It came as no surprise to any of us last week when Tate Publishing announced they’ve “suspended operations.” Honestly, with the way they’ve done business, I’m surprised they lasted this long. Heck, the posts HERE date back several months, long before Tate imploded.
I must give a huge shout-out to Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware! She’s been publishing a large collection of information about Tate Publishing’s troubles for months now. I encourage you to read her entire piece as it contains even more disturbing information, like the fact that Tate’s attorneys (their most recent ones anyway), have asked to be withdrawn from the case because Tate “failed to meet its financial obligations with the law firm.” There’s even an allegation that Tate threatened to sue her but the lawsuit was never filed.
While there are lots of details available online, and numerous negative complaints posted on the Internet about Tate from its own authors, the most notable news (allegedly) related to their demise is:
- Last summer, they were sued by Xerox for $1.7 million.
- Last week, Tate Publishing was sued by another printing supplier for $1.8 million.
- There are other lawsuits pending against them as well.
- According to THIS ARTICLE, the Department of Labor has been investigating whether Tate owes its employees overtime pay. There is an allegation online that Tate “coached” its employees on what to say when the investigators arrived at their office.
- There have been 155 complaints filed against Tate Publishing with the Oklahoma Attorney General.
- Tate’s homepage states they’re no longer accepting any new authors. They’re calling it a “transition period.” Uh huh…
- Tate is CHARGING authors (yes, authors who paid them THOUSANDS to get published) an insulting $50 fee just to get their own production files so they can get their books published elsewhere. But, you gotta wait 30-45 days to receive the files. That’s a long time to wait if you’re counting on book sales to supplement your income!
- The “production files” will not be clean – meaning Tate’s name, ISBN, barcode, etc. will still appear in the interior of the books, as well as on the cover. In case you don’t know, altering a cover that doesn’t have a solid background is not always an easy feat. Replacing the copyright page is NOT a big deal, thank goodness. At the very least, since Tate is charging for the files, they should be agreeing to provide clean production files (without Tate’s info). But, they’re not. The “contract release” specifically states, “I understand that I am required to remove the ISBN, Barcode, Tate Publishing’s logos, and any references to Tate Publishing before the files may be printed.“
- Tate won’t accept credit cards or Paypal for the fees. Payment is accepted via check, money order, or cashier’s check only, and must be mailed with a copy of the “contract release.” In case you don’t know, if you don’t use a credit card for a payment, you can’t issue a chargeback. If you mail a check, money order, or cashier’s check, your chances of getting your money back if something goes awry aren’t so great regardless of who you’re paying. Is that why Tate is requiring payment by mail only? Hmmmm….
And, before you send that $50, you should read THIS (check out the 1/23/17 update).
- Signing the “contract release” is a very basic blanket release of claims against the company and its owners. It states, “I agree to indemnify and hold harmless Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC and its subsidiaries, officers, executives, employees, and any such heirs they may have….” Blah blah blah.
In a nutshell, if I’m reading it correctly, they’ll only give you your files if you pay them $50 AND if you agree not to sue them. Is that fair? Is that right? Shouldn’t you be able to get your files NOW so you can keep your book on the market while you decide whether or not to sue them? I’m no lawyer but this stinks to high Heaven! Some authors are now talking about a class-action lawsuit against this large publisher who has published more than 39,000 books. But, what’s the point, really? If they’re really that hard up for cash, the largest creditor (the printing company) will be first in line to get any money that is recoverable in the event of a bankruptcy.
Oh, and to add insult to injury, under the agreement, authors will NOT be receiving any refunds. It doesn’t matter if you paid them $1,000, or $3,000, or much, much more to publish your book. You’re screwed. Authors are getting none of that back.
I predict Tate Publishing will be filing bankruptcy post haste to try to make all their debts go away. The more authors they can convince to “hold them harmless,” the better off they’ll be (legally and financially) later.
I GOTTA GET PERSONAL HERE!
As an author myself, and as an advocate for writers and authors, and as the owner of a publishing company, I find this entire situation nauseating and it just doesn’t make any sense! At BookLocker.com, we have published more than 8,000 titles in the past 18 years and, based on what Tate’s authors have reported online, our setup fees are FAR lower than Tate’s. We have been profitable every single year, even when the economy soured, and we have always paid royalties to our authors on time. We pay our suppliers in full and on time. We pay our employees weekly (and on-time). They get overtime as well as full benefits (medical, dental, life and disability), 2 weeks of personal leave per year, 2 weeks of vacation per year, paid maternity and other hardship leave, and 14 paid holidays per year (including their birthday!).
How do we do it? It’s very simple. We live modestly, within our means. If we want to expand the business, we save the money to do so first. We don’t take out business loans (and never have). We are generous, and treat everyone the way we would want to be treated. In a nutshell, we run a tight ship and we make smart, conservative financial decisions. We could have sold out to a larger firm several years ago but we knew, if we did, we’d walk away with full pockets but our authors would be screwed. At the end of the day, I’d rather be able to look at myself in the mirror and have a smaller bank account (and, honestly, I’m too much of a workaholic to ever retire) than leave our authors at the mercy of one of the author meat markets out there. That’s why we’re still in business, and profitable, after 18 years.
So, I just don’t understand how a firm that has (allegedly) published 39,000 authors can be going out of business! You’d think the money from residual book sales alone (for those already on the market) could at least keep a skeleton crew in place to support those authors they’ve already published. To bluntly announce they’re closing their doors is mind-boggling to me! OH, WAIT! They’ve been sued by Xerox and another printer! If they have nobody to print their books, how can they make any money on residual print book sales? NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE!
So now, those thousands of authors need new homes for their books ASAP.
Here’s what our firm, BookLocker, is offering Tate Publishing’s authors for black-and-white-interior print books:
1. OUR DIY PROGRAM – ONLY $78.
If you want to wait for your production files from Tate, you probably qualify for our DIY program, which is ONLY $78. That includes you receiving the print galley (proof) of your book (the first printed, bound copy, shipped via UPS Next Day Air) from us for review. We will be happy to create a new copyright page for your book, and to insert it into your interior file. It will contain your new ISBN (you can use one of ours at no additional charge, or you can use your own) and all of Tate’s info. will be stripped from the page. Note: If you want to buy your own ISBN, that’s $125 at R.R. Bowker but, again, we’ll assign one of ours for no additional charge. Since we buy them 1,000 at a time in bulk, we get them for a little more than a buck each.
We might be able to remove Tate’s info. from the cover without much hassle. If that is the case, our designer will charge $95 to do that. If you want to do it yourself, we won’t charge anything. You’ll just need to upload your cover to us and we’ll quickly replace the barcode with one that includes your new ISBN. There is no extra charge for us to do that.
You will retain all rights to your cover and interior files (the production files). We don’t take rights from authors.
We do not profit on the setup for DIY books. Instead, we earn our profits (along with the author) in book sales later.
Use THIS LINK to sign up for our DIY service.
2. OUR “DISGRUNTLED AUTHOR SPECIAL” – ONLY $268
Send us YOUR existing interior file (not Tate’s) as a word processing document. We will provide formatting assistance, assign a new ISBN, get a new barcode, etc., etc. If you’d like to make new edits to the manuscript at this time, that’s fine and now is definitely the time to do that! We will send you the formatted file for review so you can make your edits at that time. This is our “disgruntled author special” and we offer it to victims of other defunct (or just plain lousy) POD publishers all the time. You won’t find this level of service cheaper anywhere else.
As with the DIY program above, we might be able to remove Tate’s info. from your cover without much hassle. If that is the case, our designer will charge $95 to do that. If you want to do it yourself, we won’t charge anything. You’ll just need to upload your cover to us and we’ll quickly replace the barcode with one that includes your new ISBN. There is no extra charge for us to do that.
If you need a new cover, we can design a brand new, original cover for you. Cost: $250 for paperbacks; $350 for hardcovers.
You will own all rights to your cover and interior files (the production files). We don’t take rights from authors.
Use THIS LINK to sign up for our “Disgruntled Author” service.
If you have a color-interior book, please contact me so we can discuss your needs. Those files are a bit more complicated but we might be able to help you for very little cost depending, of course, on the quality and format of Tate’s files.
We’d love to help you get your book back on the market FAST so please holler and let us know how we can help! 🙂
If you have any questions, contact me (Angela) right here:
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE