BAM! Publish: A Vanity Press?

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedIt’s a common dream among first-time authors: you walk into your favorite local bookstore and there’s Your Book, sitting on the shelf for everyone to see – and buy. Alas, it’s unlikely to happen if you’re an indie author. If it happens at all, it will require a lot of hard work and persuasive energy on your part, as well as a store manager who’s willing to take a chance on an unknown author.

Books-A-Million, the second-largest bookstore chain in the United States, has developed a route for indies to get their books onto store shelves – but there’s a catch. Continue reading “BAM! Publish: A Vanity Press?”

FOULED!: Tate Publishing

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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. Continue reading “FOULED!: Tate Publishing”

Is Page Publishing a Vanity Press?

page publishing logoIt’s not often you see commercial on cable TV for a book publisher. Advertising space is expensive, and most non-Big 5 publishers can’t afford it. So when an advert from Page Publishing showed up on the History Channel, I took notice; especially since it was rather long. I jotted down the name and decided to do some research. Inquiring minds wanted to know! What they were touting seemed a little curious to me.

Page Publishing was easy to find on Google. Once on their website, you get the feeling like you’re looking at a glitzy New York publisher — which they seem to be. They spent a lot of money on the site which has plenty of things to look at. I was interested in their process, so I clicked on the overview tab. Everything looked above-board. They offer copy-editing and proofing, typesetting, conversion to eBook, marketing, and publicity, along with distribution and royalty management. Everything a budding author could dream of. They will even send you a box of books for your first signings and to give to family. This at least is better than what some vanity publishers offer. When I was first published with a vanity press, they didn’t even edit my manuscript! And when a box of books I’d purchased got lost in media mail, the publisher would not replace them. Yes, I learned the hard way. Continue reading “Is Page Publishing a Vanity Press?”

Do Some Vanity-Published Authors Suffer Stockholm Syndrome?

#PublishingFoul Logo Indies UnlimitedThis month at IU, we’ve been featuring articles on bad experiences with publishing contracts — either bad deals or scammy companies. You’d think that with the proliferation of stories about companies that swindle authors or offer all-around bad deals, they’d all be out of business. Yet, many persist. And some even have glowing recommendations from authors who’ve used their services.

So, what’s the deal? Are these people getting better service than those who got scammed or do they, as my friend Jim suggested, suffer from Stockholm syndrome? For those unfamiliar, Stockholm syndrome occurs when a kidnapping victim begins to identify with captors and even ultimately defends the captors. Patty Hearst, the heiress kidnapped in 1974 by the Symbionese Liberation Army, later joined in the group’s crime spree and was said to have participated because she suffered from Stockholm syndrome. Continue reading “Do Some Vanity-Published Authors Suffer Stockholm Syndrome?”