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June 16, 2016

Tate Publishing & Enterprises Slapped with $1.7 Million Lawsuit, Department of Labor Investigation

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

It appears that Tate is attempting to re-boot under a new name: Lux Creative Publishing. See my update at the bottom of this post.
Since putting this post online, I've received dozens of questions about whether there's a class action lawsuit against Tate. To my knowledge, the answer currently is no. I don't think that's the best option, anyway, because given all the complaints by authors and staff of non-payment, I'm guessing that Tate has few resources to tap for reparations.

Instead, I'd strongly encourage authors to file complaints with the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office and with the FBI. Individual complaints don't usually spur action, but a volume of them may, especially if they are received over a short period of time. The Oklahoma AG has already received 155 complaints about Tate.

File a complaint with the Consumer Protection Division of the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office

Contact the FBI field office in Oklahoma City

This is a developing situation; see the updates at the bottom of this post.

Readers of this blog may be familiar with Tate Publishing & Enterprises--an Oklahoma-based publisher that describes itself as "a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors."

Tate takes pains to depict itself as a selective traditional publisher that accepts "only a single-digit percentage of authors who submitted manuscripts for publication" (a claim that's a little hard to credit from a publisher that, if Amazon is to be believed, pumped out 3,000 titles in 2015). In fact, authors must pay nearly $4,000 to publish with Tate, with even more due if they choose to buy any of Tate's array of extras, such as "personalized author websites" and video book trailers. Tate also incentivizes author book-buying, by promising to refund the original fee once 2,500 books are sold and allowing author purchases to count toward the total--though only if made in bulk quantities of 300 or more.

There is no mention of any of this on Tate's website or in its videos. Tate doesn't disclose its fees until authors either submit a manuscript or request more info. For that reason, as well as the very large volume of complaints we've received about the company (many of them from writers who approached Tate in the belief that it was a traditional publisher), Tate is included on Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Publishers List. (For this and other comments we made, Tate claimed in a 2008 blog post to be suing us, but no lawsuit was ever filed.)

You don't have to take my word about the complaints, by the way. In 2015, Tate was the second most complained-about company to the Oklahoma attorney general. Many more complaints--not just about Tate Publishing, but about its vanity recording subsidiary, Tate Music Group--can be found online, including at the Better Business Bureau--where, despite 102 complaints over the past 3 years and what the BBB acknowledges as "a significant pattern of complaints", Tate has an "A" rating. (How do you get an "A" rating from the BBB despite more than 100 customers complaining about your service? Sign up to become a BBB accredited business and make sure you respond to everything.) (UPDATE: Sometime between me putting this post online and June 24, the BBB suspended Tate's accreditation and removed its rating.)

Tate got some unflattering news coverage in 2012, when CEO Ryan Tate fired 25 production workers in retaliation for an anonymous email about rumored layoffs at the company (the rumors were sparked by Tate's decision to outsource some of its work to the Philippines). Ryan Tate's nearly 20-minute rant, recorded secretly by an employee, went viral after it was leaked online. (You can listen to it--if you dare--here. You can also marvel at Tate's Employment Agreement, here.)

Now Tate may be in bigger trouble. Xerox Corporation, which leases some of the equipment Tate uses for its 24-hour-a-day printing facility, has filed a $1.7 million lawsuit against Tate Publishing and Ryan Tate, alleging defaults on re-structured lease and service agreements and on a promissory note executed to address previous debt, and seeking re-possession of $450,000 in leased equipment as well as a money judgment of $463,786.90 against Ryan Tate personally, as Guarantor on the promissory note. The full petition can be seen here.

The suit has spurred some local media attention, and Ryan Tate isn't taking it lying down. To The Journal Record (sorry--paywall) he characterized the lawsuit as intimidation. "[Xerox is] just positioning and posturing, trying to force us to sign some different long-term contracts we’re not interested in." To KFOR.com he downplayed the impact of the suit, describing Xerox as "really a small part of our manufacturing process.” To the Mustang News, he claimed that "We are in the process of filing our counter suits and Xerox is trying to force us to use their equipment for our shop on a long-term basis as well as they have failed to deliver on some major contractual elements in regards to service, maintenance, and equipment purchases." (Worth noting: according to this glowing 2011 "case study" on Tate's partnership with Xerox, Tate has been working with Xerox since at least 2007, and its production facility is set up with "all Xerox digital equipment.")

That's not the only lawsuit Tate is fielding at the moment. One of its authors, Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks, has filed suit for breach of contract, deceptive trade and marketing practices, fraud, and several other causes of action, alleging that she paid over $12,000 for a book that was published full of errors (twice) and never marketed. She's asking for her money back, as well as attorneys' fees and damages. Her amended complaint, which includes pages from her book showing the mistakes, can be seen here.

Summonses in both suits were issued on the same day, May 27. Tate has 20 days to respond. Stay tuned.

UPDATE 7/1/16: More trouble for Tate. Local news station KFOR reports that staff have been laid off from Tate's printing plant, and author complaints of non-payment are surfacing (Writer Beware has received similar complaints).

UPDATE 11/15/16: Per the most recent updates to the court docket, plaintiff Xerox has successfully re-possessed its equipment, but retained a cause of action for lease amounts still due. It has also discovered additional debts that weren't included in the original complaint. Accordingly, it has filed an Amended Petition raising the total money amount it's seeking from Tate to $1.89 million.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor has launched an investigation into Tate--an investigation that has spurred allegations of tampering from some Tate employees, who claim that Ryan Tate "coached" them on what to say.

UPDATE 11/30/16: Nobody knows the troubles Tate's seen...oh, wait, everyone does. News Channel KFOR reports that three new lawsuits have popped up this month: one by a musician suing over copyright laws (a customer of Tate Music Group, which also runs on a vanity model); one by memorabilia manufacturer Jostens, which claims that Tate owes it more than $13,000; and one by the property company that leases Tate its print shop (vacant now that Xerox has re-possessed its equipment), which claims that Tate owes nearly $20,000 in rent.

UPDATE 12/22/16: I'm getting a flood of emails and comments not just from Tate authors, but from Tate staffers in the Philippines (you can see some of the comments below). Here's what I'm hearing.

- Apparently Tate's Philippine workforce once numbered close to 1,000, but massive dismissals have seriously reduced this. The consensus seems to be that around 80% of staff have lost their jobs since October.
- Unpaid or part-paid salaries and bonuses; apparently corporate headquarters in the USA hasn't been wiring enough money to cover payroll.
- Staff complaints filed with the local Labor Department, citing salary disputes and dismissals without the required 30-day notice.
- Production halts and slowdowns have put books in limbo, since there's no longer sufficient staff to work on them.
- Resignation of high-level corporate staff in the US.
- Silence on these issues from corporate headquarters.

The Philippine staffers I've heard from are convinced that Tate can't survive much longer. Several have told me that they suspect that the Tates are shifting assets to a new company called Lux Creative Concepts LLC, which was registered in February 2016 by Ryan Tate's wife, Christy Kelley-Tate.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 1/10/17: From the comments on this post, today--I stress that this is unconfirmed. [UPDATE:: at least one Tate author has received an email from Tate's marketing department confirming the closure]

"Tate Publishing has officially shut down their business in the Philippines today. Their main office in Cebu has been locked up by the Department of Labor and the owner of the building due to non-payment of the rent."

UPDATE 1/11/17: And another:

"I'm an ex-employee of Tate, and we were just at the Cebu office yesterday. Today is the the last day that the office is open, mainly for HR to furnish ex-employees with certificates of employment and other documents. The Department of Labor has officially ceased all operations and is taking stock of the company's physical assets.

We have been informed that, as of this writing, there is no official directive or announcement from the Tates that the company is closing or declaring bankruptcy."

UPDATE 1/12/17: More on the Philippines debacle from an Oklahoma-based blog that has published a lot of articles about Tate's shenanigans. A former Tate staffer in Tate's now-closed Cebu offices describes partial payment of salaries, non-payment of government-mandated bonuses, and other problems dating back months.

I've received many similar emails from Cebu staffers, one of whom shared with me the Department of Labor notice resulting from a compliance visit to Tate's Cebu offices on January 9. Findings:


UPDATE 1/14/17: Some Tate authors report receiving an email signed by Tate's Director of Production, Tim Kelley, claiming that Ryan Tate hasn't paid employees and "your book will never be finished." This email was reportedly followed, within a couple of days, by another email claiming that the first email was the result of "identity theft" and its allegations aren't true.

Okay.

Meanwhile, Tate authors are receiving this, also--apparently--from Tim Kelley:


Things are fine, folks, just fine. Never mind the mass layoffs of employees. Never mind the lack of payment and non-communication. It's all just a transition.

I'd love to hear from Tate authors who sign up for the portal. Have you received any results from your "new support ticket"?

UPDATE 1/16/17: There's now a forum for Tate authors to share experiences and support: Tate Publishing Help.

UPDATE 1/18/17: The Xerox lawsuit goes to court on Friday.

"Meanwhile, it was unclear Tuesday who is representing Tate Publishing in the case. The firm's attorney when the lawsuit initially was filed was Richard L. Hasley, of Oklahoma City. But in September, an order was granted allowing Hasley to withdraw from the case, as he was retiring.

Hasley was replaced by George H. Ramey and William D. Tharp, of Ramey & Tharp in Yukon.

On Dec. 1, Ramey & Tharp submitted an application to withdraw from the case as Tate Publishing's representatives, as well, saying the Mustang publisher had failed to meet its financial obligations with the law firm."


And...uh oh. This is what you get at 12:53pm on January 18 when you click on Tate's website URL:


YET ANOTHER UPDATE, 1/18/17: I've now heard from several Tate authors and former US staffers that Tate closed down today. Two people have told me that it is considering a bankruptcy filing.

BUT...

Remember how I mentioned suspicions that Tate was shifting assets to a new company called Lux Creative Concepts, LLC, registered last February in Oklahoma by Ryan Tate's wife, Christy Kelley-Tate? Well, get a load of this.

As many Tate authors know, Tate's Marketing Director is Terry Cordingley. Here's a screenshot, taken today, of the Mr. Cordingley's Blogger profile; it identifies him as Tate's Associate Director of Marketing, a position he says he's held since 2006:


And here's a cut-and-paste, also taken today, of Mr. Cordingley's LinkedIn profile, which identifies him as the Director of Marketing for Lux Creative, a position he also says he's held since 2006:


Draw your own conclusions.

UPDATE 1/19/17: This was just posted to the Facebook page of The Lost Ogle, a blog that covers Oklahoma matters and has devoted a good number of posts to Tate:
Tate Publishing Closes
By Traci Chapman

What looked like a fork in the road turned out to be the end of it for Mustang’s Tate Publishing this week, as it closed its doors for the last time.

The news came Wednesday, just days after Tate co-founders Dr. Richard Tate and Rita Tate announced a consolidation of the company’s operations – the shutdown of its Philippines office and layoff of 50 employees there and a new focus on the company’s home base in Oklahoma.

Tate’s Mustang office employed about 30 people as of Monday, Rita Tate said then....

One of Tate family members’ primary concerns during the planned restructuring, and then as they faced the closure of their company, remained the company’s approximately 35,000 authors, they said. Work to help those authors make other arrangements was already underway and would continue as Tate worked with its attorneys to complete the closure process.
I suspect most Tate authors will find that last paragraph bitterly ironic.

ANOTHER UPDATE, 1/19/17: Tate's website now claims that it's "experiencing a transition period." There are links to click; if you do, you're taken to a release form requiring you to release Tate from legal liability and from providing "any refund or monetary compensation whatever." For authors whose books have already been published, there's the option of paying (!!!) a $50 "processing fee" to get final book-ready files.


UPDATES 1/21/17: Terry Cordingley has deleted his Blogger profile and changed his LinkedIn profile. "I previously worked for Lux Creative Concepts as the Director of Marketing, assisting authors with marketing, promotion and publicity for their books. Prior to joining Lux, previously operating as Tate Publishing LLC..." (my bolding)

The bolded wording is interesting, because I've learned, via a former Tate employee, that Tate was issuing Lux Creative Concepts contracts simultaneously with Tate contracts during the final year of its existence. According to the employee, the Lux contracts cost a few hundred dollars more than the standard Tate contracts, and were for authors who wanted more media "extras".

I've also learned, via an article published yesterday in Oklahoma paper The Journal Record, that yet another lawsuit has been filed against Tate: this one by Lightning Source, to which Tate routed its printing business in June of last year (the complaint can be seen here).

Lightning Source, which alleges that Tate failed to pay for services rendered, is seeking $1.8 million: $722,000 (which it paid to Tate "for the exclusive rights to print and distribute at least five million, five hundred thousand (5,500,000) non-returned units of titles") plus an equal amount in damages, plus late charges. The lawsuit also names Ryan Tate, who signed a Personal Guaranty agreement by which he "absolutely and unconditionally guaranteed the full payment of all amounts due from Tate Publishing to Lightning Source".

The timeline here is...interesting. Tate signed the agreement with Lightning Source on June 28 of last year--after Xerox, from which it had been leasing printing equipment, filed suit against it for non-payment and threatened to re-possess its printing equipment. Tate was probably desperate for a cash infusion at that point; it's hard not to suspect that it knew, when it signed the Lightning Source agreement, that it wouldn't be able to pay. Also... $722,000 is a sizeable chunk of change. What happened to it?

As with the Xerox lawsuit (which is in court today), it's not clear who will be representing Tate, since both its previous lawyers resigned due to lack of payment.

UPDATE 1/22/17: Quoth Richard Tate, according to this report from News Channel KFOR, "We love our authors. We are not going to abandon them." He also claims that "while [Tate] represent around 39,000 authors, this closing mainly affects the few hundred that have books not yet published" (forgetting, apparently, about the many who do have books published and haven't received royalties and/or book orders), and, in an apparent trip back in time to 2008, attributes the company's closing to "the downturn in the economy".

Here's a glimpse of how much Tate loves its authors (one of a number of screenshots shared with me by a former Tate employee):


UPDATE 1/23/17: Those of you who are considering giving Tate the $50 for your digital files should read this comment I just received:

My book was ready to be printed so I made some serious attempts to convert the PDF to Word. Impossible. Tate uses a type of PDF called Acrobat reader DC and is proprietary to Tate. I have been doing a very slow page by page copy and paste finding out they have hidden tabs, margins, font and spacing. It takes about an hour to do one chapter that is presentable to my new publisher in Word 2010. Going through the copy and paste I find out I have 2 Chapter One's and several with no chapter numbers. After doing 5 chapters I found over 300 errors so the book wasn't worth printing any way. They use a Philippine font that is hard to change when you do a copy and paste.

UPDATE 1/24/17: Here's the latest iteration of Tate's website, which is now calling itself the Tate Publishing Transition Information Center:


The Current Clients page still offers the release forms, and notes,

We are currently in negotiations with a number of publishing houses to find the best possible new home for all clients and titles we represent. Our primary objective is to find an appropriate home for our authors to ensure their success. In order to ensure successful negotiations, we are unable to comment further at this time.

What does this mean? Is Tate seeking to sell its contracts? Will the new publisher or publishers honor existing contract terms? Will more money be due? Will authors (and musicians, since this affects Tate Music Group as well) have the opportunity to refuse? These are important questions with big implications.

Please, everyone, keep the emails and comments coming, so I can continue to post updates.

UPDATE, 2/2/17: Beware sharks in publishers' clothing.

There are plenty of pay-to-play publishing services that are angling for Tate authors' business, not all of them very reputable. I've heard from authors who've been solicited by Nydus Publishing Consultants, which sells hugely overpriced publishing packages, and by LitFire Publishing, which was set up by ex-Author Solutions employees in the Philippines and is also seriously overpriced (see my blog post). And that's not all. This is a screen grab from today:


Lulu.com is okay, but Dog Ear Publishing is expensive and I've gotten a number of complaints about Outskirts Press's quality and service.

If you're solicited by a publisher or publishing service, could you please let me know? I'd like to keep track. I'll also be glad to check my files to find out if I've gotten complaints about any publisher or service you're considering using.

UPDATE 2/6/17: Worth repeating: this comment from today. If you've paid anything to Tate via credit card, dispute the charges (this goes for PayPal, too):

I'm not sure if you have covered this already, and I apologize if you have, though it may be worth mentioning again - If you are a former recent Tate Authors who paid fees upfront with a credit card, DISPUTE THE CHARGES. I just got off the phone with Discover, who I paid all of my payments adding up to $900 with, and we are disputing all charges from July through November of last year. They investigate, and if they can't get contact with Tate (Lord knows they won't since no one can), then I win. The money will be returned to me. I don't know how other credit card companies handle disputes, but I will always use Discover if they get my money back...


UPDATE 2/11/17: To no one's surprise (well, my surprise, anyway), Tate has failed to respond to the summons in the Lightning Source suit. From an article at NewsOK:

An attorney who represents a Tennessee-based printing services firm suing Tate Publishing in federal court for nonpayment filed an entry of default in the case on Friday.

Attorney Evan Vincent, of Crowe & Dunlevy, said the entry of default was filed after the Mustang publisher and its president and CEO never responded to a summons they were served on the case in January.

The entry of default clears the way for Vincent and his firm's client, Lightning Source LLC, to ask a federal judge to grant a motion of default in the case and to award Lightning Source the $1.845 million, plus interest, it seeks from Ryan Tate and his firm.


Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. It's not looking good, especially since you signed a personal guarantee as part of your deal with Lightning Source.

UPDATE 2/14/17: There's a Facebook group for ex-Tate authors and musicians where people are sharing experiences.

If you're thinking of paying the $50 Tate is demanding in order to get your files, this may change your mind. One author who sent the money reports that Tate sent her back an empty envelope.

Maybe this wasn't intentional to rip the author off (in that case, why send anything?). But even if it's just the result of incompetence or chaos, it reinforces the un-wisdom of giving Tate any more of your hard-earned money.

UPDATE 2/16/17: Angela Hoy at Booklocker, which has taken on some Tate authors, reports on problems with files received from Tate:

1. One of the interior pages had two headers, one appearing on top of the other (the actual title of the book appeared to be superimposed over the word “title”)...We were able to use some creative Photoshopping to fix that problem.

2. The second (and most disturbing) problem was that the Tate cover had no bleed on it. Without bleed, there is no wriggle room whatsoever for a printer during the cutting/binding process...Authors whose books don’t have a solid background would have challenges overcoming this problem using a flat pdf file (which is what Tate provides).

3. The text at the bottom of the barcode on the back cover was very pixelated and so was text at the top of the back cover....We were able to fix these errors in Photoshop as well but the quality of that text on the Tate version of the cover was truly awful.


UPDATE 2/17/17: Remember when there was speculation that Tate might be planning to shift resources to a new company, Lux Creative Concepts? Turns out that probably isn't happening.

I've discovered that Lux Creative (a registered business entity whose agent is Ryan Tate's wife, Christy Kelley-Tate) co-existed with Tate for maybe the last year of Tate's existence, with some Tate authors being offered contracts under the Lux Creative name. These contracts, apparently, involved more media "extras," and not surprisingly, were more expensive. However, I've been watching, and right now, other than its business registration, Lux Creative seems to be as dead as Tate.

The Tates were serious enough about it at one point to want to give it a logo, though. Ever the big spenders, they hosted a design contest at 99Designs (a "graphic design marketplace" where companies pay as little as possible to desperate designers who bid on job postings). Here are the results. Am I alone in finding it funny that the winning entry got Lux Creative's name wrong?

Another great business decision, brought to you by Tate.

UPDATE 2/25/27: A federal judge just handed Lightning Source a default judgment in its lawsuit against Tate.

As for what happens next in Lightning Source's case against Tate, the plaintiff will have to return to court to keep Judge Russell apprised on its efforts to collect what it's owed.

Actions Tate Publishing and Ryan Tate could face might include liens against properties they own, garnishments of funds they have in banks, or other actions Lightning Source might take that the judge deems necessary and appropriate.

Ryan Tate could be summoned to appear before the judge, and any failure to do so could prompt the issuance of a contempt citation.


UPDATE 2/26/27: Well, we were all wondering when/if this would happen. And here it is: Lux Creative Publishing.

The name's a little different--Lux Creative Publishing, rather than Lux Creative Concepts; and the domain name registration info has been anonymized to conceal the registrant. But the logo--the little torch rising from the book--is the same one commissioned by someone with the username "outate" from 99Designs (see my previous update). So I think it's safe to conclude that this is Tate, re-booting under a new name.

UPDATE 2/27/17: Shortly after I posted the above update, the Lux Creative Publishing website ceased to be accessible. If you click the link now, you get a "This site has been suspended" notice. I don't know what it means, but I'm keeping an eye on it.

287 comments :

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 287 of 287
Margo Cook said...

My mother's last wishes were to have her book published and signed an agreement with Tate in August of 2016. I was a part of all of the processes and regret every bit of it now. My mother, Mary Sanders Hughes, passed away November 21, 2016 without seeing even the physical proof of the book (delay in production due to warehouse change) - it was all a cover up and excuse. They have a large sum of money from my Mother, which my Dad paid for, and there is absolutely nothing to show for it. The book never made it to production, no website, no social media package, no video trailer, no ISBN, NOTHING. Contact became sketchy, and information less than transparent as employees were giving the runaround about the status of things. I continued to receive marketing questionnaires and information, and even a link to get people to start purchasing the book in a pre-sale fashion on Tate's website. Are all of those people out of their money? Will they be refunded either? Will I get a portion of the investment back to repay my Dad. His heart is broken over this and so is mine. We don't have a lot and $2,000 is a lot of money to us. All of the contact phone numbers go to recordings, there is no one to get a hold of to see what is going on. It would be really nice if we could get reparations for this. I will not pay to have my files recovered because aren't they ours to begin with? - given the money that was paid? We got nothing. If there is any information about how to file complaints and seek representation against Tate, please let me know. I will not sign the termination agreement and if by any way this book or contract is sold, there will be consequences.

Again - they just took our money. I have documentation of everything and it would be a really nice break to receive reimbursement given we put all that we had into it for my Mother's last wishes. *Note - all creative and intellectual properties have been assigned to me, her daughter. This all has made a very difficult time much harder. I know it's not the end of the world, but being taking advantage of in this way is unGodly and I hope that justice is served in a respectful way. Integrity is everything and Tate needs to held accountable or theirs.

Carolyn Spelhaug said...

Wow, there is so much I didn't know about publishing my book that I know now. I truly wish I had known about Writers Beware in the past. Thank you all for educating me. It dose help. I only got as far as the first edit in production of my book, A Step Back to the Past. And as a first time almost author, (and I can just smile at that), I am looking into a couple of publishers that was mentioned, Create space and Book Locker. Don't know if I will use them but I'm checking them out. And last weekend I had mentioned that a B. Moore from Nebula Magazine had contacted me about my book. After two days of emails she just stopped. It's been five days with no reply to my many questions. If Tate is really looking to send some of us out to others, as reported by that transition statement they made, then be very cautious, as I have not a clue as to how Nebula Magazine knew of my book. They claimed to have a publishing company called Nydus that B. Moore said would be very glad to help me publish my book. Just think all, Tate Publishing had been after me to publish with them since 2004. I held off until Last August 2016. My husband said to go for it. He wanted to see one of my books in print before he died. He has terminal lung cancer. He was so mad and hurt, then mad again after I finally told him what had happened. So it hit us more in the heart and soul then anything. Thanks Victoria.

Victoria Strauss said...

Jonathan Flores,

Are you talking about the release forms on Tate's website? If so, the address is at the bottom of the form.

If you're talking about sending your own termination letter, then use Tate's last-known address: 127 E Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064. Send the letter via certified mail, and retain the letter and your receipts from the post office for your records. Odds are you won't get a response from Tate. But if there are any problems in the future (such as Tate selling off its contracts to another publisher) or actions you need to take (such as sending an infringement notice to Amazon), the letter and receipts, along with the section of your Tate contract that describes the termination procedure, will be evidence that you took the proper steps.

Victoria Strauss said...

Margo Cook,

Your comment saddens and infuriates me. If there's any more stark illustration of what a predator Tate was, I haven't seen it. Even when it was running smoothly, Tate was a dishonest profiteer that preyed on authors' dreams and inexperience. I'm outraged on your mother's behalf, and on behalf of all the authors Tate lied to and cheated over the years of its existence.

If you want to file complaints, there are links to the appropriate websites at the top of my post. Thanks for weighing in.

Victoria Strauss said...

Carolyn Spelhaug,

I was able to find B. Moore's publishing company, Nydus Publishing Consultants.

IMO, this is the same kind of ripoff as Tate, just a bit more upfront. They're offering self-publishing packages with features that you can get for much less money elsewhere, plus suites of "marketing" services that are hugely overpriced and mostly ineffective. Plus, if their own website is any example, I wouldn't be very optimistic about the web design that's a feature of their packages.

The vultures are circling. All Tate authors should be EXTREMELY careful of any unsolicited offers they receive right now.

Erin Lilly said...

My children's book came out a year and a half ago. I still haven't been paid for any books brought from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I stumbled on this article. I received the portal and transition email but had no idea about any of this. What all do I need to do to protect myself, my book and get paid?

Ann Joseph said...

I just saw this info on Tate after visiting their site and finding the transitional stage info. I wrote a book that was released in 2008. As far as I know, no books were ever sold after the the initial 39 in the first few months, even though people have said they purchased them. I was never able to get anyone at Tate to tell me whether books were being sold, nor could I get any kind of documentation as to where I stood in sales. I was led to believe I was not receiving info because no books were being sol. I have received no royalties since he first 2 checks the first 2 quarters, which were cute to look at. (Do not despise the day of small beginnings.) This news is very disheartening as everyone I talked with seemed so concerned and legit. I have received no direct communication regarding these troubles from anyone at Tate and have no idea what the site means by trying to find new arrangements for its current authors. I guess it's back to square one for me. So sad.

Nicholas G said...

I'm a book designer and typesetter and am currently making corrections to a pre-press book that Tate botched up.
In September or October 2016, Tate sent the final text and cover proofs to the editor for final approval then stopped all communications. This month, January 2017, the editor asked me to look at those proofs.
I am delighted to say that the text PDFs just happen to be printer ready. The author will be taking them to an outside printer that we've worked with for years.
However, the final proof of the cover was a freaking mess. Front to back to spine, none of the fonts matched and the back cover blurb was missing half its text.
The author's lawyer advised and cleared the legal way to have the book cleansed of all references to Tate -- from the cover logos to the copyright page. Luckily, the author maintained his copyright.

Nicholas G said...

If you have the final page proof file (PDF), there is a possibility it is printer ready.

Erin Lilly said...

1 article I read makes it seem that they plan on finding us new publishing companies but idk what that means to our contrast and stuff.

Michelle McDonald said...

I can not believe this is happening. My book was to be the first of a series. They sent me a check once for .39 cents after I made a stink about not getting paid a dime.
I figured it was a scam when they wanted me to be my own best customer. I keep getting e-mails asking me to opt out of my contract. What does that mean? If I do will I be able to suit them? Will they have all rights to my story and artwork that I did myself? What do I do Michelle McDonald "My Day"

James Sharp said...

Hi. My name is James Sharp. I published my book with Tate Publishing last year. This news is very disappointing. I want some type of reparations for this mess. What shall I do? Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

In late 2011, I contacted Tate upon a recommendation. I enquired about the process as I had never published any books. They told me the format they needed. So I proceeded to complete my project.
It took me several months to put together a very large manuscript of about 175,000 words. This manuscript was edited by an outside source to pick up errors in style, clarity, and spelling not found by my spell checker. This was sent to Tate in late March 2012. Several weeks later, one of Tate's family called me and stated that they would like to publish my book. They suggested that I abridge it to under 115,000 words to allow it to be printed in soft-back format.
They discussed the procedure that would be followed to bring my book to market required a contract with a 'deposit' of $3,990 to move ahead. I had the contract reviewed by an attorney and they stated it was well written with guarantees for both Tate and myself. I was particularly impressed by page 14 in my contract, headed 'Tate Publishing's Statement of Belief'. I was very comfortable with it and felt that I was dealing with a respectable company.
By early June, 2012, they had the manuscript they were going to work with. They informed me that the manuscript would go through several editing phases that would start about 6-7 weeks later due to other books ahead of mine.
By September, I had a PDF file that I could review and make corrections. Then it went to second editing phase. In the meantime, we discussed the cover. Their graphic artists did a fantastic job on the cover.
After several go-arounds with one of their editors, my style on several items were agreed to as this was my book and I wanted it my way.
By the end of 2012, I had a fully printed and bound book to hold in my hand. I was supposed to make corrections on a companion PDF file, which I did. There were some 100 plus errors, some subtle but others glaring. Once again I got into a verbal disagreement with an editor. My way prevailed. I literally went through 400 pages, word for word to pick up errors. After some time, they sent me a copy of my book ready to print for publication. By mid-May 2013, I had my own supply of my book.
Subsequent book orders were filled promptly. The book was released to Amazon and Barnes and Nobel and others in August 2013.
Tate set up a website and a short video for the website. They even set up several book signing venues.
It was at this point that things began to falter. Marketing did not seem to be aggressive enough. Royalty information was not quarterly as promised, so I never was able to understand how many books were being sold. I received several small royalty checks, but the info with them was sparse and confusing.
Getting them to set up book signings stopped early on. Requests for royalty info, book signings seemed to be ignored. They were suppose to be the experts to set up book signings, but I was disappointed.
In summary, initial experience with Tate was good. However, I found the following things disturbing:
1) Pricing of add-ons, etc, services that should pay for themselves if they were doing the marketing as they stated they would do. The prices for these services seemed exorbitant.
2) It is obvious from what has been going over the last several years and the comments of other authors that Tate is not living up to their stated 'statement of belief'. I am greatly disappointed. Not what I would expect from a Christian publisher.
3) Royalty info and checks have been few and I have had none in the last 18 months. Requests for them have been ignored.
4) While I enjoyed the experience of having a book published (5 1/2 years of writing), I am disappointed that I don't know the impact my book has made. The book was a book of devotionals.
5) The money I spent I can afford to lose, but I trusted Tate with a part of my life and they took my money and misused it. I did get a book, and I have sufficient supply for future book signings I may arrange on my own. The marketing was an area of much contention.

Dede Stockton said...

I know that we are all very unhappy at what has been happening to all of us Tate Authors, however, I just ran across this article today - and it gave me such hope!! Read about this authors tale of woe with traditional publishing and how she made self-publishing a success! https://janefriedman.com/i-left-my-agent/ - I found it very encouraging!

Dede Stockton said...

If you sign up for this writers blog - you get lots of free advise - worksheets, etc. https://janefriedman.com/key-book-publishing-path/

Anonymous said...

They love their authors so they scammed them and screwed over their employees cause they're Christians. Ryan Tate and his family are demons on earth.

L. Lee Parmeter said...

We, as Tate authors, have suffered at the hands of Tate Publishing at all levels. A fact that can’t be over looked is we can’t get blood out of a turnip. I don’t know what the outcome will be but it will be time consuming. Personally, I am too old to wait for the wheels of justice to turn. I am returning to a publisher who has published two books for me and cut my loses. It is a small but wonderful operation and loyalty checks are always there. With printing on demand, I just ordered copies of two books and it took about a week to my doorstep. I am stepping out of the Tate arena and focus on getting my latest book published though Star Publish. Below are some links to a great operation, check it out. God bless and good luck to you all. L Lee Parmeter

http://www.starpublishllc.com/
T.C. McMullen
Author, Artist, Publisher
http://www.tcmcmullen.com/
http://www.starpublishllc.com/

Mark said...

There office has crossed down. They have done a bunk.sorry mate. Tate rip off!

Anonymous said...

Referencing January 25, 2017 post concerning "non-exclusive". My contract states the agreement is non exclusive, and that I may enter into other agreements concurrently with this agreement related to OTHER works by the Author.

I understand this to mean I may publish other books, not the book published by Tate, with other publishers.

Comments? It appears we do need a release. I have requested this but not received it from Tate. This is included in my complaint filed with Oklahoma Attorney General.

Anonymous said...

Moving trucks at the Tate Publishing main office today. Several desks and other office furniture were being loaded into them.

HappiOtter said...

I too am a Tate Author. My question is how many people have published under their traditional contractual publishing agreement as I did. I only bought 300 books in 2015 and I got a lifetime publishing agreement(such a joke) it was a children's book and Amazon has sold many. I know this because there are used ones everywhere. In all countries it looks like. I received a free website, free trailer and publicist, had an article written in the paper about my newly published children's book and they set up signings. I received my book cards to give out for kindle and nook along with bookmarks(all with my media artwork) I was in Ahh when I talked to another Tate Author whom is having major problems. So I started researching. I was shocked to know that my second book which was in the process(having small problems at the time) may never be published. Then after almost a year and a half after approving the artwork and editing I get a copy and it was totally different. I called and then it began. I ended up putting my own photography on each page reflecting the meaning of each poem. This was changed seven times. I finallly got very direct and told them this is how it's going to be. I talked to Dr. Richard Tate by phone. He called me. He apologized for the problems. I explained that I had been through three project managers, a lost manuscript, and so on. This book was suppose to be hardback version for a gift book format. He told me he would make it happen. He even sent me an email telling me not to worry. My second book was published September of 2016 and Tate forgets my press release. I called Dr Tate and shot off emails to production, and everyone else involved. Two weeks later after my Author Representstive writes and asks me for my Author Bio in which they have had for two years have you. I had to resubmit this again. Bittersweet but the press release was made and manynbiok signings were lined up.

Problem: I had an initiative feeling to order a book from Amazon. So I order it and it comes in two days. As I am glancing through the poetry I get to a poem and there were bracket correction. {the word } and I blew a gasket. I fire off more emails. I told Mr. Tate of the embarrassing mistake and books had already been purchased. I asked him how this could happen? He said he was going straight to production and editing. I then never heard from my project manager or Author rep again. I have still not received one cent of royalties though my books seem to have been bought everywhere and are being sold New, like new, good condition or brand new for prime members blah blah blah!

I really hate that they have treated Authors so differently. I hate it that they call themselves a Christian company and I'm no person to Jusge but if your judge a free by its fruit as the Bible does say this fruit is really ROTTEN! I have the emails and would be glad to send them to you per my attorneys aggreement. I really don't understand why he would care. I also have another friend that received a email yesterday saying that Dr. Richard Tate isn't liable for any money or monies owed and wanted her to relinquish her contract with Tate. I told her not to sing anything. Go straight to an attorney or FBI as you stated and I'm going to do so myself.

Maybe if enough of all of us Authors whether we paid or not get together and file suit something good for the Authors and employees (if they will do it) will become of this. Please keep us informed. I sincerely appreciate your article/blog.

HappiOtter said...

A friend of mine has gotten it. I didn't reciieve it myself but I will ask her if she minds me sharing it with you, and if you will share with me your email I will forward you to the email and PDF file she emailed me.

HappiOtter said...

I commend you for your honesty. I have been with them now with two books published and one pulled due to editing issues and I have received zero checks. Although Amazon is selling used ones even in the U.K. and other countries. This is so dishonest and so disgraceful. Another Tate Author told me she got a .15 cent royalty check???!!! Just a joke. Everyone's needs to file fraud charges and contact the FBI!!!

Victoria Strauss said...

Trying to answer a bunch of different questions here:

- My contract states the agreement is non exclusive, and that I may enter into other agreements concurrently with this agreement related to OTHER works by the Author. I understand this to mean I may publish other books, not the book published by Tate, with other publishers.

No. That would be the case only if the publishing agreement were EXCLUSIVE (no one else allowed to publish while the contract is in force). If a contract is NON-EXCLUSIVE, the publisher does _not_ hold exclusive rights, which means you can publish elsewhere at will. The fact that the contract is non-exclusive trumps the language about "related to other works."

My children's book came out a year and a half ago. I still haven't been paid for any books brought from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I stumbled on this article. I received the portal and transition email but had no idea about any of this. What all do I need to do to protect myself, my book and get paid?

I'm afraid you will not get paid. Tate has no resources, and even if it did, the many lawsuits against it would eat up everything. I do not believe that authors will get paid.

If you're willing to waive your legal rights and any right to payment, you can sign the release, which terminates the contract. If you're NOT willing to sign the release, I would suggest sending a termination letter by certified mail to Tate's last-known physical address. You won't receive a response, but together with your contract, a copy of the letter should be sufficient to prove to a new publisher or publishing service that you took steps to terminate your contract in accordance with its termination provisions.

I keep getting e-mails asking me to opt out of my contract. What does that mean? If I do will I be able to suit them? Will they have all rights to my story and artwork that I did myself?

If you sign Tate's release form, you're waiving your right to sue (which could affect your ability to participate in a class action suit, if one is ever organized) and your right to be paid (I don't think Tate will ever pay anyone, but if there's an action by the Oklahoma Attorney General or the FBI there could be reparations ordered). See my comment above for an alternative way of terminating your contract.

They never had all rights to your story--you retained copyright, and the right to publish elsewhere. As to your artwork, I can't give an opinion without seeing the language of your contract--but if you created it yourself and retained copyright to it, I'd think that terminating your contract with Tate would terminate any rights you granted them for the artwork.

I published my book with Tate Publishing last year. This news is very disappointing. I want some type of reparations for this mess. What shall I do?

It's possible, if the FBI or the Oklahoma Attorney General bring civil or criminal actions against Tate, that author reparations might be ordered. However, whether anyone would actually receive them depends on whether Tate has any resources left after it has satisfied its creditors and all the lawsuits against it. I know of several situations in which publishers were ordered to pay reparations and either couldn't do so or simply refused and weren't pursued by the authorities. I think the odds that any Tate authors will get any of the money they're owed are extremely slim.

Casey Jones said...

Should we notify Amazon to send any payments directly to us? Or are we even allowed to receive the money from Amazon......does anyone know the answer to this question?

Anonymous said...

@Carolyn Spelhaug,

Funny you should mention Nebula Magazine. I also got an offer from them today. It seems a little sudden, and ironic it happens right after we were released from Tate. What I find more suspicious is that it's the saaaaaame signature format as the people from Tate Publishing. Does anyone else find that a little odd?

Look at your last email from Daxton Sinclaire and compare it to Bridget Moore's signature format. They're absolutely identical. I wouldn't be surprised if this was some scheme of Tate's.

Tate has done nothing for my book. They were a complete scam. Mine was a christian children's book to help kids overcome the loss of a pet. When I was doing book signings, I was "working with" them, (as they say they do), to try to get book signings at pet conventions, dog shows, and other animal venues where my book would be appropriate, as well as christian events and locales. But they kept giving me stupid excuses why they wouldn't do that. Instead, they kept setting me up at obscure coffee shops where I had no business. Speaking with the managers of the coffee shop, they apparently have Tate gigs all the time. So Tate was just drawing from their limited pool of connections and did nothing to help beyond that.

They cut me off from book signings because, as they said it, they didn't "feel like" I was "committed." The only time I heard from them were their mass emails trying to get us to buy more copies of the book.

In all I made about $4.06 in sales from them in the years I've been with Tate. The biggest blessing, was finally being released from their contract.

Vickie K Spencer-Lahman said...

I'm also a Tate Victim. This is just maddening! My first book of my children's series went well, and the second one of the series was completed in June of 2016; but unfortunately I have no copies of it, they have been on order since June 2016; and of course, I paid for them upfront..over $600.00 worth of books. Then in November 2016 book three of the series was in the 'final editing phase' on its way to illustrations.
I have read and read...there are so many of us in the same boat. I have not asked for my files & illustrations...I'm really not sure what the best action to take is at this point. I feel like if I send them $50.00 for each books files, I really have no confidence in them that they would actually send them to me...only take more of my hard earned money.
I hope their will be a class action suit filed against them, I would definitely get behind that plan!
I also would appreciate any advice out there available about what and or where to go with my children's book series. - Thank You,
Vickie K. Spencer-Lahman

Carolyn Spelhaug said...

Has anyone heard any new news on Tate or have any good news. I have not received anything else via email from Tate.

Unknown said...

It has been quiet.

Victoria Strauss said...

Casey Jones,

Amazon won't send money to you, I'm afraid. If you contact them to ask about this and explain the situation, they'll tell you to work things out with your publisher. What I'd suggest is to terminate your contract (I've given some suggestions about this in previous comments) and then use Amazon's copyright infringement form to request that they take your book off the market (though if it's listed by any third-party sellers--which does not mean they have it in stock; these sellers mostly just list ISBNs--it'll still remain on the Amazon website).

Vickie K Spencer-Lahman,

I share your concern about sending Tate $50 for your files--there's zero guarantee you'd ever get anything. Plus, it's morally repugnant to for them to demand your hard-earned money, after the way they've screwed you over.

Carolyn Spelhaug,

I haven't heard anything new, and I check daily. If there are any updates, you can be sure I'll post them as soon as I'm aware of them.

Last but not least,

The vultures are circling (see my latest update) but while I regard this Nebula Magazine / Nydus Publishing outfit as a vulture, I don't think it's connected with the Tates.

L. Lee Parmeter said...

Well, the rest of the story is Tate refused to accept my last two certified letters for contract termination. There is no forwarding address on file with then Post Office--Next step --there is non except for me to proceed with my new publishing contract with Star. So sad with so many people hanging in limbo. I wonder just how many??

Unknown said...

Thank you for updating about the publishers phishing for those of us who have gotten screwed by Tate Publishing. I've wondered about who might be worth it, but obviously gun shy about getting involved in another publisher I've never heard of. Have you heard anything about Dorrance? I had talked to them before signing with Tate last year.

ALSO I have a legal question - I am contracted with them, but never had a product produced. As far as I know I don't have an ISBN assigned to my work yet. Do I even need to sign their "I promise not to sue you/get out the contract" contract? Can I just take my unpublished manuscript elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I could have written this. This is exactly my story as well. 6th children's book and paid in advance for 100 hardbacks and 100 paperbacks. What to do?

Victoria Strauss said...

Unknown,

Dorrance is a former old-school print vanity publisher that has re-tooled itself in recent years to look more like a self-publishing service. In my opinion, it is seriously overpriced. If you want to self-publish, there are better options.

Technically, unless and until your contract is terminated--either by you or by Tate or by a bankruptcy court--your contract is still in force, even if Tate never got around to publishing your book. However, if your contract is non-exclusive--as all of the Tate contracts I've seen are--you've always had the right to publish elsewhere.

Just as a precaution, though, if you don't want to sign the release, I'd suggest sending a termination letter by registered mail to Tate's last-known address. Keep a copy, and hold onto the paperwork from the post office. Even if Tate doesn't respond (as is probable--see L. Lee Parmenter's comment, above--this will show any future publisher that you did your part to terminate Tate's claim on your rights.

Anonymous 2/04,

I'm afraid I don't think there's any chance you'll get your money back, either as a refund from Tate or as court-ordered reparations--Tate simply doesn't have the resources, and there are too many other claimants ahead of authors. It sucks, but unfortunately I think that's the reality.

Anonymous said...

I am also a victim of Tate Publishing/Music group screw up. I published two books with them and was about to release my first healing cd album this Spring 2017. The last conversation held was on January 7,2017 about the status of my album cover design. This saddens my heart because I believed that they would hold to their words as being a Christian company. I spent close to $6000 in completing my music project and paid Tate Music Group $2043 just to market and to distribute my music. All that I worked for and time invested has vanish in the air. I was not only looking forward to this album but families and friends, and coworkers were as well. What to do and where to go is my standstill. Please! add me to your list (class action lawsuit) and if you all hear anything. Pastorterriedevor@gmail.com
678-525-7083

Anonymous said...

Victoria you have given such great information that has given me such insight on what to do. My only concern is that since I live in Nashville, Tn, do I need to seek for an attorney here in Nashville, Tn to handle this or to seek one in Oklahoma? I just filed a complaint to the Oklahoma Attorney General and waiting to hear back from them. Have you heard of Booklogix, Worthy Publishing or Worthy Inspired?

Lotonia Askew said...

This really hurt deep within of what Tate Publishing Company has done to many authors and artists

Carolyn Spelhaug said...

Has anyone else heard from the Attorney Generals office. I received a standard letter stating that my complaint would be investigated. I haven't heard anything else. Any information would be appreciated.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 2/04,

If you choose to hire an attorney, I think you can go with someone local, at least to start. Be sure to choose an intellectual property attorney with publishing expertise.

I haven't gotten any complaints about Booklogix, though I think its self-publishing packages are overpriced--to get an ebook as well as print, you have to pay nearly $1,500. Worthy Publishing (and its imprint, Worthy Inspired) is a traditional publisher; I'm not aware of any negatives.

Carolyn Spelhaug,

I haven't heard anything new. I've seen several of the letters the AG is sending out; they are form letters, unfortunately. I've called twice to try and get in touch with the person whose signature is on the form, and gotten no response so far. If there's anything new, I'll post an update.

Dede Stockton said...

I wrote a blog about what I have done if anyone is interested: http://sammijoadventures.com/2017/02/05/publisher-goes-business/

Mary Joslin said...

I am wondering if our books that are in distribution can be republished if TATE does not send us back the master files.

Also I am considering three other publishers
Christian faith
Book locker
and
Book logix

What are your views on these companies?

Shannon Porter said...

I'm not sure if you have covered this already, and I apologize if you have, though it may be worth mentioning again - If you are a former recent Tate Authors who paid fees upfront with a credit card, DISPUTE THE CHARGES. I just got off the phone with Discover, who I paid all of my payments adding up to $900 with, and we are disputing all charges from July through November of last year. They investigate, and if they can't get contact with Tate (Lord knows they won't since no one can), then I win. The money will be returned to me. I don't know how other credit card companies handle disputes, but I will always use Discover if they get my money back...

Shannon Porter said...

Dee Dee Stockton

Thank you so much for posting your blog about what you did!!!! I never even thought about disputing the charges for payments to them considering I never got ANYTHING from them! I just got off the phone with Discover and it looks like I will be getting all of my money back!! Bless you!!!!

Dede Stockton said...

That is great Shannon Porter!! I am so happy for you!! I'm still waiting for my response from PayPal, but am hopeful!

I hope others can have the same good fortune!

Dede Stockton said...

I just heard back from Pay Pal and I am getting my money back!! Woo Hoo!! I am getting back $1790.00 of my hard earned dollars.

I encourage you all to file a complaint with your credit card company or Pay Pal if that is the way you paid. The cc company or PayPal with then file the claims to attempt to recoup their money. You however, as the consumer, are protected against fraud via your cc companies and/or Pay Pal.

Pay Pal took about 10 days to respond, but it was well worth the wait!

Dede Stockton said...

Mary Joslin - read the blog I posted. Yes, you can republish. You own the rights to the book. You do not own the rights to the cover design, layout or illustrations, but you can get those redone through various sources. I am using fiverr.com for mine.

Marla Jo Mason said...

I am an artist from Indiana signed with Tate Music Group. Of course, I too had issues starting around November when my EPK wasn't working. I have never received a response from Tate, or any of their employees I left a message for. I am stunned actually to read all these reports of dissatisfaction. I guess I am one of them too, now. It's sad for me (as a survivor of domestic violence) with the timing of everything to do with this musical album I worked so damn hard to reach out & help victims & survivors try to find hope, in a life without violence, knowing that God always has a plan for us, and we do not have to live in a violent home. Taken away.................

I'm devastated and so hurt by this. Of course, like everyone else, I had an initial investment of $1,995 for my independent contract. Yes, I have received royalties through mid 2016, however, they were slim pickens. Definitely their marketing department sucked tremendously (unfortunate).

Since I signed with Tate Music Group (3-18-2011), which was my 16-yr survival date of domestic violence, as excited as I was to be able to pursue something never dreamed of, but then a record label landed @ my front door & signed on this date, I still had faith & belief in this organization. What stinks, is I have TONS of family members who talked about me behind my back, stating how horrible of a musician I was & how I thought I was going to be this "BIG STAR". What they didn't understand is I only wanted to help others through my music - and now, I feel their actions are nothing more than laughing at me falling on my face, unsuccessful, failed @ this, and then Tate pulls this. Saddened.

I feel that Tate Music Group, under NO circumstances, should refund every artist/publisher with their initial investment & ALL THE NECESSARY INFORMATION THAT CAN BE USED BY ANOTHER COMPANY, so that we may continue pursuing the missions/dreams we all had high hopes for. Seems only fair in my opinion.

Torn, so torn.

Erin Lilly said...

I've read that if you have the finished PDF they send to you to give the final ok, you have a print ready copy of your book to take elsewhere.

Eileen Loveman said...


I received this the other day and said No thanks.




From: Terry
To:
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 4:39 PM
Subject: Book Publishing








Eileen,





I have been working with several authors who have been affected by the recent situation with Tate Publishing. It has created a most unfortunate situation for many people, and I understand that you might be one of them.





I hesitate reaching out too aggressively because I don’t want to be seen as some type of vulture, trying to take further advantage of people. However, let me quickly tell you my background and the reason for this message. I was a pastor and church consultant for many years. However, the long-term effects of childhood polio put me in a wheelchair, so I had to change occupations. Due to a lifetime interest in reading and writing, I ended up helping other authors get published.





Currently, I have a small publishing business that pays the mortgage, not a large company. Because of the size of my endeavor, I’m able to give direct attention to each author and project. I can help you get your book published with much less expense than larger, similar operations.





If you want to find a way to get access to your already (or almost) published book, I can help you find a way to do that. Or, if you are ready to publish an entirely new book, I can do that as well. I provide all the services that other companies offer, without hidden costs, and you have direct access to me. My personal phone number is 817-366-9924.





Call me if I can help. My website – www.abpbooks.com





I look forward to hearing from you.





Terry Austin


Austin Brothers Publishing


Terry's Writing












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Christopher Sharp said...

Eileen Loveman, I read the letter you received and went to the website of ABPbooks. A Christian publisher with some weird titles. The wolves are definitely circling us. I got a call today from a company that offers publishing services. More pay to play by the sounds of the pitch. There's more to come because we are on a list somewhere, no doubt. Telling them no thanks was certainly prudent. We all have a future as writers, I just think we've been put on hold till it gets here.

Best of luck to all...

L. Lee Parmeter said...

Someone is alive at Tate because they picked up my certified letter 5 days later at the post office. I have signed with Star publishing who is currently working on my book. FYI the PDF edit was done by Tate in December in the PI without noting what was changed. During the transfer page by page from PDF to word I uncovered a plethora of mistakes. I am so glad I was able to make the corrections. For those with a PI PDF file make sure you check for mistakes. In this case I had 2 Chapter One's and almost every "and and but" was preceded by a comma. They could even spell Chicago let alone use it as an editing tool. Good luck to all

L. Lee Parmeter said...

As an after thought I tried to buy one of my books at Amazon. They note came back--"Temporally out of stock." I also noted that Tate raised the kindle price from $2.99 to $9.99 with out my permission. Any way for Tate to make money and not pay the authors. Geez, when will it ever end.

Anonymous said...

Victoria, My Tate publishing author website is still up. Some of my files are still in the dropbox they set up. So what do you think? Is it possible they are truly doing as the website says and finding new homes for authors works? Do you believe that Tate will hand over authors files? Or is it a big cover up and they have moved on. They were in the process of finishing images for my manuscript along with some other things. Do you think they walked away and are not looking back or

Anonymous said...

After seeing the recommendation to dispute charges I have contacted Capital One to dispute my initial marketing contact (I received no marketing) and book order (I received only 1/5 of the books I paid for) as both were paid with that credit card. I'll keep everyone updated as the process unfolds.

Casey Jones said...

Victoria Strauss, thank you for all of your information and insights. I think you mentioned in one comment (which I can't seem to find at present, on this blog) that we do not own our book covers. Someone suggested that they are using fiverr.com. But I love my book's cover and I am wondering if we can still use them, since Tate is in breach of contract and probably soon to be non-existent.

Does the legal ownership of the covers fall to the authors? Not that I am advocating anything illegal, I am not. But I can't see Tate ever coming back and suing each of us for using our own book covers.

janie ebinger said...

I got a call from a lady from BOOKLOGIX she was up front and said if i wanted to get a release from Tate for my 3 books already at market and design my own covers they would assign a new isbn # and get them to market for me at no charge but i have to have a signed release from Tate she is also going to get me the cost of doing my new book from start to finish. We do not think we are ready to cut our losses yet and run.

Tanya Attebery said...

I have been approached by Legaia Books to republish my book and basic package is $849.00, but if I look at the services then I am really just starting out with my manuscript and I start over. When I first signed I would get quarterly royalty notices and then they just stopped and when I would call they would tell me that it was in the mail or I must not have put in an address change when I had moved. This is just crazy and I don't know what I am going to do at this point. Thanks for the timeline of what is happening. Appreciate all the time you have put into this as it has affected many people.

Anonymous said...

Victoria, how do we find out our copyright information? The novels Tate Published they took out a copyright for. How do we get access to the information?

L. Lee Parmeter said...

I designed my own cover and paid for the photos so I don't have an issue with that aspect. An ISBN number can be re-assigned if you haven't published the book. The writer is the owner of the copyright. Tate is still picking up their mail but not doing anything else. I signed with Star publishing and well on the way to get my book published. There is no restriction on the name of a book. I wrote a book called Lumberton and someone else had also written one. No issue at all. I even spoke with the author. I also went through Visa to get a return on my investment. They are "working on it." Tate is still selling eBooks and collecting the money.

Victoria Strauss said...

I appreciate hearing from those of you who are taking action to get your money back by lodging disputes with PayPal or your credit card companies. Please keep letting us know what you're doing, and whether you're successful.

Anonymous 2/10 who asked about websites and files,

I think (and this is just my opinion, obviously) that Tate may be looking to sell its author contracts to some other company as a way to raise money. I think there are steep odds against them succeeding, but if they do, there's no guarantee that the new company will be reputable. My own feeling is that authors should take their rights back, and I suggest invoking the termination provisions of your contracts rather than signing one of Tate's release forms.

If I hear anything about contracts being sold or given away, I will definitely provide an update.

Casey Jones,

The Tate contracts I've seen don't specifically state that Tate owns cover art and interior format. But this sentence from Section VI.1. of the Publishing Contract does suggest an ownership claim: "Upon termination, the Publisher will return any and all files in the Publisher’s possession that were originally provided by the Author, and destroy any files created or modified by the Publisher." So even though, as a practical matter, I don't see much likelihood of the now-nonexistent Tate going after you if you use the cover, I think it's safer not to.

Janie Ebinger,

I'm not saying that BookLogix is a bad option (not saying it's a good one, either)--just keep in mind that their aim in soliciting you isn't to help you out, it's to acquire a new paying customer. There are many options in the self-publishing marketplace; IMO, you owe it to yourself to shop around. For more info, see the Self-Publishing page of Writer Beware.

Tanya Attebery,

I've never heard of Legaia Books, but the same cautions I've expressed above apply. Legaia's prices are insanely high, and its website is full of grammatical errors; on a websearch, Legaia appears to be located in North Carolina, but the writing on the website suggests it's been put together by someone for whom English isn't a first language. No books are listed, so you can't assess cover quality (plus, a search for Legaia Books on Amazon turns up nothing). Legaia's Facebook page has been removed. All in all, this looks like a very dodgy outfit to me.

Anonymous 2/12 who asked about copyright info,

Here's the copyright records search page at the US Copyright Office. Enter your name into the search box at the top (last name first), select "Name" from the "Search by" options, click "Begin Search" and it should bring up a list of books copyrighted in your name.

Casey Jones said...

Thanks Victoria Strauss for your latest comments. blessings, Casey

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your help Victoria. By the way the Oklahoma Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit said they are still fighting for us and would like to hear from more authors. I encourage others to please contact them so they can get to them no matter what company they are trying to form next.

Also, I too have gotten some money back from my credit card company. My situation is different. I have a contract from 2013...yep, they had so many errors in my novel I asked them to remove the novel. Then they lost all the files when they went to the Philippines. So they had to start all over. By that time I wrote a second novel in 2015, which they agreed to publish for $825 including audiobook and website, so I took the deal. They were working on things but very slowly with lots of errors. Long story short I thought they were done so I paid them $1,000 in 2016 to do video animations of my novels (All of them). Turned out that although the images were done and the audiobook was done, they lost the files AGAIN so both of my novels went unedited. So I am THE BIGGEST SUCKER OF ALL. The credit card company could only go back one year and a half so I got all charges in 2016 and the end of 2015 back. But not the contract charges from 2013 and 2015. I think I win the sucker award which is why I am Anonymous (wink)!

Anonymous said...

This is strange Victoria, I have went to your copyright website and two of my novels are not listed. Only one. When I first came to Tate Publishing I had my own copyright submitted. But since then, I allowed Tate Publishing to do it. I am not seeing any other works under my name yet I had two audiobooks and another novel created. Nothing done by Tate Publishing is showing up yet they were published. Is anyone else going through this? Victoria what do you suggest? I am finding only the one I went and paid to get copyrights for. Not the ones done by Tate Publishing even though they are selling on Amazon.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anoymous 2/12 who asked about copyright info,

Sounds to me like Tate never registered copyright for those books (given how they dropped the ball on pretty much everything, this doesn't surprise me). That doesn't mean you don't _have_ copyright--you have that, by law, from the moment you write down the words. But if someone steals your work, you can't sue in court unless you register.

I'd suggest you register the copyrights yourself. You can do that online for not too much money--here's the US Copyright's website for doing that. This is the ONLY website you should use; there are many fake registration services that will charge you an arm and a leg for something you can do yourself for much less.

Hope this helps. Feel free to write to me if you have more questions--beware [at] sfwa.org

Anonymous said...

I have made several comments on this site asking you all to contact the Oklahoma Attorney Generals office. I sent my packet in and received a response which states they are sending a copy to Tate and await a reply from them.

THEY SAID THAT THE MORE COMPLAINTS THEY RECEIVE, THE BETTER IT WILL BE FOR THEM TO CONFRONT TATE.

Please send in your complaint to the Attorney Generals office so we can get off this hump and get something done together. OA address has been listed on this site several times.

Bob and Rubilyn Richley said...

I just received the following email:

<>

Do you know if they are reputable?

Thanks,

Unknown said...

I just received an email from someone at Yorkshire Publishing with links to the info about Tate closing its doors. This was news to me! I had no idea this had happened--I had not received anything from Tate prior to this. Yorkshire will "reprint" my book for $595. Now I go to the Tate site and see I can sign a termination contract and they will release my files, but I have to pay $50. Ridiculous. This is maddening. I went on FB to find Terry Cordingly because he was my marketing rep and he's no where to be found. Interesting, huh?

5Fiveweight said...

Tate Authors may want to read their contracts. My contract says that either party can cancel the contract "for cause" and in fact the contract says if they fail to deliver they owe the original fee back as well. Fat chance anyone will get a dime, but the contract is very specific, at least in my case. Others I have spoken to have sought some legal advice and have been told Tate is in breach of contract and everyone has "cause." The State Attorney General is not much help. They said they could not act on my complaint unless there were enough to show the Company was actually conspiring to defraud. I guess 200+ complaints is nothing to them. But, when you are trying to get a job on the President's cabinet, I guess its a low priority. Jerome Chapman

Erin Lilly said...

I have filedone a complaint with the Attorney general like you said, but I haven't heard back.

L. Lee Parmeter said...

I have been reading about the Oklahoma Attorney general and what he can and can't do. Below is his charter: Looks like we are screwed again unless a complaint is filled with a district attorney or any of the others mentioned in his charter.

Who can ask the Attorney General for an official opinion?

74 O.S. § 18b (A(5)) provides the following language: The duties of the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the state shall be ... To give an opinion in writing upon all questions of law submitted to the Attorney General by the Legislature or either branch thereof, or by any state officer, board, commission or department, provided, that the Attorney General shall not furnish opinions to any but district attorneys, the Legislature or either branch thereof, or any other state official, board, commission or department, and to them only upon matters in which they are officially interested.

Anonymous said...

I am filing a class action lawsuit against Tate Publishing. Please contact Morgan and Morgan at 877.605.3086 or www.forthepeople.com and tell them if you are interested in joining. I have seen many people asking why no one has filed on these boards. There is no reason to stand by any longer.

Anonymous said...

I ordered 500 dollars in books the day before Tate announced their closing. They kindly took my money, no doubt knowing that they were going to close the following day. I have not received a refund, nor received the books. Imagine that...

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous 2/17,

If you paid by credit card or PayPal, dispute the charges. People are getting their money back that way. If you paid by check, contact your bank to see if the check has cleared; if not, see if you can get them to stop it.

Victoria Strauss said...

I've heard from a number of Tate authors who've been solicited by Yorkshire Publishing. Be cautious--companies that are soliciting Tate authors aren't doing this to help them, but to acquire new customers. I don't know anything negative about Yorkshire, but the fact that it doesn't publish prices on its website suggests it's expensive. I suspect that the $595 quoted to Unknown is the tip of the iceberg, moneywise.

Anonymous said...

I have been with Tate since 2010 as an author. In May of 2016 I was offered a special on my book of 500 books for $1000.00. I received 200 pretty quickly then nothing. I have pursued them via phone and email and received very little response.

I finally made contact with Terry Cordingly but he has been let go. My last conversation with them before the one with Terry was, "Oh there must have been a slip up. Here I have ordered your books and they should be arriving in about 10 days." That was two months ago.

Bottom line out $600.00. I assumed that another $50.00 won't send me to the poor house so today 2/17/2010 I sent a release from Tate and request for my files. (The address Jonathan is at the bottom of the form) I hope I get them. Frustrated is an understatement because they said it would be 30-45 days before I receive anything. My question is why so long. That just gives them a head start to start additional Bovine Scatology. Film at 11.

Anonymous said...

Yorkshire did give me a quote for my book publication. It was cheaper than Tate but I will be going there personally to visit about the situation. At this time I have a call in to a couple of publisher friends of mine to find out about Yorkshire. I hope they are on the up and up.

Anonymous said...

Please, contact the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General, get a form, complete it and send in. Dirce Gillin is the Consumer Representative, Consumer Protection Unit, who responded to me. Phone is 405 521 3921, fax is 405 521 6246, address is 313 N E 21st St, Oklahoma City, Ok 73105. Quote: " before taking formal legal action against a person or business, our office typically must wait for a pattern of fraudulent or deceptive conduct to develop. This pattern often can be proven only through receipt of multiple complaints concerning the same practices employed by the same business.

We can keep complaining and going in circles or we can join with complaints to an agency who can do something.

Pat said...

Just saw this web page today. Looks like Tates are at it again under a different name. http://luxcreativepublishing.com/

Dede Stockton said...

I have contacted Authors Central at Amazon to see how to get the books published by Tate off their site. Here is the response from them:

Hello,

I hope all is well!

Based on your recent inquiry, I've found that product availability credentials for the Book title "Sammi Jo and the Best day Ever! & Sammi Jo and the Best Rodeo Ever Book 2 (Sammy Jo)" is been locked by your publisher "Tate." In this case, amazon does not have the access to mark the title as Unavailable.

Please reach out to your publisher or the vendor distributing your books. Your publisher/vendor will need to create a request in Vendor Central to address any availability issues.

They can access Vendor Central here:https://vendorcentral.amazon.com/st/vendor/public/contactusapp

I hope this helps! We look forward seeing you again.


We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today.


Best regards,
Satish R


Obviously we cannot contact Tate. I am in the process of revising my books, new cover pages, illustrations, etc. Once ready to go - they will be uploaded as second revision - so hopefully that will deter people from ordering the original books published by Tate.

Anonymous said...

Hello Victoria! Hey Victoria, have you heard about TCK Publishing? I can find no online reviews, no BBB reviews, no complaints nor praises. I saw them at http://www.tckpublishing.com/ and wondered if it was any good or not. Thanks!

Casey Jones said...

I just asked the following company about them creating a new cover. Their price is $595 + $50 for a new cover--- Here is what he said:
Casey,

We can reuse the same cover we just have to modify it so that it has no reference to Tate on the cover or inside the book. All that is already included in the price of republishing your book. But if you want to have a completely new cover designed for your book it is only a extra $50 some authors like to go that route to just have a brand new looking cover and a re branding so to speak as they move forward with a new publishing company. Let me know if you have any other questions for me. I would be glad to answer them. I also included a FAQ in this email as well for you to look over. Hope you had a great weekend.

Thanks again,

Danny Mills

Danny Mills | Yorkshire Publishing | Author Relations
3207 South Norwood Avenue | Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135
Office 918.394.2665
www.yorkshirepublishing.com

Dede Stockton said...

Pat - I tried to open the site you provided: luxcrativepublishing.com and it does not respond. I am thinking this proves that it is Tate, being as there original website always took so long to respond.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous who asked about TCK Publishing,

I've gotten some questions; I've also heard from people who say that the owner of this enterprise signed up for their discussion groups or message boards solely in order to promote the service.

In my opinion, TCK is an "approach with caution" company. The basic cost ($500) isn't bad, but they have what looks like a kickback referral scheme with "professional editors", and I'd guess that whoever signs up with this company will be pressed to buy additional services. The website also mentions subsidiary rights deals, which suggests a restrictive contract.

TCK's owner, Tom Corson-Knowles, is one of those internet entrepeneurs who sells expertise, with the "expertise" being primarily the selling of itself.

Christopher Sharp said...

To Casey Jones,

I was contacted by Yorkshire about a month ago. The pitch that Danny gave me sounded good. If you choose that route to get back in the game, Yorkshire is probably just as good as any other vanity press.

Ron Bay, Jr. said...

Would Tate reforming under a new name void the contracts they had with authors under the Tate name?

Victoria Strauss said...

Ron Bay, Jr.,

I doubt it, unless there's wording in the Tate contract to that effect, which I don't think there is.

Right now, if you click on Lux Creative Publishing, there's a "This site has been suspended" notice. The site was live for a few hours, though. Dunno what this means, but I'm keeping an eye on it.

Anonymous said...

I thought I would post this update due to the way the contract is written you may receive refunds from years ago. In October 2014 I signed a contract with Tate Publishing in which they offered a commercial. It is 2017 there was no commercial. Due to the way the contract is written Section IV states that the retainer for the publicist will be returned if Tate does not uphold its end of the agreement. For me part i of section IV mentioned the commercial. As a result Paypal refunded my full transaction from 2014.

All of this will take time. Tate will not respond to any of the claims and typical that results in default judgment in your favor. I would advise anyone who has received this refund to contact their Attorney General's office (as well as Oklahoma's). Aside from the royalties Tate Publishing may have stolen their actions still appear to be criminal wrong. A criminal conviction will help establish a warning for unethical publishers who attempt this in the future. It might also help establish regulations so authors will know what royalties are owed in the future.

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