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Messages - WasAnn

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Haven't had a single sale this month...
« on: Yesterday at 06:29:28 PM »
Unless I saw it grouped with other SF thrillers, I'd think non-fiction. Possibly about ad conversions. Those big arrows just have that non-fiction look about them.

Yep, that's what I saw too. My second thought was it was about religious conversion or those camps. Mostly because of the arrows.

2
Before it was removed, I went and looked at the authors in the two box sets. My hair stood on end!

Seriously...I was in a box set after those...NOT with the person who organized those. Several of the people in those boxes came to ours because they wanted no more part of those tactics. We proved you could do a box and hit letters with entirely clean hands.

Even so..YIKES. Many of those who distanced themselves from that promoter were still in those boxes, then later in our box.

How many degrees of separation to be safe?

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Haven't had a single sale this month...
« on: Yesterday at 04:21:40 PM »
The cover:

If that's Canva...use the blue spill binary image. Then make the arrows bigger, sort of overlapping, and alter the color to add an element of danger to it.

The blurb:

Badly formatted and readers walk away from that. Too wordy...but not compelling.

The Look Inside:

Dense formatting doesn't read smoothly.

The Length/Price:

That's novella length, not a novel. Price attractively. Novellas often go farther at 0.99 in that genre.

4
Thanks for putting up with this! You're a champ to keep on keeping on!



Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: How is this NOT breaking TOS?
« on: July 21, 2018, 04:36:47 AM »
To catch up on the book's evolving situation: It was removed from sale as noted above, although it's unclear whether the authors removed it or Amazon did. It was still up on other sales venues, which suggests Amazon pulled it. It then reappeared on Amazon at some point without any discernible changes to the cover, title or description. However, it had no rank as of mid-day (CT) on July 20. It then disappeared off Amazon again mid-afternoon July 20. Still up on the other venues.

It's back up now and the difference is that the links to the website are off the blurb. That's pretty much it.

6
Yeah, don't publish another volume just for a different ending. That isn't addressed in TOS specifically, but it will anger readers and *might* be construed as repeating material by TOS.

Instead, have a break in the book before the diverging material begins, then links for each ending. Perhaps make it a sort of game or challenge...picking their ending.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Stuffers, scammers, and bad mamajammers
« on: July 21, 2018, 04:20:05 AM »
A lot of burglars think it's no big deal to rob houses because people have insurance.

A lot of shoplifters think it's no big deal because the stores aren't people, but corporations.

A lot of tax evaders think it's okay because the loopholes exist they can exploit, even if it's not meant to be used that way.

A lot of johns think it's okay to pick up a hooker that looks fourteen as long as he never asks her age.


The key is that they're all wrong. Doing what we should do rather than what we can get away with is the basis for being an actual human being, vice a human-shaped predator of other humans. I see absolutely no difference between cheaters of any stripe and the examples above. Bad ethics = bad person.

8
But didn't "Cocky" have that wording also? And authors who had it in their title or keywords still had their books taken down by retailers when FH told them it was a trademarked term. Just because it won't stand up to scrutiny in a court of law doesn't mean it won't ruin people's livelihoods, because retailers aren't going to be bothered to comb through all the details.

Edit: used publisher instead of reatiler

Exactly what I was trying to point out with the words "the destroyer" and the trademark application. Once granted, that "series" can become a hammer used to destroy anyone else very quickly. Then it's up to the author to try and prove a negative. Not so easy.

For example, here's KDP Title requirements right from their site:

Quote
Titles are the most frequently used search attribute. The title field should contain only the actual title of your book as it appears on your book cover. Missing or erroneous title information may bury valid results among extraneous hits. Customers pay special attention to errors in titles and won't recognize the authenticity of your book if it has corrupted special characters, superfluous words, bad formatting, extra descriptive content, etc. Examples of items that are prohibited in the title field include but are not limited to:

Unauthorized reference to other titles or authors
Unauthorized reference to a trademarked term
Reference to sales rank (e.g., "bestselling")
Reference to advertisements or promotions (e.g., "free")

It's a pretty fast takedown, as we've seen with Cocky, but it's a lot slower to get back up. And the trouble with lawyers and defense are not to be overlooked.

9
The Destroyer TM application is for: Downloadable series of fiction books

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87954851&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

Yes, I read all of his current appliations. I should have been clearer. It's for books, but is not precise enough NOT to include other series with that in the name, or titles in other books. In short, it's for all series of downloadable books without respect to font or another author. It's insanity. There are over 900 books currently availabe in just the .com store that could run afoul based on that extremely paltry description.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: I didn't think we could do this?
« on: July 20, 2018, 09:18:54 AM »
A quick image search for some of the other holdings (covers of his other books) shows they're ripped off of catalogs and other such things. So..yeah...this is all bad.

11
Being pedantic here, not editorializing, Jordan's Conan cover would not violate either of MSE's proposed TMs.

The layout would need to have CONAN The Destroyer all at the top, and Jordan's name at the bottom. Possibly it would even require it to read The Destroyer CONAN at the top, depending on interpretation of what the slash means.

And Conan is the series title. The Destroyer is the title of a book in the series, just like The Barbarian, The Magnificent, The Victorious, etc are. So The Destroyer wouldn't violate the TM since it's not a series title.

Let's be sure we're providing like examples when we write our challenge letters.

True, except that he has *another* TM application approved for consideration (but not yet assigned an investigator) for the words "The Destroyer." He has one for the word in a particular design, but *also* one for the words themselves...in any font, any color, for any usage. So....

12
I have to ask if portions of the indy publishing world have gone nuts, because if I am understanding what I read in that application, it is insane. Not sure how one goes about filing a protest, but I think everyone with any concern about this sort of thing should consider it.

Looks like your King Ensnared book cover would also fall under this TM based on the verbiage and example.

13
Question:

So I showed this to my husband, and he pointed out that it said illustration in the description of the mark. Does that mean photo manipulative covers aren't part of this? Only covers with illustrated art and then the layout?

I ask because if people are filing contest letters, but are showing photo manipulated covers and not illustrated, would the TM office just dismiss that evidence since it's not what is being trademarked?

I haven't, here or on FB, seen anyone mention the specific illustration aspect of the description. (Didn't even notice it before and I've been following this all day. GG Hubby.)

Anyone know?

Not all of his are pure illustration, but also some photo manip. In general terms, illustration simply means picture. Usually if someone on a TM or copyright is looking to be specific, they further identify what they mean by illustration...painted photo, etc. His is far too generic and covers essentially any image of a human produced by whatever means.

14
What's the link you use to file initial opposition?

Just google Trademark protest. It's the first or second one.

15
Look at the specimens attached to the file please. The title on each is highly stylistic.
https://tsdrsec.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casedoc/sn88026770/FTK20180709083248/3/webcontent?scale=1
https://tsdrsec.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casedoc/sn88026770/FTK20180709083248/5/webcontent?scale=1
http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn88026770&docId=FTK20180709083248#docIndex=1&page=1

I don't think he's trying to trademark all covers, just ones that use his stylistic font and the cover layout that he uses in each particular case. The basic cover design in the filing isn't what he's trying to trademark, that's just the layout over which he puts the specific fonts and format.

Really people, read the whole thing.

Are you kidding? You have to be kidding.

The examples aren't even all in the style he's trying to TM, but the words (which are the part that get approved) are basically every book done in several genre. It's almost the default for a half dozen genre.

Here's the verbiage that gets ruled on:

3 - AN ILLUSTRATION DRAWING WHICH INCLUDES WORD(S)/ LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)
Description of Mark:   The mark consists of a title and/or series name at the top of the trade dress; one or more human or partially human figures underneath, at least one of the figures holding a weapon; and an author's name underneath the figures; wherein the title/series and author's name are depicted in the same or similar coloring. The dotted lines represent the product, and are used to show the location of the trade dress on the product, and do not constitute part of the trade dress.
Color(s) Claimed:   Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark.

16
Read the whole trademark submission. Look at the attached samples. He's not trying to trademark that format. Really folks, READ the whole thing, look at the attachments. The title portion on each of the samples is a custom design.

I think most of us did...and the examples don't even match the mark verbiage. Here it is in case you missed that part.

3 - AN ILLUSTRATION DRAWING WHICH INCLUDES WORD(S)/ LETTER(S)/NUMBER(S)
Description of Mark:   The mark consists of a title and/or series name at the top of the trade dress; one or more human or partially human figures underneath, at least one of the figures holding a weapon; and an author's name underneath the figures; wherein the title/series and author's name are depicted in the same or similar coloring. The dotted lines represent the product, and are used to show the location of the trade dress on the product, and do not constitute part of the trade dress.
Color(s) Claimed:   Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark.

17
A lot of people are on this already.

And more need to join in.

18
It has me angry. Knowing what he had been ranking and the kind of money that suggested, he probably thought no one would have the funds to challenge him. It's the same as with Cocky, but in this case, he filed multiple trademarks, several single words, all of which will take quite a bit to challenge. While the uproar over trademarking single words has somewhat moved on, I think he miscalculated with this. Certainly, his timing was a mistake given his ban.

It takes nothing more than a few minutes to challenge them

These are in the works...NOT YET APPROVED. If we don't file challenges now, then yes, it will cost arms and legs later. Right now, it's five minutes of your time.

19
This is for the word "Tamer" in all fonts and any style. Yes, Tamer.

Romance writers, take heed of this one!

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87954787&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

20
This one is for the words "King of Dinosaurs"...in all fonts and styles in any usage.

Which means violation of copyright if you ever write down that you think any particular dinosaur is the King of Dinsaurs. It's egregious.

http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=87954825&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

21
It gets worse: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=88026770&caseType=SERIAL_NO&searchType=statusSearch

Does SFWA have anyone on staff to go after this nonsense? I would gladly pitch in to hire a lawyer to fill out the paperwork.

Already filed for this one. You can file very quickly using screenshots of books impacted. It will take all of five minutes for you to find everything you need.

22
This one is for the words "The Destroyer" in all fonts and designs.  (He has another with the style of his books, but this one is just for the words themselves.)

Case Number: 87954851

Please file! A quick search revealed hundreds of books that will be impacted.

23
This latest filing is egregious in the extreme.

There are currently thousands of books for sale which follow this in basic form (and what is "similar color" anyway?).

I encourage anyone with any books in the most impacted genre (horror, SF horror, Post apocalyptic, survival, zombie, western) plus anyone who cares about this type of thing to file a protest. Screen shots from Amazon should be sufficient evidence.

Case Number: 88026770

Link to the Trademark Office: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=88026770&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: How is this NOT breaking TOS?
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:48:30 AM »
I don't agree with this type of marketing at all. I think it is kind of slimy...

But I try to approach things like this with an impartial mind. Can someone tell me how this breaks the TOS?

Lots of fiction authors will put a link in the back of their book with a carrot. "Sign up for my mail list and get blah blah blah free..." Sometimes it's a short story or a novella or whatever. And lots of fiction authors will put links in their books to resources or discounts that they can download free.

I'm not denying that this is against the TOS, since I don't know, but I'm just wondering if someone can cite where in the policy that it's written as against the TOS. Do you guys think it against the TOS because they are assigning an arbitrary value to the free content they are providing or do you think it's against the TOS because they are requiring proof of purchase to get the free content? This isn't the first time I've seen fiction books give free off-site resources to people who bought their books, but I never thought much of it.

Inducement to purchase. It's right in the description and that's not allowed. Neither is pointing to a third party website that sells things.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: How is this NOT breaking TOS?
« on: July 18, 2018, 06:26:27 AM »
Wouldn't it fall squarely under "Incentivised buys"?

Yep. It is and it's not allowed.

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