So, apparently, Faleena Hopkins decided to rant in a video. She has since taken this rant down because she doesn't want any proof left of how little integrity she actually has. Lucky for us, one person took the liberty of breaking the video down, line by line, for us here on twitter.
As you can see, Faleena didn't do herself any favors here. She is once again trying to paint herself as the victim. She sent letters threatening other authors with legal action if they didn't do what she wanted but she thinks she is the victim of bullying. Then she went as far as having Amazon take all those books down. Thankfully, Amazon has come to senses and put them all back until all of this plays out. Talk about unreal!!! She needs to face reality. She is the bully here.
Then she claims that people are going after her family, friends, models, fans etc. I am truly sorry if anyone is sending anyone death threats. Ms. Hopkins does not deserve this. Where are these threats? I haven't seen a single threat but please feel free to point them out to me. I mean, I could have missed them in my frequent searches on this topic. What did I see? Well, I saw some very nice, thought out responses that were very nicely done. Like this by J.M. Butler or this very thoughtful one by Cassie Sharp. If someone is sending threats, I would like to take a moment to plead with you not to do so. There are better ways to get your opinion across without making threats. Also, please do not give 1 star reviews to books that you have not read. If you should "accidentally" buy a book by the wrong author, there are options to return these books. If you need help, please send me a message (there is a link at the bottom of my site) and I will gladly assist you with this. Ok, let's move on with the video rant.
If you are a fan of this author, then by all means, continue to support her if you want to. However, do not badmouth other others that are responding to a direct threat to their careers. Also, please, do not take offense when other readers decide not to support this author. Some of us can't support her on principle alone. She is bullying many of the authors that I try to support. I haven't read some of them. I haven't even read some of the book promotions that I have done here on Ziggy's Reading Corner. However, I still want to show support for the work that they have spent so many hours on. I may not even enjoy a book that I have read. I do try to be polite in my reviews (please let me know if there is one that isn't polite as I would be happy to re-write any). My star rating is based on MY enjoyment of the book and should not be the deciding factor in you reading any book. I also try (I am human, sometimes I forget) to remember to add something that I did like to every review because these authors work hard to create these books and I don't want to discourage them. I am getting off track so let's get back on.
Then Ms. Hopkins brings autism into her argument. She says that her readers write to her saying that using the word "stupid" is somehow an attack on autistic children. This is where I get very upset. My brother has autism. He is in no way stupid. As with anyone else, he has his strengths and his weaknesses. This statement has caused a huge uproar. The most heartbreaking story that I have seen is this one here. I feel so strongly for this woman. She has a hard lot in life and I personally think that she is a very strong person. Ms, Hopkins has hurt this woman deeply and I truly hope that she apologizes.
Another statement that she makes is that authors are losing control of their readers. I have to take offense to this as well. I am a reader. I literally read hundreds of books by multiple authors every year. So far this year I have read almost 200 books (didn't hit that mile-mark yet but hope to in the next week or so). None of these authors control me or other readers. We are NOT mindless puppets controlled by a set of strings. Readers make their own decisions on their behavior. Again, please see my pleadings above about bad behavior. I don't condone it, but just as the authors can't control their behavior, neither can I. I am just a bored SAHM mom who wants to support the many wonderful authors out there.
Going on with her rant, Ms. Hopkins, says to direct our "hate" at her. First of all, I don't hate Ms, Hopkins. I do hate the actions I have seen from her. I don't think it is fair to try to undercut her competition by trying to own a common word. Let's face it, that is what this whole thing is really about. She hasn't been able to hack it as an author on her own so she decided to eliminate the competition. She brought all of this on herself. This is a direct response to her actions, videos, tweets, posts and letters. Again, please note that all of this is my opinion on this whole mess. Please, feel free to disagree. Also, I want to throw this out there. I am NOT an author. I don't write books. The only way this impacts me is that I am a reader. I feel insulted and angry by this author.
Continuing on, she rants about authors stealing her fonts. Let me address this by saying that those fonts are not hers. They are trademarked by someone else who graciously lets these authors and the rest of the world use them. The font she used for her "cocky" trademark specifically says that it can't be used in a trademark or copyright of any kind. I don't want to get into legal issues as I am not a lawyer. I just wouldn't want to be in her shoes, right now.
This next part is just my version of an open letter to Faleena Hopkins:
Before I start, I want to point out that I do not hate you. I really didn't even know who you were until this week. Unfortunately, you have portrayed yourself as a person of questionable integrity. I am not an author. I am just a reader, reviewer and blogger. My only intent here is to give you some advice, woman to woman.
You are portraying yourself unfavorably. Many readers, including your previously faithful ones, are boycotting you due to this. I sincerely hope that you fix it but I am afraid that might be a hard battle. My suggestions are to apologize to your fellow authors and the readers as well. Then, voluntarily, drop the trademark. Let's face it. You are not gonna win this one. IP lawyers jumped in to fight this pro-bono. Stop posting and then deleting content because that isn't helping you at all. You are coming across as totally unprofessional. Then get back to doing what you do best. I am assuming that is writing books because it looks like you do manage to sell a decent amount. You absolutely do not have to take my advice. It is given freely. Take it and use it how you will.
I can't guarantee that everyone will forgive you for this behavior. They can only speak for themselves. I will speak for myself.
So, in closing, I would like to remind people to not threaten each other. I would also like to ask my readers to take some time out of their busy schedules to try to support the real victims in this mess, the indie authors and the families/friends of people with Autism.
I want to give a quick shout out to C.P. Smith: I would be honored if I ever got the chance to meet or know you or your son. My impression of you is that you are a strong and courageous woman. You lead a hard life but you lead it out of love and for that you are one of my "Everyday Heroes"