I was just about to write a book review on this awesome book that I just finished when I saw, that Faleena Hopkins is once again practising her skills as an actress. This time with a letter from her future self to her past self – and let me just say this: it’s good she’s writing Romance and not Fantasy or Sci-Fi, because that pretend time travel lesson sucked!
She starts out very dramatically (as always) with a Facebook picture showing how much she cares about her fans and, how she just wants them to be safe within the light:
Then we get to the actual letter which starts out like this: “Dear Faleena of May 2nd, 2018,” not much point in having a time traveling future self, if she’s going to send you letters dated 29 days previously. At that point why bother? Clearly, Faleena’s future self is living by the whole “better late than never” – but on this occasion, I’d have to disagree. When you’re that late, just forget about it!
Faleena then goes on to state that when her private C&D letter was made public, she didn’t save any monies by doing it herself instead of hiring a lawyer. Her future self then writes:
You will have made the worst mistake maybe of your life.
Ya think? Really, what gave it away? But enough about that, it’s time to get really sappy and pulling on the family-heartstrings:
Strangers are about to turn that name your mom gave you from the song she and your dad loved, they’re going to turn it into a cruel hashtag. A reader who you titled the first book in her series, is going to send it in all caps to you on day two of the hell you’re about to go through.
Since this entire ordeal is about words and intent I think it’s only fair to point out, that the hashtag in itself is not cruel, it’s simply #byefaleena. It’s not cruel to say bye to someone, mostly it’s polite thing to do! So, what makes this cruel? Faleena’s intent! Her intent to eliminate and threaten her peers.
So on May 3rd, you write a defensive Cease and Desist letter coming from that past experience. You really spell it out, so she ‘takes you seriously.’
I bet she laughed her ass off as she tweeted it and said she was ‘intimidated.’
But people who read her I’m-a-victim tweets will not look at Amazon and discover that you can’t bully upward.
They won’t ask, is she victim…or friggin’ genius?
She changes your life by tweeting what you wrote, maybe forever.
Shall we just clear something up right away? I couldn’t actually care less whether or not “she” was laughing or feeling intimidated. Actually, I hope she laughed, because I wouldn’t wish the feeling of dread I imagine I’d feel, on ANYONE. My support comes from a moral and a very outraged perspective and, actually it’s really easy for almost everyone to understand, except Faleena. But the simplicity is beautiful in its own way. Faleena, you’re wrong. The actions you took are wrong. The way you try to eliminate your competition is wrong. And let’s not forget that Faleena threw the first stone. I know it must be hard to accept personal responsibility when a decision YOU made goes so wrong, but nonetheless, Faleena made the decision and should own up to the consequences.
Badly Drawn Theater explains it really well in her YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkG4-P6fGPY and I know this to be true, because that’s often how I find new authors. I read one book series I love, then I’ll be looking for more not only from that author, but throughout that genre. So, I know it’s hard for Faleena to grasp, but it’s in her interest to be supportive of fellow authors.
The mob does the following…
- Shuts down your instagram, flagging it en masse, 9K followers, gone.
- Attacks every book in your series with fake reviews until even the NY Daily News writes about it.
- Harasses real reviewers on Amazon & Goodreads.
- When Amazon shuts down accounts connected to the fake-reviews of your books, after Amazon scours for who is causing the weakening of their honest-reviews reputation, the mob blames you.
- Publicly states/tweets/posts/emails to their subscribers that they hope to force you to stop writing, hide behind a pen name, lose everything.
- Takes your Goodreads overall star-rating from 4.4 to 3.5 even with over 39,000 ratings you acquired in five years, in a matter of days.
- Harasses your cover model, who will turn down your offer to switch his photo out with a stock image, saying, “Keep me in. I’ve been harassed before.”
- Makes countless videos about you, humiliating you and rejoicing as you lose one social media platform after another.
- Waits with baited breath for you to do or say anything so they can jump all over it to increase their likes/views/replies/comments/retweets/sympathy/visibility/sales by subjugating you to the worst kind of public flogging you will never be able to understand…
I know that other people have said this many times over and over, but I think it’s worth mentioning; Goodreads is more for readers than it is for authors. Many people 1 star a book TO SAVE IT. I know you don’t have to, but some people do that then have it on their TBR list and changes the rating once read. Of course, this can be demotivating for authors, if it’s left on a TBR list for years. But such is life. That doesn’t mean you could or should control anything. But even if that wasn’t a factor I think Faleena should keep in mind that actions create a reaction.
Please try and keep in mind that actions speak louder than words, so with this example Faleena showed everyone how she carries out reviews.
In 2017 your books were pirated and published to iTunes in order to get you kicked out of Kindle Unlimited, for which you must be exclusive to Amazon.
‘Zon had just come to you mid Aug. 2017, to promote Cocky Love: Emma Cocker — a first for you to be contacted by them — but then they retracted the offer after finding that book against contract, on iTunes.
You also could no longer announce covers on Goodreads, because the books would be hit with multiple one-star ratings before you’d even finished writing them, and the titles stolen.
PUHLEASE… pirating is older than Methuselah (okay maybe not that old but it’s definitely not new). Faleena, you’re not the first, newest or last pirate victim. It is a pretty common thing. Hell, go to a popular beach and I bet you’re there’s someone who’d be more than happy to sell you some nice cheap Gucci sunglasses. You could also just Google “read free books online” and see how many websites comes up. Actually, a few years ago I bought a fake book through Google Play Store – it happens everywhere so you better learn to deal with it.
One reader even said she almost didn’t read your series, because she thought she had, and it was crap. But in another group, fans convince her that she read some other author’s “Cocky” book. She’s doubtful, but gives your series a try, reads them all, and is still with you to this day.
I am not comfortable or happy about the fact that Faleena constantly undermines the intelligence of readers. If you can read a book, you can read the author name so as an avid reader, I’m calling BS on this!
Two authors you spoke to about their cocky books before even thinking of filing, wouldn’t budge on their titles. One contacts you because someone who likes your series wrote her and called her a copycat. Boy was she pissed and blamed you. The other used part of your blurb as her blurb and tagline. Also the title is nearly the same as yours. Funny that.
Well why on earth should they change their titles? A title name won’t save you if the readers won’t like the story. A title name won’t save you, if readers won’t support you. So why? Why do you insist on going through with this? It’s been suggested that Faleena could have chosen to TM “Cocker Brothers” – which would have been absolutely fine, as far as I’m concerned. But it still wouldn’t mean she was guaranteed success, because that’s not how it works!
My readers are still with me. The vast majority have stuck by me and this fictional family we all feel are very real to us. That’s kind of a miracle, and a testament to all of us. These readers are so special to me. They are beautiful people, inside and out, and I’m lucky to have them. I never forget that.
First of all, yes Faleena is lucky to have her readers. Secondly, in Faleena’s drunken Facebook video she said she’s not lost any earnings, that her books are doing fine. This indicates that too and yet, she’s filed a lawsuit against three people claiming, that she’s losing monies. So, which is it? If you want you can If you want you can read Faleena’s sob thoughts on the shit storm that she created.
If you have any thoughts on the matter, please let me know in the comments.