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Trouble at Tate: Could It be the End of Days for America’s Most Prolific Vanity Publisher?

10 December 2016

From Writer Beware:

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.

. . . .

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.

Link to the rest at Writer Beware and thanks to Deb for the tip.


5 Comments to “Trouble at Tate: Could It be the End of Days for America’s Most Prolific Vanity Publisher?”

  1. Just the other morning, I heard a commercial for a vanity press on a morning drive-time talk radio show broadcast by one the most powerful Los Angeles radio stations, KABC.

    This stuff never goes away as long as there are enough people foolish enough to buy into it.

  2. They can’t be doing well at all if they can’t even afford to pay their attorneys, which you’d think would be their first and major expense.

    And anyone can call him- or herself a publicist – no regulations or licensing required, get fiverr subcontractors to do the work, and pocket the difference.

    When the results are measured in tweets, not guaranteed sales (and sales are expensive to guarantee), it is easy for someone to set up what looks like a publicity blast to the uninitiated, and is basically a waste of air.

  3. A nice bonfire to keep warm.

  4. Until I read through, I had trouble understanding what the Tate Musuem and vanity publishing had in common. Guess that’s indicative of my experiences.

  5. Well I brought into the Tate publishing dream, mainly because I dealt with them before and no the money wasn’t well spent back then either. But, they gave me reduced rate for 2 books. Paid 1200 dollars before I learned about the printing issues and editing issues, 20 days later I requested a refund and they declined. so I moved forward and it has been a battle all the way!! to date I have not heard from them in over 30 days after finally getting one book edited by their team and resubmitting it. they have refused to respond to my numerous email asking for an update next steps etc…..

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