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So, there seems to be an exciting new trend in publishing (not) where people are trademarking or attempting to trademark perfectly common words already in widespread usage throughout the industry in titles, series, imprints, etc. A friend on Twitter recently asked for my thoughts, and since I have yet to figure out how to do threads and link tweets (yes, I know, I’m waaayyy behind the times) and since Twitter only gives you so many words, I’m going to share thoughts here. First, according to the Trademark Office’s website, “A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.” Choosing a word that’s already in widespread use already undermines the intent of a trademark to distinguish your work from other work of a similar nature. If your trademark is “water” for instance or “chocolate” or any number of words just as common as those being chosen, no one is going to automatically associate this with you. It’s unlikely to truly work for branding. Now, if you have something like the “Harry Harridan series,” you’ve got a name that’s distinct and worth protecting in case someone comes up with something that might legitimately cause confusion, like the Harriet Harridan series or the Harry Harrison series or…well, you get the point.

Now, in order to maintain a trademark, you have to show continued use and that you’ve taken steps to protect your trademark, which means taking action if such similarities exist to avoid confusion in the marketplace. This means monitoring the market and dealing with any potential violations of your trademark. For a common word, you may a) be at this all the livelong day and b) really affect the livelihood of others and invite accusations of restraint of trade.

In short, trying to trademark common words is not a good idea from any angle. It’s likely to be expensive, ineffective and detrimental to your own reputation and to others.

Dark Queen Cover HUGE congratulations to Faith Hunter for hitting #6 on the Print & E-book Combined New York Times bestseller list and #14 on the USA Today list for her latest Jane Yellowrock novel DARK QUEEN!

texas soldier's so Congratulations to Karen Whiddon for starting out at #46 on the Bookscan Romance Bestseller list for TEXAS SOLDIER’S SON!

And kudos to The Knight Agency‘s Nalini Singh and Shannon Curtis, who won in three categories of the Australian Romance Readers Awards over the weekend!

Favourite Paranormal Romance for 2017 is Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Favourite Romantic Suspense 2017 is Heart Breaker by Shannon Curtis

Favourite Continuing Romance Series 2017 is the Psy-Changeling Trinity by Nalini Singh

So much awesome!

Yesterday was a truly amazing day! First, two new releases – wishing a happy book birthday week to Faith Hunter for her new Jane Yellowrock novel DARK QUEEN and to Karen Whiddon for THE TEXAS SOLDIER’S SON! (More on these below.)

DARK QUEEN made both Unbound Worlds’ and Amazon’s lists of Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the month.

stone sky THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin, third in her Broken Earth series, finaled in the Locus Awards for Best Fantasy.

AND the RT Readers Choice Award winners were announced! The Knight Agency has a bunch of amazing authors on the list:

Career Achievement/Paranormal: Nalini Singh

RT Book of the Year: AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION* by Alyssa Cole

Historical Romance of the Year: AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION* by Alyssa Cole

First Historical: THE HIGHLAND DUKE by Amy Jerecki

Paranormal Worldbuilding: SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh

Epic Fantasy Novel: THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin

(*these books not represented by TKA)

In addition to her fabulous award wins, Alyssa Cole’s A PRINCESS IN THEORY was highlighted by Barnes & Noble in their article The Great RITA Read: The Lost Voices, and Buzzfeed featured her in their article Meet The Black Women Upending The Romance Novel Industry.

And now, more about those new releases!

Dark Queen Cover THE DARK QUEEN by Faith Hunter (Ace, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million)

Jane Yellowrock used to hunt vampires, but now she must fight–and win–beside them.

As Enforcer to the vampire Master of the City of New Orleans, Jane Yellowrock stakes her reputation and her life on keeping her territory safe. But Leo has been issued a blood challenge by the emperor of the European vampires, who seeks to usurp all of his power and possessions. If Leo loses the match to the death, the city will be forfeit, and the people of New Orleans will suffer the consequences. Jane can’t let that happen.

Preparing for the duel requires all of Jane’s focus, but with so much supernatural power in play, nothing goes according to plan. She has to rely on herself and the very few people she knows she can trust to stand and fight. Only two things are guaranteed: nothing is sacred, and no one is safe.

texas soldier's so THE TEXAS SOLDIER’S SON by Karen Whiddon (Harlequin, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million)

A thrilling new Top Secret Deliveries story

Army ranger Kyle Benning never expected to live again…or have a family. When he was believed dead in an explosion, Nicole Shelton gave birth to Kyle’s baby. Now she’s a widow and a prime suspect in a murder case! Everything Kyle once knew is as dangerous as a war zone, but he battles trauma and a killer to rescue the woman he still loves.

I’m so excited to see three of my clients up for the 2018 Scribe Awards! Congratulations to Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden and David Mack for their nominations:

Short Story

“Ganbatte” by Keith R.A. DeCandido (from the JOE LEDGER: UNSTOPPABLE anthology, edited by Jonatha Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt)

 

Adapted Speculative and Genera

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS by Christie Golden

 

Original Speculative

STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II: INFERNO SQUAD by Christie Golden

STAR TREK DISCOVERY: DESPERATE HOURS by David Mack

 

YA Original

Marvel’s WARRIORS THREE: GODHOOD’S END by Keith R.A. DeCandido

 

 

Still here! I’ve just been crazy busy between deals and contracts and the London Book Fair and travel to Paris afterward. I hope to have some pics and maybe a write-up of the trip up on the blog some time next week, but I didn’t want to wait to post a belated Happy Book Birthday to R.S. Belcher for his new release THE NIGHT DAHLIA!

Night Dahlia comp.jpg

THE NIGHT DAHLIA by R.S. Belcher (Tor Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Indiebound)

“Belcher is a natural storyteller, and his crackling fight scenes spit sparks of magic and mayhem… This dark, imaginative tale will appeal to fans of gritty, no-holds-barred urban fantasy and horror.” – Publishers Weekly

“Belcher blends together urban fantasy with a hard-boiled, grim style reminiscent of many modern-noir heavy hitters, such as Robert B. Parker, James Ellroy, or Elmore Leonard. Though much more bleak than the average entry in the “wizard detective” genre, The Night Dahlia should please not only existing Belcher fans but any fantasy reader looking for a dark but satisfying slice of fantasy noir.” — Booklist

Laytham Ballard once protected humanity as part of the Nightwise, a secret order of modern-day mages dedicating to holding hellish supernatural forces at bay, but that was before a string of sadistic ritual murders shook everything he believed in―and sent him down a much darker path. One that has already cost him most of his soul, as well as everything he once held dear.

Now a powerful faerie mob boss has hired Ballard to find his lost-lost daughter, who went missing several years ago. The long-cold trail leads him across the globe, from the luxurious playgrounds of the rich and famous to the seedy occult underbelly of Los Angeles, where creatures of myth and legend mingle with street gangs and sex clubs, and where Ballard finds his own guilty past waiting for him around every shadowy corner. To find Caern Ankou, he will have to confront old enemies, former friends and allies, and a grisly cold case that has haunted him for years.

But is Caern still alive? And, perhaps more importantly, does she even want to be found?

Sequel to:

Nightwise.jpg

 

Links

Posted: March 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wow, finding time to do everything and keep up the blog is becoming ever more challenging. Last week was filled with amazing events, including a school visit to Challenger Middle School, the Cape Literacy Festival, and a talk at the W.T. Bland Library with my Tips from a Literary Agent. As promised at that talk, here’s that list of helpful links: 

Agent/Author Blog: www.luciennediver.net               

Author Website: http://luciennediver.com

Knight Agency website: http:// knightagency.net/

Knight Agency submission guidelines: http://knightagency.net/submission-guidelines/#guidelines

Association of Authors’ Representatives: http://www.aaronline.org/

The SFWA Writer Beware site: http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/

 

Articles and Posts:

Worldbuilding:

Part 1 https://luciennediver.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/worldbuilding-workshop-part-i/

Part 2 https://luciennediver.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/worldbuilding-workshop-part-ii/

Part 3 https://luciennediver.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/worldbuilding-workshop-part-iii/

Characters: http://www.magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/characters/

Defining Moments: http://www.magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/defining-moments/

Suspense/Tension: http://www.magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/7673/

Demystifying the Mystical Art of Negotiation: http://varkat.livejournal.com/178318.html

Finding an Agent (with links to blogs on the querying process): http://www.magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/finding-an-agent-2/

The Role of Agents in the Modern Publishing Landscape: http://www.magicalwords.net/lucienne-diver/the-role-of-agents-in-the-modern-publishing-landscape/

So excited that today introduces the world to HONOR AMONG THIEVES by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre,  one of BookBub’s Biggest Teen Books for Adults Coming in 2018!

 HonorAmongThieves hc.jpg HONOR AMONG THIEVES by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, Amazon, iBooks, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Powells, BAM)

Meet your new favorite kickass heroine in this daring YA series by New York Times bestselling authors Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre, a thrilling yet romantic futuristic adventure perfect for fans of Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

Select quotes:

“This series opener from Caine (the Great Library series) and Aguirre (the Immortal Game trilogy) is both a thrilling SF novel and a deeply philosophical examination of the nature of love. Keenly wrought characters, imaginative worldbuilding, and an inventive plot engage and gratify while urging readers to stay curious, question authority, and fight injustice.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Electrifying and unputdownable. There is no other book like this in the universe. It’s an honor (even among thieves) to share Zara’s spaceship with her.” —Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe trilogy

“Ann Aguirre and Rachel Caine are the definition of a double threat. Honor Among Thieves is proof — pitch-perfect pacing and unexpected twists make it a heart-stopping thrill ride. I loved every minute of it!”  —Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures & author of The Lovely Reckless

“Caine and Aguirre’s immersive world and unforgettable characters will absolutely enthrall readers.” —Zoraida Cordova, author of Labyrinth Lost and the Vicious Deep trilogy “Caine and Aguirre create a fresh and fascinating story of interspecies bonding, the power of music, and the effects of trauma on good creatures.”    — ALA Booklist

_______

And ‘tis the season for book award announcements! We have great news in the form of two TKA clients up for Best Male Protagonist in a Leading Role in the Bookish Awards: Cat Sebastian for THE LAWRENCE BROWNE AFFAIR and Christina Henry for LOST BOY!

We also have a host of nominees for the Audie Awards!

Science Fiction:

BATTLEFRONT II: INFERNO SQUAD (Star Wars) by Christie Golden, read by Janina Gavankar

THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin, read by Robin Miles

Paranormal:

CURSE ON THE LAND by Faith Hunter, read by Khristine Hvam

SILVER SILENCE by Nalini Singh, read by Angela Dawe

Best Female Narrator:

THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin, read by Robin Miles

So, good news all around!