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December 9, 2016

Trouble at Tate: Could it be End of Days for America's Most Prolific Vanity Publisher?

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

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.

It's hard times lately for "America's Top Publisher," a.k.a. Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a.k.a. one of America's most prolific vanity publishers.

Tate has been on Writer Beware's Thumbs Down Publishers List since the list was created. Not just because it charges enormous fees (an initial $3,990, with the option of paying hundreds or even thousands more for extras such as video trailers, custom websites, self-ordered books, and the like), but because it presents itself as a "mainline publishing organization" and doesn't reveal its fees anywhere on its website or in its promotional videos.

In fact, Tate's website specifically promises that authors do not have to pay to publish: "Tate Publishing does not charge a fee for publishing and absorbs all the cost of production and distribution of a book." But this is classic vanity publisher doublespeak. Deeper into the submission process, when Tate finally gets around to asking authors to pull out their credit cards, they are told that the money is for a publicist.

Clearly, Tate wants authors to assume that it's as traditional as traditional can be. And they do. Writer Beware has gotten hundreds of questions and reports from authors who approached Tate in the belief that it was not a vanity publisher.

We've also heard from many Tate authors who don't feel their money was well spent--and we aren't alone. 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. They make for terrifying reading--bad editing, shoddy production, constant staff turnover, books ordered and paid for but never received, delayed pub dates, non-payment of royalties, "marketing" that mostly consists of urging writers to buy their own books...the list goes on

The Better Business Bureau, which as of this writing has logged 134 complaints over the past three years, yanked Tate's accreditation earlier this year.

That's a lot of chickens, and they are now coming home to roost. This past May, Xerox Corporation filed a $1.7 million lawsuit (since increased to $1.89 million) against Tate, alleging defaults on service agreements and promissory note payments, and seeking re-possession of $450,000 in leased equipment. Tate has not had good luck with its attorneys in the case; the first withdrew in September, saying he was retiring, and the second is also seeking to withdraw, in part, apparently, because Tate hasn't paid him. (Maybe that's why Ryan Tate never got around to filing his promised counter-suit against Xerox.)

The Xerox lawsuit spurred layoffs from Tate's printing plant, even before Xerox began re-possessing its equipment in late July. And that's not all. Tate is facing at least four additional legal actions: a lawsuit by an author who claims that she paid over $12,000 for a book that was published full of errors (twice); a petition by a musician suing over copyright laws (a customer of Tate Music Group, which also runs on a vanity model); a claim by memorabilia manufacturer Jostens, which alleges that Tate owes it more than $13,000; and another by the property company that leases Tate its print shop (vacant now that Xerox has re-possessed its equipment), which alleges that Tate owes nearly $20,000 in rent.

If that weren't enough, Tate's employment practices are being investigated by the Department of Labor. (Some employees say that they were threatened and "coached on what to say" by CEO Ryan Tate before Labor Department investigators came to interview them; this would not be the first time that Ryan Tate has threatened employees.) And per an (uneverified) comment on one of my previous posts about Tate, Tate may recently have been evicted from its offices.

Are these the straws that broke the camel's back? Has Tate reached its very own End Times? Either way, it's not looking good for "America's Top [Vanity] Publisher."

Predictably, the honchos at Tate are pretending nothing's wrong. “There are a lot of issues that probably would be a little more important for you or your news agency or any news agency to deal with," company founder Richard Tate told local news station KFOR, "other than the fact that our company is doing a great job.”

Hmmm. I think some Tate authors would disagree.

Watch this space.

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 one of my previous posts about Tate, 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.


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.


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 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: 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.


Diane Mae Robinson Multi-Award-Winning Author said...

Hi Victoria. I wanted to inform you that not every author that is published with Tate has to pay a fee, of any sort. I have two traditional contracts with Tate. I have not paid for editing, illustrations, production, video trailer, website, a publicist, or any thing else you can think of that may require a fee. Therefore, I would strongly disagree with you that Tate is a vanity publisher only. They may have a vanity publishing arm to the company, I don't know what other people's contracts say. You are giving a wrong impression here.

In regards to the person who had their book published twice with mistakes, I can't see how that could happen. My books went through three rounds of editing, which I had to approve at the last round, and then a final layout, which, again, I had to approve.

There are a lot of great authors signed with Tate and great books being produced by Tate. For example, in the 2015 Literary Classics Book Awards, there were a number of Tate authors who won Gold and Silver, myself included:

I have had excellent service with Tate who has always gone out of their way to please me as one of their authors.

Many author's livelihood depends on their books being available through Tate and affiliate links. Maybe, before you bash them as the worst publisher on earth, you should get all your facts straight.

Thank you.

Diane Mae Robinson
Multi-award winning Tate author

Bridget Marzo said...

Just to avoid confusion, as it can be confusing to people in the US, that there is also an prestigious UK publisher of art books and quality children's books called Tate Publishing UK which comes out of the great Tate Art Galleries in the UK. Tate UK has no connection whatsoever with this US publisher. Their books are distributed by Abrams in the US.

Anonymous said...


You must be one of the lucky few. My experience with Tate has been horrible. 100% horrible. I had to pay a fee, and after 12 month I received nothing. The only thing I get is excuses, new contacts each month, and a ton of lies. My refund check has literally been "lost in the mail" 5 times!!! These people are con artists, plain and simple.

Victoria Strauss said...

Bridge Marzo, thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Diane, no one is disputing that they have published books and good authors. I do think things weren't like this a few years ago.

I worked with them in 2009 and paid the enormous fee, didn't get the service expected on the Marketing end, but did get a product to sell.
I have gone back in 2016(stupid me) and I have had a terrible experience and yes I paid a fee this time it was discounted. I have not heard from them in 30 days and they refuse to respond to any of my weekly communications. I'm sure my money is lost now. I will seek out another publisher to help me.

You are clearly one of the lucky ones....

Victoria Strauss said...

From the reports/complaints I've received, as well as the many, many author complaints online, it does appear that up until a couple of years ago Tate did provide a reasonably efficient service that fulfilled at least the basics of what it promised (though those promises were overblown, especially in regard to marketing). There was nothing like the chaos there apparently is now.

However, even when Tate was operating optimally, it was hugely overpriced for the service it offered--not to mention the exorbitantly-priced "extras" writers were encouraged to add to the basic package--and completely deceptive in its presentation of itself as a "mainline" publisher. Tate is and always has been a vanity publisher--despite the small number of reports of no-fee contracts. And it has always worked extremely hard to obscure this fact.

Doreen McGettigan said...

My first book was published through Tate and I couldn't be happier or prouder of that book. My experience with Tate was amazing.
Before signing with them for my second book I heard about the dismantling of and the firing of the editing department. My editor was one of those fired.
I was nervous about signing with them for my second book but the aquisition team assured me things were better then ever.
They weren't. My book went through 3 rounds of publishing that never happened. I never worked with an actual editor. I worked with a guy in the Philippines that was hired off the street.
My first book is constantly out of stock and when I recently ordered books for a speaking engagement I was stunned to see they were printed by Lightening Source (Amazon.)
I did not pay to publish with Tate either and am terrified now because it's been almost a year and I've received no royalties.
Emails and phone calls go unanswered.
I feel bad for Dr. Tate. When I met him he seemed like such a nice man. This company could have been something he was proud of but his son ruined it.
I hope he does the right thing and pulls it together or sells the company. So many good hard working authors are being hurt.

Anonymous said...

Doreen, no reason to feel sorry for Dr. Tate. He knows exactly what is going on and the ring leader. He is the biggest liar up there. The person I feel sorry for is Rita, she has absolutely NO idea what is going on and walks around believing everything is fine.

Tate outsourced to LSI (Lightening Source) back in June, after the Xerox lawsuit was filed. They are a cheaper & quicker way to print, and the quality is no where near as good. You get what you pay for.

John Thornton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Thornton said...

There is absolutely no reason for Tate to be cheating so many people. Authors can go to create space, and Kindle Direct Publishing and receive better service, better quality, and better distribution for FREE. I have read numerous books supposedly edited and proofread by Tate, and they are filled with errors and just a mess. There might be a few good books that slipped through Tate publishing, but that was due to the AUTHOR's work, and NOT because of Tate. Tate's authors need to beware of what their book's rights are going to be going forward. Tate just consists of cheater and liars who are masquerading as a "Christian publisher." They are wolves in sheep's clothing, and sadly, a myriad of authors have been conned and cheated.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm an employee of Tate Publishing here in the Philippines. Currently, there's been absolutely no word about what's happening. Everyone who's still technically employed her in the PI don't have any workload, some have been sent to "work from home (whatever that means)," our government-mandated Christmas bonuses are a no-show, and our e-mail provider has been shut down, giving us no access to whatever updates there might be. Looks like it's the end for Tate Publishing. I wonder how the Tates can sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

Pablo Esteban said...

John Thornton, I worked with the editing team, and I have to be a bit defensive on this because I personally worked on manuscripts, which I edited to adhere to The Chicago Manual of Style's rules. However, and this is a big however, the authors are (a) too stubborn to read over the editors' notes (and most of them cannot write if their lives depended on it) because their writing is supposedly "a God-given gift" and (b) when they do accept the editors' changes, they revert to their unedited manuscripts in the final stages before printing; and when they do not get the changes they want, which their changes are 150 percent of the time wrong, they threaten the staff and management with lawsuits and cancellations of contracts.

Anonymous said...

Tate closed down today. I repeat: Tate closed down today.

Anonymous said...

I posted the above comment. I'm not sure how they're going to go about telling authors that they're permanently closed, because they were still signing them on and taking their money as of last week. I'll keep you updated if they issue some sort of public message.

Victoria Strauss said...

Anonymous, feel free to contact me directly--I'll protect your identity. beware [at]

Christine Tripp said...

Victoria, just a mention that Mr. Cordinley has changed his wording of work summary on his LI page and his blogger profile is gone.

It sounds as though he has left the position right after your update.

The "previously operating as Tate", is odd, perhaps he's just mixed up the order of who came first.

Victoria Strauss said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Christine. As to "previously operating as Tate"--I've learned that in its last year, Tate was issuing Lux Creative contracts simultaneously with Tate contracts. I've updated my post (again) with the new info.

Rick Baker said...

Diane Mae Robinson: You may be a "Multi-Award Winning Author" but you are completely wrong about Tate. I have had three books published by Tate and all have had many errors. My last one about a murdered family in CA (NO GOODBYES) was the worst. Each time I resent the corrected manuscript, I was assigned a different "editor" always with a foreign name. Even in its final stage, there are multiple errors that of course the trolls and my critics love to point out. My contract called for a full refund once 10,000 copes were sold, which happened very quickly. It took me 6 months to get my refund, when my contract called for a full refund within 30 days. I was sent in four different checks at odd times of the month. Until I threatened Ryan with a class-action suit, I did not get my money. My first book, "I Never Knew You," I believe, describes Tate to a tee: Matthew 7:21-23, where Jesus says, "Depart From Me, I Never Knew You." Richard and Ryan will one day stand before the God they claim to worship and have to give an account. It won't be a pretty picture when they finally realize that knowing a lot about God does not mean one actually knows Him.

Victoria Strauss said...

Here are my thoughts on paying $50 to get your files. I stress that these are my personal thoughts, not legal advice or anything similar.

- It's immoral for Tate to demand more money after all the money it has already taken from you (for services and book orders) and all the money it owes to you (for royalties).

- Tate is closed. Its employees have been fired. We don't know who, if anyone, is still working there. Tate claims to have over 35,000 authors--if only a tenth of them request their digital files, that's a huge number of requests. Who is going to handle them all? What's the likelihood, if you send $50 to Tate, that it won't just vanish into a black hole?

- Assuming you get your files, will you be able to use them? If you go to a new publisher (rather than a self-publishing service), it will want to create its own files. If you choose to self-publish, will the Tate files fit the self-pub platform's requirements? Amazon's KDP program, for instance, has a list of file formats it will accept. Before I shelled out $50, I'd want to know what kind of files I'd be receiving.

- Assuming you get your files, will they be complete? If Tate created illustrations or text decorations or indexes for you, it may retain that copyrightable material.

Margaret S Keathley said...

I went with Tate in 2010 because I liked what they had to say. They were family oriented and a Christian based company. I wrote a children's book while recovering from knee surgery and never expected to hear anything back. When I got the call, I was thrilled. I had an attorney look over everything, loved what they did with the book, and was thrilled. My first event was a success. They matched the payments on my second book, which came out in 2015. However, problems started after the second had gone into production. Staff changes were constant, I had to beg for events, emails/phone calls went unanswered, and if I did get a royalty check, it would be for a few cents--less than the postage. I just figured my books weren't good. When I questioned, I would get the runaround. My marketing people were Amanda and Patrick. Email after email with wonderful offers--buy 100 books and go to NY, buy 200 books and go on a cruise--etc. But when you ask why buy more books you can't sell because I am not getting events, the questions go unanswered. They had talented illustrators, the books are quality. However, what do I do now? The number works but the voice mail says the office is closed. An attorney I spoke with said get your files, it is a breach of contract and attorney's fees will be more than you paid in, etc. My books are not just two children's books--they are my dreams come true. Is this the end for "The Color Story" and "Star's Angel"? Thank you, Margaret Keathley 1/25/17

LaNell Koenig-Wilson said...

Margaret, the same thing happened to me. My book, Alexander Graham Cracker Goes to the Moon, came out in 2010. Had to pester them for events, etc. The two royalties checks I received were like yours, cents. They did not fulfill the contract and never created the e-book. I will be doing the e-book and putting it back on Amazon. Like you, these books are my dreams. My book was written for my autistic grandson, Alex. Its being used in speech therapy classes, special Ed, and even being considered to be read on the International Space Station. I know my book sales were good. Now I can't promote my books until I can get them reprinted. My heart is broken.

Lv said...

What are we suppose to do when Tate owns copyright of cover, layout, and illustrations?
We need more copies of our book now. How can we go to another publisher or self-publish?

LaNell Koenig-Wilson said...

That is also my question. If I choose to reillustrate my own book do I he to reissue the ISBN number?

Ruth Featherstone said...

I was the last recording artist to record at Tate Music Group that was recorded on Thursday, January 12th. I had a photo shoot on Friday, January 13th, and returned back to Los Angeles on Saturday, January 14. Tate shut its door January 17.

I signed with Tate Music Group in 2009 and traveled to Mustang to do my first recording. I wasn't pleased with it because the engineer put a hard compression on my vocals that made me sound like singing through a muffler.

This past spring, I received an email asking me if I wanted to do a $2,000 video for $500. I told them that my CD wasn't finished because of the compression. I then received an invitation to come back to Tate to redo my CD. If I had known that Tate was closing its doors, I would have never gone to OKC.

Here is a You Tube video of me singing "STOP THE HATRED" one of the songs that I recorded at Tate Music Group Studio this past January.

Anonymous said...

I agree about quality. I had to work extremely hard to turn out a high-quality book because Tate's editors kept putting errors back in!

Brad Herman said...

I am glad you pointed this out, Diane. I had friends and acquaintances that had a traditional publishing experience with Tate. In my mind even at that they were a terrible option, but they were not all pay to play.

Anonymous said...

Yorkshire Publishing has contacted me with the following offer.
"I am reaching out to you because you are a former Tate Publishing author. I wanted to make sure I got in touch with you and gave you the same opportunity that many Tate Publishing autho rs have found useful. As you may have heard or seen, recent news from Tate Publishing indicates that as of January 17, 2017 they have suspended operations. You probably have many questions about what is happening. Since we are not affiliated with Tate Publishing, we simply don't have any information to share. The good news is we have been able to help many authors who have found themselves in the same situation you have. We have had great success helping authors who want to get their books back out on the marketplace, with as little downtime as possible.
What to do next? Your first step is to take possession of your print ready press-files. Many authors have had great luck finding these files in email s from Tate. If you have the interior and exterior pdfs they sent to you before they finished public ation then you are ready to move on to File Modification. These modifications – which we are includi ng in this Republishing Package - include removing and reissuing a new ISBN and Barcode. We will als o be removing any reference to Tate on both the cover and interior files. This process should only t ake a few days for most authors. Once the file modifications are completed, the files will be upload ed to our printer, and we will then print a physical proof for you to review prior to re-releasing y our book. Once the book is released it will begin to reappear on retail sites as well as be made ava ilable for bookstore purchase. We have created a special package for authors affected by this transi tion, which includes:
Included in this package is :
New ISBN – a new “serial number” specific to Yorkshire Publishing 
New Barcode – also specific to Yorkshire Publishing
Cover Modifications – removing Tate Publishing's logo and artwork
Interior Modifications – removing Tate Publishing’s Copyright page information
Upload to Our Printer – we use a internationally known printer for our books 
Proof Printed for Author Approval – physical proof of book sent overnight to you to review
Listing for Retail and Bookstore Sale – will filter to retail sites within 2-3 day
Press Release Sent After It Becomes Available Again – a free marketing component included in this one time only package 

Due to the extraordinary situation that former Tate Publishing authors have found themselves in, we are extending special one-time pricing for all the above services.
The special pricing is $595.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience a t the office at 918-394-2665 or you can email me back and I would be happy to answer any questions y ou may have.. Thanks again and look forward to working with you."

Christine Tripp said...

Anon 2/25 I think Tate Authors will see these types of emails, get cold calls a lot for the next while. It's common that after the Lion's have walked away from the caracas, that the vultures swoop down and pick the bones clean.

Wendydawn Brindley said...

I'm not sure what to do next? Should I tell my reader audience to only contact me to purchase books from now on? Should I take it down from Amazon or other distributors or can I? I have not received any commissions for two years even though I have proof that books were sold via Amazon and etc. . .

Even though I did not pay as some people may have I would prefer not to have to hire an attorney to help me figure out the correct course for my existing Tate book.

Any one have any help ?Thanks!

Menetta Olan, Author

Victoria Strauss said...

Menetta Olan,

If you have a stock of books, you can certainly tell your readers to come to you.

If you want to republish, or to get retailers to remove your book from sale, you do have to terminate your contract with Tate. You can do this yourself--no need for a lawyer--either by signing the release from on Tate's website (though be aware that you are giving up some legal rights) or sending a termination letter to Tate's last known business address. I've described both processes in previous comments. Either way, be sure to keep a copy, which you can use as proof that the contract is terminated and Tate has no claim on your rights, even if you never get an acknowledgement from Tate.

If you have more questions, feel free to email me. My address is at the top of the page in the right hand column.

William Michael Davidson said...

I'm a little confused. I have a book through Tate publishing and it seems like it is still available on Amazon. If Tate is going under, should the book still be available on Amazon? A little confused. Should I sign the contract to get my files?

Wendydawn Brindley said...

I contacted Amazon and sent them the form to have them take down my book and they declined the removal. So Tate can keep making money off my book and keep not paying me and there is nothing I can do about it yet. :(

Unknown said...

If anyone is or has filed a complaint with OK state attorney, I would like to be added to the list!

Christina Krieger said...

I have had a similar experience as everyone else. My book was published 2 years ago. The initial process was fine, no real complaints. But once it was released and started selling, royalties were never paid, even after repeatedly contacting them. And the promised "15%, industry standard" was not even close to being reflected on my sales reports. A fraction of that, to be sure.

I also purchased app ad views, which were never fulfilled-I repeatedly contacted them regarding this as well. Nothing was ever done about any of these issues.

I read some recent comments about authors' books still being available online. I recently looked into mine, and amazon, barnes and noble, etc. all say it is unavailable. So at least they won't be collecting book sales. To clarify, I did NOT sign the termination agreement, I didn't want to waive my right to legal action. So if you're wanting to take your book off those sites, you may not need to sign after all. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do on that front. They were in breach of contract on many counts. But will filing bankruptcy get them out of these types of lawsuits? If anyone has started a class action, or has talked to a lawyer about it, please let me know. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has answers on that front.

Anyway, thank you Victoria for accumulating all this information. I'm sorry to see so many people screwed by them, but It is at least comforting to know I'm not alone in my frustration.

Lisa Brooks said...

I too am a former client of Tate Publishing. They initially wanted almost $5000 to publish ONE book then revised the offer to a "Lifetime Contract for only $999". I'm ashamed to admit that I did go for that offer. My first book "There's A Monster In My Closet!" was edited by Tate fairly well and the illustrations were above average. I purchased approximately 500 of my own paperback and hardback books to sell at book signings and flea markets. According to Tate in the three years since the book came out I have only sold ONE copy!! I'm sure sales weren't high simply because Tate was charging WAY too much money for a cheaply made paperback. But I know this an absolute lie as I purchased ten books myself at full price from their web site at different times just to make sure the sales were going through and they were delivering the books. Stupidly, I just wasted another year working with them for the release of my second children's book "The Snow Lord and the Spring Fairy". It was supposed to be released this month. I signed the release when they announced they were closing but I crossed out the sentence saying that I would not expect them to pay me any royalties owed to me and I did not send them any money. I included a letter informing them that I already paid them over $800 for additional services that were never performed. They sent me two DVD's. One for each book but they did not include the illustrations. I consider those illustrations to be mine, as I paid extra for them and I gave them exact specifications and details on how they were to be drawn. No one else would be able to use those illustrations except for me. I noticed that my first book is still for sale on Amazon and have no idea what happens if someone purchases it. Although Tate told me that they would try to find me another publisher, I haven't heard from any other companies. I feel like I have wasted the last three years. I'm 62 years old so I don't have a lifetime ahead of me to become a successful writer. I believe Tate never planned to make money by selling my book to anyone else except ME. I feel doubly taken as they claimed to be a Christian company and used that to gain my trust. When I call them a recording says the number is no longer in service. They won't answer my Emails or snail mail. I hope no one sends them the $50 for their "files". I'm convinced Tate will just keep the money or send you an unusable copy of your work. Your dream. I pity them when they have to face Jesus someday. I'm going to attempt to self-publish on Amazon but I'm wondering if I'll have a problem since my first book is already for sale on that site. Good luck to all the other authors who were left stranded by this greedy, dream killing company. May God steer us in the right direction.

Lingo said...

A friend of mine who was an author from Tate was called by this company Legaia Books Publishing ( I looked up their website and it seems that they offer very expensive services. They have been calling Tate authors. Could they be part of Tate? If not, then is there any way you guys can check if they are legit or just a SCAM publishing out there?

Victoria Strauss said...

I've heard from a number of Tate authors who've been solicited by Legaia Books. It's not associated with Tate as far as I know; it's just one of a number of pay-to-play companies that have been aggressively soliciting Tate authors.

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.

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