Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is Tate Publishing a Scam?

Today, I want to take one more look at Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC. In case you missed Tuesday’s post, Tate Publishing is a subsidy press that focuses on unpublished authors. They charge a $3,990 publicist setup fee, but they do appear to have sufficient staff to justify their claim that they have allocated $27,000 for each book. Today, I want to look less at promises and more at results. In the interest of showing rather than telling, take a look at the video below:

One of the services that Tate Publishing provides is that they create fifteen second spots like the one above and run them on cable networks. They promise 80,000 impressions. Or to state it another way, they promise that 80,000 people will see that commercial. Someone from Tate Publishing is welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe they charge an additional fee for these commercials.

The way I would expect this to play out is that each commercial will air one time with about 80,000 people watching. They may have to run it more than once to reach the 80,000, so a few people might see it more than once. They may run these things in an infomercial, with several 15 second slots queued up between thirty second slots encouraging people to publish through Tate Publishing. I don’t know because I’ve never seen one of these Tate Publishing commercials running on any network that I’ve ever watched. To me, that is a terrible result.

On top of that, consider the content of the commercial. It has a voice over, which is a good thing, but it is poorly written. The language is far too formal and there’s nothing to convince me that I want to spend a few hours in the land of this story. While this is just one case, consider also the product descriptions for the books that Tate Publishing is trying to sell. To do that, go to a site like Amazon.com and on the Advanced Search page type in “Tate Publishing” in the publisher field. The following is the description from a book called Purchased Power:
John Moore is a successful and brilliant yacht designer living the good life outside of San Francisco. Life seems perfect, when without warning he discovers his wife is being unfaithful and plotting to take over his business. He quickly devises a plan to save his business and leave her for good. He soon finds himself in a world he did not know existed--a world of global political corruption and intrigue. Purchased Power is a story of human weakness, greed, and good people whose errors in judgment put their lives on perilous paths. Follow John Moore on an epic journey to some of the most exotic countries in the world as he tries desperately to save a good woman from the clutches of the corrupt.
This is one of the better ones and still it needs work. The author typically writes these things, but it’s still the editor’s responsibility to help clean them up. This is the first thing potential customers will see.

My point is that the results Tate Publishing are getting is more in line with what you would expect from a subsidy publisher charging a $3,990 entry fee rather that those of a high quality traditional publisher that is paying $27,000 per book. But let’s not jump to the conclusion that Tate Publishing is a scam. A more likely explanation is that they are not selective enough. The fact is, it is easier to produce a good book if the author knows what he’s doing. Combine with that fact that the editing budget is a little low and it is no surprise that their results are less than ideal. But if you happen to be an author who can’t get a contract from a traditional publisher, a subsidy press like Tate Publishing may be just what you’re looking for. As long as they aren’t telling you they will do one thing and they do another, they are not a scam.

27 comments :

Anonymous said...

I just got signed with Tate Publishing and I can say this they do not charge for the TV commercial, until 80000 homes have viewed it. After that if you want it to run again it will come at an additional cost, but still only a small fraction of what it would cost if you tried to do it yourself. To go along with that the reason they have authors pay upfront at all is two fold first, they partner with a media advertising company, this company puts adds online, in magazines and even on billboards. All of that would cost tens of thousands of dollars at least. Second if your work (the book) is not finished when you sign your contract they give you a year to finish it. Very few other publishers that I have found do this at all! So having the author put some money down makes it much less likely that they will write for eight months then flake out and say "...I can't make the deadline..." and thus waste the companies valuable time. I can say this at first I thought this company had to be too good to be true but the more research I do the more solid they become. They have an A+ rating from the BBB and are currently moving up the charts as one of the fastest growing publishers in the world. These two things would not be if they were ripping people off, not when there are now hundreds of publishers in America only, there is simply too competition for them to even stay in business were that the case. They just had a book hit the New York Times best sellers list too so that would seem like a good sign to me. If you would like to ask me more on this you can shoot me an email at justinshaben@yahoo.com.

DanBack said...

No legit publisher asks the author to pay *them*. Legit publishers buy rights to the work from the author. There is a sucker born every minute.

Timothy Fish said...

DanBack,

There are certainly people who would agree with you on that, but the simple truth is that publishers are not interested in all books. They either don't think enough people are interested or they don't know how to reach those that are. There is nothing wrong with someone with publishing skills offering their services for a price. Where it becomes wrong is when such a person promises a level of success that they cannot guarantee.

Matt Kistner said...

I just published a book through Tate Publishing called A Moment to Think. My name is Matt Kistner and Tate Publishing and Enterprises LLC is not a scam. I am 17 years old and I thought that I was being suckered at first, but I asked my editors straight up if Tate publishing is for real, and she sent me all sorts of proof that they are what they say they are. You can check out my book at this link: http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62024-789-1

A Moment to Think by Matt Kistner | ISBN # 978-1-62024-789-1 | Tate Publishing
www.tatepublishing.com
A Moment to Think by Matt Kistner, published by Tate Publishing is available online for sale. (ISBN 978-1-62024-789-1)

Anonymous said...

I signed with Tate Publishing back in August and I am confident that it is not a scam. They have had a few books on the bestsellers list and they recently signed Roger S. Baum who is the great-grandson of the original creator of the Oz series and who is currently adding to the series.
I would also like to comment on the fee that they charge. The fee is not for their services, but rather the services of the publicist who they acquire for you, and it is refundable after you sell 1000 copies.
Not everyone has $4000 that they can dish out right away. Tate Publishing is aware of that and will work with the author on a payment plan of some sorts.
On top of all this, the staff is friendly. My acquisitions editor is great and she made me feel like she really believed in my work. She also was very good at reassuring me that every effort would be put into making my book a success.
The company is legitimate and seems to have had quite a bit of success. I haven't spent years studying business but I know that no one invests in something they plan to LOSE money on. That being said, I'm sure they will use all their resources to bring success to themselves and to their writers.

Fred L Tate said...

I am with Tate Publishing for my animal novel, "The Warren". Every writer has to do some self pomotion to help sell their novel, especially if you are a new and unknown writer. Many new writers do not do enough self promotion, and then blame the publisher for their lack of success.
For how well Tate Publishing has helped me, Google search my ISBN number for the Warren, 9781617772450 and start counting.Several of those booksellers sell into more than one country, and The Warren is currently being offered for sale in 36 nations; I am very happy with Tate Publishing.
Yes my name is Fred L Tate, but I am not related to Tate Publishing; there are Tate's everywhere, I just happen to be one of them.

Rebecca Jean Downey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Held said...

I know this to be true, I met Kim Harrison I was a book manager at a book store chain and had an autographing set up for her by the chain. I told her about tate and what my wife went thru with them on her book.Kim said you never pay a publisher to publish your book. It sounded like a scam to her. Kim has had a lot of best sellers so I believe she knows.

Anonymous said...

Considering the number of individuals claiming to be under contract with this company in response to this blog alone, in addition to the company taking any money whatsoever from previously unpublished authors, suggests to me that not only are they not particularly selective, but that they also make the bulk of their money from new, unsuspecting authors. For any writer going through this place or any similar, I urge you to consider how many words to your next work you could have written in the time it took to post a link to your book's site. Writers write. I'm not criticizing; rather, stating the obvious--with diligence and passion, you can do better.

Anonymous said...

Tate has done a good job in hiding their true colors. I was suckered in and the deeper I got, the more money I had to shell out. These people are really something. How they can sleep at night is beyound me! All I will say is if your looking to have your book published, forget Tate and get out while you can. Run Run Run

Anonymous said...

Tate Author, here. I'd like to say that I was scammed unknowingly, but that isn't exactly the truth. I've studied the publishing industry for years, just never bothered to submit anything. I wanted to know everything there was to know about it before I submitted anything, and believe me, I have a library full.

Anyway, if you go to Tate's homepage, you'll see that they like to take a chance on new authors, and waiting around for agents to get back to you (only if they are interested in your manuscript) is no fun. I stumbled across Tate. My contract was overnighted. I was skeptical, but made the mistake of telling my family. Of course I could have self-published for $200, but that would have been to cheap. My dad insisted on lending me the money. Insisted. He said he looked it up, found all the big names and glowing reviews. I knew better, but I guess I got caught up in the moment, too, and have been regretting it ever since. My book was good enough to sell to be with an agent...and get real contracts (multiple submissions, you know) accept one and boom you get another. Anyhow, I can't complain about the illustrations (just a kids book this go-around) but I don't expect it will ever go anywhere, and the things I asked the marketing guy to help me with...good luck. They also want you to set up book signings at coffee shops and have at least 30 people you know (and they want the list) show up. Good news? They can be the same 30 people. Awesome, right? I can bring my own clientele to a coffee shop where of course the owners will be happy - I'm bringing in thirty customers for them. Not much in it for me.

Really, though, I have no right to complain. I knew, expressed my doubts, then threw them to the wind.

Anonymous said...

Also, I'd like to add that, in the contract where they promise to spend $26(7?)k developing your book, but also add that you cannot ask them to show where they spent the money should have been a red flag. I knew it, saw it, swallowed it like a good little sucker. Oh well. My advice to writers is to go with your gut. If it seems to good to be true (a company who likes new writers, but doesn't mention a fee until they are overnighting you a contract) it probably is.

Amanda Hugandkiss said...

Any company that charges that much and pretends to be a publisher and pretends to send out "acceptance" letters is OBVIOUSLY a scam. REAL PUBLISHERS don't charge authors!

Anonymous said...

P.T. Barnum said "there's a sucker born every minute". Many "wannabe" authors are quite willing to pay nearly $4,000 just to get their name in print! A high price just for "bragging rights"!

Anonymous said...

I have read two books by different authors, but both published by Tate Publishing, to write articles about the books for our local newspaper.

Both books were poorly edited, with typos and grammatical errors throughout. One was far worse than the other, which I believe was due to the writers' abilities.

All writers -- no matter how well they write -- need editors. If editing truly is included in Tate's package, they have very poor editors or spend little time per book on the editing.

Every book has a few errors because people aren't perfect, but these final products by Tate were a terrible disservice to the writers.

Anonymous said...

I have been working with Tate for two years on two books of the same title; a juvenile book and a novel. It has been a nightmare! Please do not trust this company with your book. You worked way too hard to put it into incompetent hands. It has been a stressful battle from the start and few of their promises have been met. So far, only the juvie book has been printed in proof form, nothing else has been printed. After two years, you would think that they would want to finish it! Don't waste your time with Tate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I was almost sending my proposal to Tate Publishing, but thought of doing a search first. The reviews about Tate Publishing are shocking and scary!

Anonymous said...

I signed with Tate, the money is refundable after the 1000th book is sold so its not a big deal. They have been open to changes I have made several times even after I ok'd the work. Sometimes it takes a couple of emails to get a response but I also realize I am not the only client they have. I haven't been asked for any other money. My book is due to be out in a week which is faster than the original time line. They want the author to be vested in the work and I totally understand that. There were some grammatical errors after the first two edits, but they were minor. They tell you to have someone read over it along with you reading it over. There are then 3 sets of eyes on your book, no one is perfect and you are bound to find mistakes. So many people think they are amazing writers and should be on Good Morning America etc etc, when in fact most Publishers would never give them a chance. So my thoughts are this, you spend 4,000 or less, which is completely refundable after the 1000th book, if people are the amazing authors they think they are then they will have that money back in no time. If you think its a scam then send your work to someone else. Don't bad mouth someone just because you don't think they should charge. I have seen plenty of people charge and 99% are not refundable after a certain amount of books are sold.

Anonymous said...

I signed with Tate over a year ago and paid the initial investment (close to $4000).
The first problems came with the copies of the pre-sale books and promo materials I received for my library visits. The books were full of typos, and my name was misspelled on one entire set of promo materials (pushcards, bookmarks, and postcards to invite family and friends to events). I contacted Tate right away to receive replacement promo materials and never received a full replacement set.
As for the typos in the books I requested a PPC process-post production changes, in which the author is charged per correction (presumably because the fault lies in the author, who signs off on the final draft for printing). However, as I began to correct the manuscript I realized the majority of the errors had not been mine to begin with, and the reason I knew this was because many of the errors were present in the foreign terms in my story (part of my novel is set in a foreign country and also has many French ballet terms). In other words, I was having to correct errors made by the editing team at Tate! One example: demi-pointe was changed to semi-point. Accents were removed from most of the foreign words, English words which should have been capitalized (Navy [the military branch], changed to navy) were changed. I went back to my original manuscript, and more than half of the errors had been created during the editing process. So I called my project manager and insisted that they make all the corrections and not charge me; he agreed. So my release date was pushed back about a month, but that was okay by me as long as the retail booksellers got clean, corrected copies.
Meanwhile, I had to make multiple contacts to different departments at Tate to prompt them to create my book trailer (which was part of the original contract) and website (which I paid for with my batch of pre-release order); by the way, my website just went online last week, when it should have been up and running last spring to create interest in the upcoming release.
Anyway, to make a long story… even longer--I had my first event at my local retail bookseller (which I scheduled-- the bookstore manager told me Tate had not made any contact with them at any time) and sold many copies, but… THE ERRORS ARE STILL IN THERE!! Plus, the book was categorized as an adult romance and must be shelved in that section, alongside bodice-rippers and other risqué titles. MY BOOK IS A YA COMING-OF-AGE STORY!!! It now on the shelf by books with covers of lusty couples and images suggesting BDSM and other crazy stuff. I mean, if you are into that, that's fine; that is not what you will find in my book, and the intended audience will never find my book in the teen section as long as it is categorized as adult romance.
Bottom line, if you look at my (and many, many others') experience with Tate and evaluate it by the criteria that Timothy uses, which is "if they say they will do something and then do something else, they are a scam" then TATE PUBLISHING IS OPERATING AS A SCAM! They don't edit their manuscripts properly, they don't market and publicize their titles, they don't distribute to retail outlets (my local bookstore only ordered copies because I set up the event), they don't produce effective professional-looking book trailers or promo materials, they don't send publicity info to the media, and they don't broadcast their book trailers on national t.v. I am now convinced that they make our books available to distributers but do not exert any effort in actually getting them into bookstore and other retail outlets to keep sales down and avoid having to refund our investments. I am not going to blame them if I don't become a NYT best-selling author, but I do blame them for not honoring their contract and exercising shady sales practices.

Trinity Tate said...

My name is Trinity Tate-Edgerton, Exec Director of Acquisitions at TATE PUBLISHING, LLC. I would be honored if anyone who has questions about Tate Publishing would contact us directly at
(888)361-9473...you can even ask for me directly or I am number 1 on our phone system if you want to leave me a message. I would be happy to speak with you to help you get a better idea of how, if possible, we can meet your needs. I may even be able to sway you in the direction of what you may be searching for, if it is not a good fit with us here at Tate. We may not be the answer for every author but we do work very hard to meet your needs and make this an affordable option for you to get the publicity and marketing that your book truly deserves. I also would be happy to get you in touch with any of our Tate Publishing Authors if you would like to speak to anyone directly about their experience with us! Thank you for this forum too! I love that authors and literature lovers have a place to come to get support and feedback from people who care about giving advice and opinions on where authors can go! Hope everyone is ready for a great 2014 and I hope to hear from anyone who wishes to speak with us further!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I went with Tate. Hardly a week goes by that I don't get one or more emails from them wanting to sell me copies of my book. If they would only put this effort into selling a retailer, I'd be satisfied. And 80,000 TV ads produced total net sales of less than ten books! I did pay them extra for that. Being a Christian man I am opposed to suing other Christians. However, having considered this option briefly, I am starting to believe there is nothing "Christian" about Tate Publishing. Consequently, they do qualify to be sued. My emails to them have been treated with disdain and responded to as a nuisance.

Anonymous said...

THESo all the bad information about Tate, what is the alternative for someone that can't get a publisher to take his book and that doesn't have the $30,000 to have a ghost writer to write and publish there book? Thank you for your solutions!

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what they're doing without having the facts. I can do this because it's completely obvious. Do a search to review Tate and you'll learn what I did. There are thousands of unpublished authors, like myself, with dreams of publishing their first book. Beyond that, their hope is that the book will be a success and the world will know of their writing. To accomplish this is very difficult, for all of us. I'm sure that there are books that Tate has helped make a success, BUT there are hundreds, perhaps thousands more first time authors that have been taken advantage of by this unscrupulous company. In this, THE AGE OF THE INTERNET, it has never been easier to create your own success. Tate isn't a scam. They're worse. They are a legitimate company who prays on the dreams of the average joe. Let me just say, even an average joe can write a best seller, just don't rely on anyone else to make your dreams come true. WRITE IT! THEN GO OUT AND MAKE IT HAPPEN! With social media, You Tube, and the rest making a thing GO VIRAL is not as hard as you think. Let's go people! Make it happen!

Anonymous said...

There are other cheaper alternatives. West Bow press a subsidiary of Nelson publisher is one I am looking into. I have not seen any of these remarks about them.

Kimberz Pen said...

I'm sorry for those who are or who have gone through bad experiences with Tate. I on the other hand, have nothing but good to say about them. I am a new author and after a lot of research, chose to go with Tate even with the initial investment. For me, that was an even bigger investment. Let me be clear though for anyone who is looking at Tate, it is not just if you sell 1000 books that you get that money refunded, those 1000 books do not include the books you sell yourself. I know some people get upset because they don't realize that going into the process. I will say I went in with eyes wide open. I even had my attorney look over the contract before I signed it. Yes there are some things in it that make it clear that Tate is, as my attorney put it, the minor league, but again, I was aware. I made the decision after much prayer and believe it was a good decision. With the exception of my first project manager(who was replaced) everything has went smoothly. Any changes/corrections I wanted were made very quickly (usually within 24 hours), everyone has been pleasant to work with, I have not been asked for any more money, the book was completed ahead of schedule, and the end product is absolutely beautiful! My first order of books are scheduled to arrive next week, but from the printed proof alone, I've sold over 100 copies without really trying. I will begin setting up books signings this week, I have a festival scheduled this summer which will give me exposure to over 50,000 people, I will be doing "meet the author" days at local private schools in the fall. I'm excited to get going. My marketing rep thus far has been great, but as I said, that portion of the process is only just beginning. Although I would love to sell to anyone, I'm posting this link so you can see the quality of book Tate put together for me. So feel free to take a look. ~Kim S. Holdiman

https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781633062344

Anonymous said...

I trusted Tate Publishing and I have been nothing but disappointed. There are so many mistakes in the book its ridiculous! I'm talking about spacing and layout mistakes that the "big machine" may have caused but nobody took the time to correct. I'm told I have to pay for it out of my pocket if I want it fixed. Excuse me, but the mistakes extend well over 100. Needless to say, even if I were to sale 2000 books (the magic number to publish another book free), I would not do it. Not EVER!

menecracy said...

My latest book title "MENECRACY" was published on 14th January 2014. The book is selling good at the amazon but the company has failed to promote it through its own medium. I am personally writing blogs, Twitter page, Face Book page and also to my personal contacts. They did not charge anything not even a single dime. I think they are good people but still lacking promotional support. I have my second manuscript ready and am kid of shy of submitting to Tate. But still thinking. God bless you all. Dr.Mohammad Qasim (PhD)