reading, I’d say that calling your heroes cocky right on the cover, or naming them as such, is your choice but honestly believing that other authors can’t use that same word is a little…what was it? Oh right: “conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold or impudent way.”
I’ve read conflicting reports about what This Author is doing now. For a while, she was overly fond of rambling, victim-y Facebook Live videos that pissed even more people off. Last I heard, she’d dropped the suit and her lawyer or publicist or both had posted a photo of her sitting at a coffee shop and writing in a notebook like a good girl. Then I saw some tweet or another bleating out that she had NOT dropped her suit.
I don’t know. And frankly, I no longer care. Which I think is the lesson best learned today, if you’re inclined to learn something from the Pro Rookie.
To wit: before this writerly brou-ha-ha broke I had never heard of this author or her books. But by golly that first day, she and her books were ALL I heard about. And did for about six days straight. During this time, while amused and mildly impressed on a PR level, I wasn’t at all tempted to read them. See above for my opinion on the use of the term “cocky” when describing a hero. Not my bag, as it were. But neither is dino porn and for some reason I’m hearing more and more about that.
Thanks to her Facebook outbursts and twitter rantings and ravings, I’m willing to bet she sold a book or two or five thousand. Because, fair warning: I’m too much of a public relations cynic not to smell a rat. In subsequent attempts to shame her and draw yet more attention to her and her cocky dudes, several new books and anthologies were hatched with cocks (the bird kind) on the covers plus (bonus) that word in every title of the book included therein.
I get it. Clever way to capitalize on an existing stew of attention in a world where you have to stand on a street corner in New York City naked with a cover model (preferably) to get your book noticed and then stay there a few weeks straight in your birthday suit in order to keep readers from forgetting about you. (tempting, right? I know…)
Thankfully, the loudest of the clamor has died down against this author and her clever nefarious machinations and attempt to get more attention keep other innocent authors creatively stifled with a laughable legal argument that she owned a commonly used word. But I’m willing to bet it’s not over. People like this don’t like to be out of the spotlight for very long. On some level, I have to admire the weeks-long conversation she managed to generate about her and her books. On another…well, see above. (Hint: where it says “I no longer care.”)
And the super cool thing is, I’m allowed to no longer care. Just like you, if you are still super pissed about it, are allowed to stay that way.
Fight the power, however you prefer to see it.
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
If you’re still into me after this post (your call, honestly) and are seeking a super fun way to read some new Liz books including a never-before-published Detroit-based sexy thriller with a kick-ass, math-nerdy heroine and her VERY cocky nemesis, download the RADISH READER APP using this link to “Precious Vessel.” Radish allows you to read on mobile devices and only pay for single episodes (or cliff-hanger chapters) at a time.