FOULED!: Tate Publishing

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies Unlimited

You know that when a businessman calls himself a religious man, he’s okay, right? He’s not going to scam you, right? And “family owned and operated” is another indicator of a wholesome, honest business model. Right?

Let me introduce you to Tate Publishing and Enterprises.

Headquartered in Mustang, Oklahoma, the company publishes both books and music. Their website says the firm was founded by Richard and Rita Tate, who were moved to start a publishing house after losing control of their own work to an unnamed “traditional, mainline royalty publishing company.” The current president and CEO is their son, Ryan Tate, who turns up pretty regularly on Fox News as a commentator on anything and everything except publishing. No, really. Check out the Press Room tab on the Tate Publishing site, where you’ll find links to the guy’s appearances. I didn’t see a single one that was even remotely related to publishing.

Tate Publishing LogoAnother thing you won’t find on Tate Publishing’s website is any indication about their prices. Instead, you have to give them your contact information so that an Acquisition Editor can call you.

According to Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware, Tate’s business model has changed over the years. With the current setup, Tate supposedly offers three types of contracts: a traditional-type offer with an advance; an offer without an advance; and an offer with a $4,000 price tag. The vast majority of Tate authors who have approached Writer Beware have the fee-based contract.

The $4,000 isn’t for publishing services, according to Tate, but for hiring one of their publicists. Every Tate author is required to have a publicist. You can try to convince them to let you hire your own, but reportedly the company will reject just about anyone outside their own stable as not sufficiently qualified.

The publicist requirement doesn’t seem to be helping sales for at least some of Tate’s books. I spotted one that’s ranked in the 9 millions on Amazon. Maybe part of the problem is the list price? Tate’s eBook prices appear to start at $10.99.

A quick internet search found this list of complaints about the company on ConsumerAffairs, as well as a whole bunch of other hits. In addition, Writer Beware has put Tate Publishing on their “two thumbs down” list. Preditors & Editors also advises against doing business with them.

If that’s not enough, there was a weird incident in 2012 that made the national news. According to the report, the Tates fired 25 employees from their staff of about 200, because one of the workers circulated an email saying the company was going to lay off a bunch of people and outsource operations to the Phillippines. Ryan Tate said at the time that employees sign a confidentiality agreement when they’re hired, and the workers who were fired violated that agreement. Then he confirmed that the company was planning to open an office in the Phillippines. Make of that what you will.

I will say that along with the complaints, I found several testimonials from Tate authors who defended the company and said they were very happy with their services. All I’ll say is this: Legitimate traditional publishers don’t charge their authors for anything – not even marketing. I’d recommend steering clear of Tate Publishing and Enterprises.

Author: Lynne Cantwell

Lynne Cantwell grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. She worked as a broadcast journalist for many years; she has written for CNN, the late lamented Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a bunch of radio and TV news outlets you have probably never heard of, including a defunct wire service called Zapnews. But she began as a fantasy writer (in the second grade), and is back at it today. She currently lives near Washington, DC. Learn more about Lynne at her blog and at her Amazon author page.

36 thoughts on “FOULED!: Tate Publishing”

  1. I agree with you and tell everyone I talk to who is thinking of going the traditional route, if they want money from you to publish your book, run! Thank you for the wonderful, reminder post Lynne!

  2. Thanks Lynne for the plug. Too many beginning writers fall into this bottomless pit, and with scarce seed money they’re hit at the knees.

    1. Exactly. I think newbies to the publishing game have become more savvy, but there are still folks out there who get excited about having a “publishing contract” and don’t think to question it.

    1. What have you got against Oakies, Charles? I’ve met two who were really charming. Thick, but charming. and too stupid not to be honest. 🙂

      1. LOL, Ian Mathie! We aren’t all thick and stupid, honest! Charming I will let you get by with. 😀

      1. I did, Ms. Cantwell …I touched them both, and BigAl just stood there and watched me do it. 😀

  3. No publishing company is perfect. I am a Tate author. I did not pay nothing like they are quoting because, I made my own deal. Any person can do it. And I do have a publicist. And they do set up appointments for me at different venues. I have a number of books with them. I work with some of the finest editors and art illustrators. I am not always happy about everything involving the publishing world. But my editor has bent over backwards to make me happy, and for that I am thankful. I think authors deserve higher royalties from what they author. I think that could stand improvement not just at Tate, but overall.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Karen. I’m curious about something, though. You said you didn’t pay anything like the price that’s been quoted. Would you mind letting us know whether you paid anything at all?

      Also, authors who self-publish through KDP make a royalty of either 35% or 70%, depending on the price the authors set — and they set the price themselves. I’m not aware of any publisher that pays a royalty that’s that high.

  4. My experience with businesses that call themselves Christian has me avoiding them because of things like this. Sad to say, isn’t it, but too true nonetheless.

  5. While I appreciate the comments and everyone is certainly welcome to their opinion, at Tate Publishing we do provide publicist services, and we schedule, manage, promote, and publicize 1000 events each month for our fine authors. These events range from traditional bookstore signing events to events in other markets such as libraries, churches, and other high-traffic venues. Generating visibility and demand is our goal, and no one does more for first-time authors or sticks with authors longer than we do to pursue opportunities for their success. Our model helps authors to build a platform and develop a following in a very crowded and competitive market.

    We create opportunities for visibility as well by creating websites, video trailers, and exposure for our authors through mobile app advertising to ensure we are reaching thousands of potential readers through the exposure we provide.

    I don’t know of any publisher that can guarantee overnight success, but we do have a team here that works incredibly hard and comes to work ready to serve our authors each day in seeking opportunities for exposure and sales.

    Mark Mingle
    Vice President
    Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC

    1. Thanks for coming by, Mark. As long as you’re here, I have a couple of questions for you:

      1. Do you charge your authors to provide publicity for them?

      2. I reported above that $4,000 is what you charge your authors if they hire one of Tate’s publicists. Is that figure accurate?

      3. One thousand publicity events per month translates to how many per author per month?

      4. The biggest book marketplace of all right now is Amazon, yet not all of Tate’s titles are listed. I checked this afternoon for Ms. Crider’s works, and I found just one of her books available there. What is Tate’s reasoning for bypassing Amazon?

      5. What sort of royalty does Tate pay its authors?

      6. How many of your authors break even?

      Looking forward to hearing the answers to these questions. Thanks!

      1. I’m wondering, too, why there’s no slot on the career opportunities page for editors, nor any mention of editing services. We all know rigorous editing is what makes a good book great.

  6. Ugh… another one. These days it might be easier to ask which company is a genuine publisher than which is not. Sadly, I suspect the Big Five [or is it Four now?] have tarnished halos as well, or at least penny-pinching, miserly ones. I’m so glad I’m an Indie.

  7. Never heard of these folks, but then I don’t watch talking heads on Fox News or live in Oklahoma. I have been to the Philippines several times and could be lured back there if the company gave me a huge salary and plenty of San Miguel beer–oh, and a Jeepney.

    Seriously, thanks for adding to Indies Unlimited growing list of post about foul publishers.

      1. Is being sent to the Philippines anything like being sent to Coventry, Lynne? If so, the isolation would be a blessing. Just think of all the writing on could do without continual interruptions! Bring it on! 🙂

  8. They key factor you mention, Lynne, is that writers have to pay the company up front for their publishing services. That’s the proverbial red flag in the writing profession.

  9. Thanks, Lynne, not that I would ever be tempted by such obviously dubious operators, but we do have to look after the newbie indies.

    Excellent post, Lynne!

  10. Well said, Mr McKinnon. This whole chapter clearly demonstrates one of the many reasons why IU is so valuable, particularly to those just starting out as indies. 🙂

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