AUTHORS, REPEAT AFTER ME: “I will NOT give any publisher ownership of my production files!”

AUTHORS, REPEAT AFTER ME: “I will NOT give any publisher ownership of my production files!”

NOTE: does NOT take ownership of its authors’ production files. BookLocker’s authors own all rights to their books and to their production files from the get-go. Period.

A few years ago, after much trouble, numerous complaints posted online, and a handful of lawsuits, Tate Publishing bit the dust. They called it a “transition” on their website (uh huh…), while also saying they have “stopped accepting new authors and artists.”

Many authors assume they have retained the rights to their manuscript, and they probably do. But, the rights to your words (your story) are completely different from the rights to the files used to print your book, meaning the interior and cover production files.

According to attorney Mark Levine in his book The Fine Print of Self Publishing, “A Tate representative told me that, if the author should determine to leave Tate and publish elsewhere, the book’s design files would remain with Tate.

That means Tate Publishing was one of those snakes (my words, not Mark’s) who claimed ownership of their authors’ production files. This is VERY IMPORTANT. In a nutshell, authors paid them upwards of thousands of dollars to format their interior files, design their book covers, edit their manuscripts, etc., etc., and Tate then claimed ownership of the files the authors PAID them to create.

In whose world is it fair to pay someone for files that you won’t own? In my opinion, this practice is NEVER fair.

Then, Tate took it a step further. They are offering to sell their authors’ production files back to them for an additional $50….but the authors also must sign a contract stating 1. they won’t sue Tate and 2. they agree to get no refund from Tate. So, if you want your production files, that’s the only way you can get them.

Unfortunately, most POD publishers / publishing services firms have a similar contract clause. Why do they do this? We call it a “forced marriage.” Think about it. If an author must pay another firm all over again to design print-ready files (and even to edit the manuscript), what incentive does an author have have to leave their current (greedy) publisher? Unless they have hundreds or thousands more to spend, they’re stuck with that publisher. That ensures the publisher can not only continue to get residual sales for the book over the years, but they can also keep attempting to upsell the author on more services.

REPEAT: does NOT take ownership of its authors’ production files. BookLocker’s authors own all rights to their books and to their production files from the get-go. Period.

According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self Publishing, the following publishers DO take the rights to their author’s production files:

Abbott Press
Archway Publishing
Balboa Press
Magic Valley Publishers
WestBow Press
Xulon Press

Other firms we researched:

Lulu – if you use their resources/services, they own the rights to those files.
CreateSpace – if you use their resources/services, they own the rights to those files.

There are others in the industry as well and some of them use very confusing legalese in their contracts so authors can’t really understand what they’re giving up. For example, they may claim the author owns all rights to the files the author submitted to the publisher. If nothing more is mentioned, you can bet the publisher is claiming rights to the ready-to-print production files.

Beware of companies that do offer authors their production files, but refuse to give you copies of your files until after your book is terminated. You should be able to obtain copies of your production files at any time so you can set them up at a new publisher or printer before terminating from the first one. This will ensure your book is not “out of print” at any time.

Again, takes NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER FROM AUTHORS. BookLocker authors can terminate at any time and they can use their files at another publisher or printer. This includes the final MSWord file (that contains the final formatting, and can be easily edited/updated by the author), and/or the print-ready pdf files (cover and interior). BookLocker even gives authors their epub, mobi, and pdf ebook files.


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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - 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. - "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.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE



90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy

Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.

We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!

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Fall 2023 24 Hour Short Story Contest

3 Responses to "AUTHORS, REPEAT AFTER ME: “I will NOT give any publisher ownership of my production files!”"

  1. Leonard Nourse  February 6, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks Angela, for many of us who are pestered by many of those you mention

  2. Mica Jay  February 3, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Hi Angela,
    I published my book “Worlds Apart” with Lulu in 2005 and they said I could also publish elsewhere.
    The book is now republished by a traditional UK publisher and also available on Lulu.

    At the time I just asked them to format the document. They stressed that authors were their own self
    publishers. I think now they offer alternative services.

    My problem with Lulu was the fact they said they had no control over their distribution services after
    I challenged them for allowing the book to be falsely advertised for sale through Amazon under the
    name of another publisher called Kessinger..

    I know an author who has just removed all her books from Amazon after her books were stolen.
    Apart from the question you raise, what control do authors and publishers have over their files
    when Amazon have their own printing and distribution services and do not reveal their accounts?
    Mica Jay

  3. pamelaallegretto  February 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    And this is why BookLocker is the best! Your integrity is admirable. I’m so grateful to be a part of the BookLocker “family.”