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Thread by @PlushChrome: "In This Thread: I read 's open letter and analyze it line by line. I've already read through the whole thing, so this is not a re […]" #ByeFaleena #Cockygate #cockycollective

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In This Thread: I read #ByeFaleena's open letter and analyze it line by line. I've already read through the whole thing, so this is not a reaction thread, just an analysis thread. And it's gonna be a long one because apparently I hate free-time XD #Cockygate
"When your private C&D letter is tweeted publicly-" Passing the blame. She's saying, from the get-go, that Cockygate is the fault of everyone who dared speak about what they were going through, and NOT the fault of the person who put them through it.
"you will not have saved the money by writing them yourself since lawyers are so expensive-" At least she admits what many suspected from the start: The C&D's were not legal documents, merely threats with legal jargon thrown in.
"and you've put all your money back into story-telling, all the many ways you publish and promote a book, casting narrators for audiobooks, paying models to play the characters in interviews..." Shameless self promotion part one.
"produce a feature film that starts shooting soon and a lot of cast and crew are counting on you with it. " Shameless self promotion part two, as well as being a very long and clunky sentence. excuses that she might have faked the C&D but it's because she just cares SO much.
"You will not have saved money.

You will have made the worst mistake maybe of your life.

This is you-from-the-future speaking.

Believe me, I know, entertaining people is everything to you.

Because...I'm you."

Captures the long silences from her video perfectly.
"But Faleena, your life is about to get really hard.

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." 'cause using an oppressors name should be off limits. Also nice Emotional-Play.
"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."

So giving a title means this reader is under obligation to be loyal to you and if she's disgusted by your actions, she's an ingrate.
"But don't worry, many won't hurt you like that. They'll remind you daily to keep going."

So THESE are the true culprits; those who tell her she's doing the right thing and not to stop. It's VERY HARD to know what to do in life; if you only listen to your yes-men, you're doomed.
"Hurt, tired, an emotional artist protecting her babies. Bad combo."

Self pitying, defensive, a ruthless businesswoman protecting her earnings. Bad combo.
"When you write those Cease & Desist Letters, you sound like a huge bitch.

I'm sorry, but you do.

That's how you will look...

To those who do not know you in person."

It's not her ACTIONS that are the problem, it's our misinterpretation of them.
(Look, I'm sorry, but you could be the nicest person in the world to the people who know you and it STILL wouldn't excuse your treatment of the people who don't. The outrage was NOT because you were being mean, but that you were being unethical in business. Learn the difference.)
"Others who do, know you were at the end of your rope.

Many have been with you this whole ride, and know the truth.

But it will be real hard to convince strangers otherwise."

'The truth' might be easy to push to your worshipers, but strangers need this thing called EVIDENCE.
"Don't try. I know you'll try, but just don't.

As they say in Al-Anon, "You can't argue with the alcoholic when they're drunk."

So now anyone who doesn't believe YOUR side is a drunk alcoholic, can't be reasoned with. I find this offensive to those struggling with addiction.
"Here's what will happen, and when it does, you will know what hell on Earth feels like. If there is a devil, it's the internet."

Because starvation, poverty, disease, tragedy, war, death, and torture are NOTHING to having the internet call you out for unethical behavior.
"You knew you were dealing with a publishing machine.

You stopped counting her published titles at 120 because it was mind-blowing. And scary. And exhausting to consider you had to write her a C&D letter."

This is why those lawyers you chose not to hire exist.
(If you have a legitimate claim against an author, ESPECIALLY a successful one, a lawyer is your ONLY way to go. If anything, just to have someone tell you IF YOUR CLAIM IS EVEN LEGITIMATE. Sometimes you don't have as much power as you think you do. A lawyer could've helped.)
"Before you filed for the trademark last Aug. 2017 you'd spoken with three other authors, in a more hey-can-we-talk manner, and they all told you basically to shove it. One had been a 'friend' in an author group, but we'll get to that."

So you WERE warned this would end badly.
"This was was much larger than they were. She's got over 120 books out? You have 33. Less than a third."

So you went forward with career-suicide because your pride was much bigger than the warnings from your friends. But I mean I'm unsophisticated so I probably read it wrong.
"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.'"

What 'past experience' are you referring to here? The past experience of people telling you it was a bad idea? /confused
"I bet she laughed her ass off as she tweeted it and said she was 'intimidated.'"

So she admits she wrote a defensive, 'really spelled out' strong-worded email intended to frighten her victim into submission. But the fact that it worked MUST just be the victim lying.
"But people who read her I'm-a-victim tweets will not look at Amazon and discover that you can't bully upward."

...What does this mean? You can't bully upward? Is she saying that just because the victim sells more books than her, it makes her actions NOT bullying? /confused
"They won't ask, is she victim...or friggin' genius?

She changes your life by tweeting what you wrote, maybe forever."

Again, what we see here is blame-shifting. It's not that she WROTE the bad thing that destroyed her. It's that the public SAW the bad thing.
(This is a common tactic among bullies. When the horrible things they do in private becomes public knowledge, they will constantly point fingers to the person who shared their wrongdoings, because speaking out against harassment is worse in their eyes than harassment itself.)
"Definitely made you aware of how cruel people can truly be, because soon this happens and it still hasn't stopped after nearly a month."

Yeah, SUPER cruel to share how badly you treat us in private. How can you "live with light" when we keep sharing all your dark? tsk tsk.
"The mob does the following...
Shuts down your instagram, flagging it en masse, 9K followers, gone."

Actually as someone who isn't yet on Instagram, can someone tell me why her account was flagged? Did she say something bad that people responded to, or was it just for cockygate?
"Attacks every book in your series with fake reviews until even the NY Daily News writes about it."

LOL she might be the only person in the world who liked the NY article 😂

(Also it's been proven that Faleena has left fake reviews on other books before, so hypocrite.)
"Harasses real reviewers on Amazon & Goodreads."

Although I haven't seen ANY evidence to support this claim, I won't say it hasn't happened. More often, though, I've seen her former readers pull their reviews and express disgust and grief over what she's done.
"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."

FALSE. The mob blames you for Amazon deleting reviews that contain the adjective "cocky."
"Publicly states/tweets/posts/emails to their subscribers that they hope to force you to stop writing, hide behind a pen name, lose everything."

FALSE. The mob tweets that they HOPE to overturn your TM and they FEEL that you'll do the rest of it to yourself. And you REALLY are.
"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."

Disgusted readers pulling old high-star reviews
Publicity responders disliking what they now see
Trolls. I won't lie. But not ONLY trolls.
"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.""

Admitted with shame. GUYS SERIOUSLY LEAVE THE POOR GUY ALONE. She pays him to stand in front of a camera. THIS ISN'T HIS FAULT.
"Makes countless videos about you, humiliating you and rejoicing as you lose one social media platform after another."

Speaking honestly, this has been TAME compared to most internet flaming. Not lying. Also, you lose accounts because of YOUR posts, not for how we react to them.
"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 won't lie, Cockygate has got me many likes/views/followers. XD But I'm not doing this for ME, I'm doing it for WRITING. I'm sharing what YOU did because even my small handful of followers deserves to know the truth, whether or not you pout about it being unfair.)
"And as they do these things, and gleefully report their successes to each other, they call you the bully. That's how they justify their actions.

Saying that over...and over...and over."

No, Faleena. That's how YOU justify your actions. Reacting to harassment IS NOT harassment.
"Before the weirdness that is #Cockygate
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."

Ouch. That really sucks. Sorry to hear that. Does it justify what you did? No.
"'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."

Ouch. That really sucks. Does it justify what you did? No.
"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."

Stick to your story. Are your bad reviews because of Cockygate or because of this?
"A surge of Cocky Books start popping up. Despite what they will say later, "Cocky" isn't a common trope. If it were, Amazon would include it in their list of keywords for romance."

You were NOT the first Cocky writer. Also whether a common trope or not, it's still a common WORD
"Readers are confused, screenshots have been given to Federal Court despite the mob saying you're full of sh**."

I've seen two screens. One was posted AFTER you filed for trademark (suspicious) and in the other, the reader read a DIFFERENT series FIRST and you SECOND.
"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..." (1/2)
" She's doubtful, but gives your series a try, reads them all, and is still with you to this day." (2/2)

Yeah, that's the one I saw. Sounds to me like she didn't "buy the crap series because she thought it was yours," she "read a book with 'Cocky' and almost didn't read yours."
"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." (1/2)
"The other used part of your blurb as her blurb and tagline. Also the title is nearly the same as yours. Funny that." (2/2)

So it's fine for your readers to insult other authors, but wrong for them to be upset. The tagline thing sucks though.

Does it justify what you did? No.
"Tara Crescent, is the final blow though. She is your 'friend' in a romance author group, had been sending out your Cocky books for 6 months, and you were sending out her books, too, so you both could help promote each other. She saw how many clicks you were getting..." (1/2)
"via the analytics in our professional mailing services, so she then decided to be greedy and start her own "Cocky Series," Book One, end of August, 2017, when your series was on book 12 by then. You asked her not to. She told you, basically, to shove it." (2/2)
(Gee, this "open letter" to her past self from a month ago sure is full of public shaming her month-younger self would already know. *rolls eyes.*

Seriously though, even if it's true, you could have filed legal proceedings against HER without dragging down an entire industry.)
(Basically, what I'm trying to say is...

Ouch. That sucks. I'm really sorry to hear it. Does it justify what you did? No.)
"After two weeks of no sleep from enduring constant harassment, you will call the woman at Romance Writers of America who is self-appointed their savior."

1. Reacting to harassment is NOT harassment.
2. "Self appointed" implies it WASN'T granted by the mob of your victims.
"You stop walking your dog on Wooster and Broome, do the dial-by-name directory, listen to her voice recording, and your heart will pound in your ears as you tell her voicemail pretty much this. "

Too much detail. Cluttered the scene. Less is more, we don't need the street names
"Time slows waaaaaaaay down."

-How I feel after analyzing THE FIRST HALF of this blog post 😂
"Hi Ms. Ritter. This is Faleena Hopkins. I'm calling because I never meant for any of this to happen.
I'm hoping we can come to a solution of some kind together. Readers are getting hurt." (1/2)
"I want us all to go back to reading and writing. Here's my number (...) It's a Los Angeles number but I live in New York now so that's my time zone.
Hope to hear from you soon.'

But she will not call you back.

She will send her lawyer, instead, that afternoon." (2/2)
(It's pitiable that you never meant for it to happen. But it happened, and people were materially and emotionally hurt. A lawyer is the best response, whether or not your younger self thought they were worth it. Also it's not like busy people ever miss a voicemail or anything.)
"You'll be advised by your lawyers that you're in a corner and if you don't fight you'll be crushed. You know they're right because the mob has nearly done that already."

The mob isn't what put you in a corner. YOU backed into a corner and we just followed you there.
"Thank God you kept all those screenshots, because Tara will also play 'victim' so convincingly that the RWA will back her up, not knowing about any of it, because they won't talk to you."

Tara is not the only victim. You threatened MANY, the RWA is defending them ALL.
"Nor will the #cockycollective of authors who funds the RWA efforts to sue you and take away the protection you earned."

The protection 'earned' through underhanded means and promptly abused by threatening other authors and starting a chain reaction of TM abuse in ALL writing.
"They'll come together in 'sisterhood' and make videos where they're all smiling, one after the other, as they tear apart two years of your life. They'll collectively tell their extensive reader base about you with the hope that you will lose everything."

Reacting to harassment.
"The collective 'sisterhood' never writes to you, asks your side, or thinks of coming together and having a conference call with you or something where they use their respective power to you know...talk."

You've made it VERY clear you think you're blameless. Talking is useless.
"A story shared with you that's happened to more than this one indie author, and in varying indie genres."

This should be good, I do so love your stories. /sarcasm
"August 2017, before you filed for trademark protection, in that same romance group, a non-copycatting author privately wrote to you after Tara bogarted your series."

'Non-copycatting' is an adjective now? Awesome, I'll use that. "I want you to meet my non-copycatting sister."
"You and she had chatted several times before about publishing stuff, and you had told her you admired her, especially her adorable profile picture which was of her real face and had a lot of personality and spunk to it."

Adds unnecessary detail to make herself appear affable.
"She wrote to confess she personally understood how this copying stuff sucked. She had a series that had been doing so well. But after being in the top 150 for three weeks or something that amazing, a bunch of people noticed."

So she TM'd a common word and faked legal documents?
"Copycat books sprung up like crazy, taking the wind out of her series' sails.

You didn't say this, because why, when the damage was done? But it could have been her huge hit."

Still waiting for the part where she TM's a common word and fakes legal documents...
"It would never have stayed in the top 150 for that long on its own if it weren't fantastically written and striking a chord with readers. Every indie knows how hard that is to achieve."

So does she TM a common word and fake legal documents, or...?
"You listened as she said then what a lot of authors will say to you after you get a Registered Federal Trademark:

It's just what happens to you when you become successful. They copy you, and you can't do anything about it. It sucks, I know. BUT THAT'S JUST HOW IT IS."

Oh...
(So if someone you claim to respect as much as this author tells you there's nothing you can do about it, why do you proceed to go and do the WORST THING you could have done about it? Yes, being copied sucks. Yes, it damages your sales and career. But really, was this better?)
"Come on...
Couldn't you have trademarked "Humble?"

Pay me a compliment and watch me shoot it down."

OR, you COULD read it aloud on a live facebook video and then spend the subsequent two hours imparting wisdom on how to be as great and successful as you.
"I'm trying to get better at that. I'm not cocky, but I do go after what I want, and I always encourage others to do the same. It's one of the reasons people love my series, because hard work and dream-achieving is a through-line for my fictional family." (1/2)
"My good friends all know me as someone who pushed them to achieve their dreams. I can be pretty annoying about it."

It's easy to say "follow your dreams," but if you threaten to CRUSH other people with similar dreams in the process, excuse me for my skepticism.
"I care very much about my integrity, and also my previously clean reputation."

You literally started this post by blaming your victims for sharing what you did behind closed doors. That's not my idea of integrity. Though you HAVE proven you care about your reputation...
"If you're just now finding me and want to know who I am, read my blog before May 3 for a good perspective. Read my series and see the loyalty, love, and humor that made it a hit."

Ohhh honey, I've seen your pre-cockygate stuff and WOW. That post from 2015 going around... 😂
"In accordance with remaining who I am, I vow, me in present day, that if I'm awarded at any time in the future any monies in court in regards my trademark case(s) I will donate 100% of what I am directly given, above what my lawyers have more-than-earned..." (1/2)
"to an anti-bullying charity. I'll ask my readers to help me choose the best charity, like we did for K9s for Warriors, the charity who gets 100% of profits from my merchandise."

1. Giving blood-money to charity is still blood-money.
2. Shameless self-plug is shameless.
"I didn't do this for money.

Money is fleeting. But books are forever."

Unless you can get the books permanently deleted and have all merchandise, promotional materials, and physical copies sent to you to destroy at your discretion, like what you ask for in your court case.
"This was about imagination, creative property, and my heart and future, protected.

That's all. Just that.

I think that's enough of a reason to take a stand."

Okay, so it's definitely over, right? That's the end of the blog post? You're not gonna-
"But the thing to be grateful for every day is this..."

OH COME ON, another false-ending??? Yeesh, why do you keep closing things off and then continuing with more stuff? It's like your book-stuffing 1500 word 1900 page KU books all over again!
"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."

Maybe the vast majority of YOUR PERCEIVED WORLD is still with you, but seriously, the REAL vast majority is so done right now. Just sayin'.
"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."

I'd say I'm amazed you still do, but after reading this, I can understand why they're misled.
"Be strong.
For you.

For your friends and family.

For your readers.

For your cast and crew.
For your future."

NO JOKE SHE PUT IN ALL THOSE SPACES HERSELF 😂

Faleena's long pauses translate to the written word VERY well.
(Aw darn twitter automatically consolidated all the enters. XD Here just a sec...)
"Because here's what those who wish to hurt you have forgotten,

And this is true for every single person on the planet...

Nobody can rob that light from inside of you, unless you let them."

Your light appears skin-deep, unfortunately. That's why you're so mad about 'sharing.'
"Or take your identity, dignity, self love, self respect away from you, either.

Nobody can tell you who you are."

No, but we can perceive it. I'm glad you love yourself, I really am, that's a hard thing to accomplish, but your actions have made it VERY clear who you are.
"If they hate you for protecting your work...so what?

Then they don't get it.

They aren't your people."

And here, we again see denial and justification for her actions. If we don't like the way she treats us, we just "don't understand" her like HER people do.
"If in your life you are currently being held back, struck down, humiliated, shouted at, bullied, harassed, told you are reaching for too high a star, or forced to live under a cupboard, please remember..."

1. Bullying others is "reaching for a star."
2. YOU AREN'T HARRY POTTER.
"It's not a sign of who YOU are, but of who THEY are."

Yes. 100% agree. Reacting to being threatened, bullied, and harassed is not a sign of who YOU are, but a sign of who the person threatening, bullying, and harassing you is. Well said. I'd give 5⭐️ but 'Zon might delete it.
"You be you. Shine that bright light inside of you, as corny as it may sound.

Only Light makes shadows disappear."

Actually, light is what causes the existence of shadows, so...

Also I thought you didn't LIKE it when light gets shined on what you do in private.
"xx, Faleena Hopkins
# LiveWithLight"

And then she posts like ten screenshots of good reviews, supposedly to prove she has them even though "give her a compliment and watch her shoot it down" or something idk. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

AND THAT'S THE END
All in all, nothing more than self-pitying drivel, blame-shifting accusations, passive-aggressive whining, and self-indulgent praise, peppered with flowery phrases and expressions and delivered with the subtlety and grace of a child angry at being on time-out. Badly written too😆
OOPS you guys I accidentally continued this thread by replying to the post before the above, instead of the above. XD To read the second half of the post and my analysis, check out the second reply to the "too much detail" post, sorry XD
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