Fan Fiction — Flattery or Blasphemy?

IMG_0006-0

  I just put the two words together that authors love–but that’s only when they’re separate. Fan Fiction seems to be the bane of some people’s reading and author careers, while others embrace it. I hadn’t thought of it, outside of … Continue reading

The ANTI -NaNoWrimo Challenge

writebeautymonth

Every November authors scamper to sign up for something called National Write a Novel month. The “challenge” so to speak was created back in 1999 to force writers into writing 50,000 words in a month, which is either a small … Continue reading

Introducing Cheyanne Young

Untitled

Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and reading her own author bio. She lives near the beach with her family, … Continue reading

Coming Soon – KK Hendin

coming soon

Our coming soon this week, is actually an AVAILABLE NOW!

cover (1)(1)

Everyone thought we’d be the ones who made it through high school. The ones who’d get married and stay married forever. The example of how young love can work.

We thought so, too.

Too bad life had other plans.

It’s been three years since Hayley and Nate broke each other’s hearts. Three years, and a lot has changed. Hayley’s a freshman in Bushwick University, and the only things keeping her sane are stress baking, and her a cappella group, Twelve Beats in a Bar.

Nate’s a Marine, stationed in Afghanistan. The only thing that’s keeping him sane is the last picture he has of him and Hayley, and the hope that maybe when the hell of deployment is over, he can find her again and apologize.

One explosion will change everything.

When a bomb kills all of Nate’s unit, leaving him missing a foot and eyesight in one eye, he’s sent back home to Texas. Texas, where he loved Hayley more than he could possibly imagine ever loving anyone else.

With seemingly endless amounts of free time and needing something to distract himself, Nate starts making YouTube videos, imploring Hayley to come back to him, and come back to Texas.

Hayley’s life is wrapped around the Beats, making sure she doesn’t flunk out of biology class, and babysitting Ohio’s smallest monster, Brandon. She doesn’t want to admit it, but she misses Nate more than anything.

It’s too bad she doesn’t know just how much he misses her, too…

BUY LINKS:
      :: Amazon :: Barnes & Noble ::
 

A Little Tease – KK Hendin

books behind

 

 

cover3

The first year of college is supposed to be about parties, parties, and getting the hell out of Texas. Instead, Milcah Daniels is spending her eighteenth year in and out of Houston’s hospitals. Her hair is falling out, they’ve cut off her boobs, and if she makes it to nineteen, she’ll consider it a personal miracle.

Breast cancer really has a way of messing with a girl’s social calendar.

When Milcah’s temporarily discharged from the hospital, she’s determined to get a tattoo for every medical procedure she’s had. Her quest leads her to Skin Stories, a new tattoo parlor a block from her apartment. And to its infuriatingly sexy artist, Callum Scott.

Callum is everything Milcah wants, and everything she shouldn’t have now. A new relationship when the official prognosis is one to five years is a terrible idea. But Callum doesn’t know about the breast cancer, and Milcah’s not running to tell him.

But when the doctor says things are actually looking positive, her entire life turns upside down. How is she supposed to start living again when she’s finally learned to accept her death?

 

Goodreads

Amazon

B&N

“You figured out what you’re going to order yet?”

I glance longingly at the wine list. Not that I’m old enough, but maybe he’ll get something and I can sneak some of it. “What about grown up drinks?”

“Nope. Juice, soda, or milkshake.”

“Well, if I have a milkshake, will it bring all the boys to my yard?”

Shit. I can’t believe I just said that.

Callum bursts out laughing. “I don’t know. Maybe you should try and see.”

This is veering dangerously into flirting territory, which is so not where we’re going to go tonight. Like I’m democracy and common sense, and flirting is North Korea. Not gonna happen.

The waitress sashays over to our table, puts down a pitcher of water and the bread basket, and turns to Callum. “What can I get you tonight?” she simpers.

Listen girl, I know he’s hot, but please. Show some self-restraint.

I glare at her back as Callum places his order. “I want a grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese,” he says, his expression the same as if he’s ordering a steak.

“Anything else?” the waitress asks, obviously not expecting that.

“I’d like a glass of apple juice,” he says, and closes his menu.

She looks at him curiously, but writes it down. “And what can I get you?” she asks me.

I struggle to keep my face straight. “I’d like an order of chicken nuggets with a side of cheese fries. And a banana milkshake.”

“Sure.” At this point, I’m pretty sure that the waitress thinks we’ve lost our minds. “Your food will be ready in a few minutes.”

I grab a breadstick from the bread basket and pop it in my mouth. The flavors explode. Callum reaches over to take one, too, and I grab the basket away. “Mine,” I say, swallowing a bite.

He laughs, and snatches a breadstick from the basket anyway. Damn. Not far away enough from him. “I know. I would come here to eat their breadsticks alone.” He chews for a minute, and looks at me. “Seriously, Milcah?”

“What?”

“Banana milkshake?”

“What? They’re really good!” I protest.

“No. No they aren’t. I didn’t even think anyone ever ordered those,” he says. “I thought they were just on all the milkshake lists for like, equal opportunity or something.”

“Equal opportunity for banana milkshake?” I ask. “Did the bananas have a rally where they discussed how they weren’t being treated equally in matters of milkshakes?”

“Possibly. But you know how the news is—so prejudiced against bananas that they’d never report it.”

“You do have a point. Although the bananas have pretty good PR,” I say.

“They do. Catchy jingles always work.”

I start humming the “Chiquita Banana” song and Callum joins in. The two of us are giggling like little kids, and I think people are staring a bit.

Mostly, I don’t care.

I haven’t let myself just have fun like this in what feels like forever. Ever since… No, Milcah. No cancer thoughts.

Books Behind the Author – KK Hendin

books behind

After a tragedy nearly ripped 21 year old Madeline Darlington-Gray’s life in half, she’s spent the past three years trying to put the pieces back together. But pieces never just fit back together, and when she’s betrayed by those she … Continue reading

The Brutal Truth: Keeping it Real

Banner

    I have a degree in marketing. If you’ve followed my blog long enough you know that I am overly enthusiastic about sales, marketing and design–oh, and writing! When it comes to writing I am a panster, but when … Continue reading

Authors Break Laws Without Knowing It

3 marketing mondayThat’s right, there are authors out there breaking laws without knowing it, and you might just be one of them. I’ve been seeing a lot of advertisements by indie authors lately, which is great–but I came to the abrupt realization that some of these authors may be breaking the laws of trademark without knowing it. The reason? I’m seeing more and more authors utilizing the trademark logos of those vendors that currently sell their novels. This struck me because many of these vendors hold strict trademark laws over their logos, and they are even more strict on letting people use these logos. While I am sure some of these authors may have received permission from the companies, I highly doubt many of them have (the advertisements lack the disclosure materially required by the vendors). The process of approval of using a trademark involves a tedious process that just wouldn’t be worth the effort for a two day sale when you can simply use the name of the company. Now, you may be wondering, why do they care so much that I use their logo? They sell my books after all! Yes, they do sell your books, but their logo represents dollar symbols for them, and not only that, it represents an implied endorsement of that trademark. Trademark can be tricky, while you can mention a name of a company in your novel (see THIS article for the specifics) as long as it’s not in a disparaging way, using it in an advertisement is a completely different animal. This is especially true if you have your name next to it. Here are the specific requirements of book vendors you may be using:

AMAZON-

Amazon used to completely forbid the usage of their trademarked logos for Kindle and the Amazon.com website, but they have became a tad bit more lenient. When I say a “tad bit”, I mean it. They allow it, but they sure as hell won’t make it easy. They are “excited” to offer you the ability to do it if you jump through hoops. Now, let me preface this with the fact that I have not personally attempted to do this, as I don’t run sales for long enough that the time involved would be beneficial.  If you’re an author who has contacted Amazon and received permission, please be sure to leave a comment below about the process and the ease or difficulty of it. Amazon’s very specific guidelines are listed below and you can view the entire article by clicking any where within it:

These Guidelines apply to your use of trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. and/or its affiliates (“Amazon“), including AMAZON, KINDLE, KINDLE FIRE, the AMAZON KINDLE logo and the KINDLE FIRE logo (each a “Trademark” and collectively the “Trademarks“). Strict compliance with these Guidelines is required at all times, and any use of a Trademark in violation of these Guidelines will automatically terminate any license related to your use of the Trademarks.

1. You may use the Trademark solely for the purpose expressly authorized by Amazon and your use must: (i) comply with the most up-to-date version of all agreement(s) with Amazon regarding your use of the Trademarks (collectively “Agreements“); (ii) comply with the most up-to-date version of these Guidelines; and (iii) comply with any other terms, conditions, or policies that Amazon may issue from time to time that apply to the use of the Trademark.
2. We will supply an approved Trademark image for you to use. You may not alter the Trademark in any manner, including but not limited to, changing the proportion, color, or font of the Trademark, or adding or removing any element(s) from the Trademark.
3. You may only use the Trademark as specifically authorized under the Agreements.
4. You may not use the Trademark in any manner that implies sponsorship or endorsement by Amazon.
5. You may not use the Trademark to disparage Amazon, its products or services, or in a manner which, in Amazon’s sole discretion, may diminish or otherwise damage or tarnish Amazon’s goodwill in the Trademark.
6. The Trademark must appear by itself, with reasonable spacing between each side of the Trademark and other visual, graphic or textual elements. Under no circumstance should the Trademark be placed on any background which interferes with the readability or display of the Trademark.
7. You must include the following statement in any materials that display the Trademark: “Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Fire, the Amazon Kindle logo and the Kindle Fire logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.”
8. You acknowledge that all rights to the Trademark are the exclusive property of Amazon, and all goodwill generated through your use of the Trademark will inure to the sole benefit of Amazon. You will not take any action that is in conflict with Amazon’s rights in, or ownership of, the Trademark.

 

Amazon reserves the right, exercisable at its sole discretion, to modify these Guidelines and/or the approved Trademarks at any time and to take appropriate action against any use without permission or any use that does not conform to these Guidelines.

If you have questions about these Guidelines, please contact trademarks@amazon.com for assistance, or write to us at: Amazon.com, Inc., Attention: Trademarks, PO Box 81226 Seattle, WA 98108-1226.

Now, number four is where this all becomes very tricky for the author. You want to put their logo on your advertisement and in any way you shake that, it pretty much amounts to an endorsement. Then there’s number five–another key to the fact many of these authors are breaking trademark law–you have to give ample space between other symbols. The fact is, Amazon doesn’t play nice with Barnes & Noble, and for that matter, Kobo, or anyone else. The final nail in the trademark infringement coffin? Number Seven! Each book vendor requires the same disclosure for each of their trademarks with their names disclosed–in a small advertisement where you want to give your novel presence, you would be giving more presence to disclosure for trademark usage. Furthermore, upon more research there are logo guidelines that also must be adhered to and give size, colors, etc that can be used (see HERE). The good news is, as an author selling through their digital media, you become exempt to the written authorization requirement as long as you use their approved logos (see HERE) and use the words Available For or Available From while still adhering to the above quoted usage regulations.

BARNES & NOBLE-

I wasn’t able to find any information relating specifically to advertisements that was outside of their normal terms and conditions. These Terms and Conditions are agreed upon when you sign up for Nook Press. Below is the portion on Trademark (for the full Terms and Condtions see HERE)

II. TRADEMARKS
Barnes & Noble.com, Barnes & Noble, Inc., or their respective parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates, or third parties from whom Barnes & Noble.com has permission, own the trademarks or service marks that are used on the Barnes & Noble.com Site. All rights are reserved. These and other graphics, logos, service marks, trademarks and trade dress of Barnes & Noble.com and its licensors may not be used without prior written consent of Barnes & Noble.com or its licensor, as the case may be. Without limiting the foregoing, no Barnes & Noble.com trademark or trade dress may be used in connection with any product or service that is not Barnes & Noble.com’s, in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among Users, or in any manner that disparages or discredits Barnes & Noble.com.

It’s safe to assume that Barnes and Noble operates it’s logo and trademark usage much like that of Amazon, with the exception that it may be even harder to receive permission to use the logo. It appears that there is no exemptions as is allowed on Amazon on the written agreement requirement.

KOBO-

Unfortunately, the most guidance I found was to look at the Kobo Brand Guidelines, which I found on the ABA, but wasn’t able to open without joining and paying a fee. Again, it’s safe to assume that their business operates under the same guidelines of other major booksellers.

Head spinning yet? Now, if you’ve violated this– you may just get a cease and desist order, or you may never hear anything at all (a lawsuit could occur, but it’s cost-prohibitive, so the most you will probably get is the order). What you do risk is readers, agents or publishers that do know these laws seeing you as being less professional, when you were only attempting to appear more professional. In the end sticking with the simple usage of the company that your books are sold at is easier, and leaves less room for reputation risk for your brand as an author. You can still create a killer advertisement without those logos, and in all honesty, if you sell at more than two retailers, the logos just clutter the advertisement and take away from your goal– intriguing the reader and getting them to “One-Click” your novel.

 

4signature