For some reason, I've received lots of emails lately asking about Tate Publishing. Here's one:
My daughter (14 years old) recently submitted (through her school) a children’s book that she wrote. Surprisingly, she received a contract to publish her book from Tate Publishing. However, they are asking us to invest almost $4,000. I am simply trying to determine if Tate is a vanity publisher, POD publisher, or what? I want to support my daughter, but I want to be educated first. I cannot find much on the internet about Tate Publishing. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I can't imagine why any school or responsible teacher would submit student work to a vanity press, but that issue aside, here's what I told her (which will be familiar to any of you who read this blog on a regular basis): Legitimate publishers pay YOU, not the other way around. Any publisher that asks you for money in return for "publishing" your book is a vanity press. If you are intent on publishing your daughter's work in book form yourself, go to Lulu, you won't have to pay a penny out-0f-pocket, or you can create an ebook edition for the Kindle and sell it on Amazon absolutely free.
Here's another email I received about Tate:
What can you tell me about Tate Publishing Co? Unfortunately, I have already invested almost $ 8,000 in 2 books, both of which are now published. I visited their offices twice, met the staff and felt they were legit Christian organization.
I don't know what being Christian has to do with anything. What makes him think that a Christian won't rip him off? I guess he 's unfamiliar with most TV evangelists and their "send me your cash" brand of faith and spirituality. But that's a different issue.
As far as Tate goes, I told him basically the same thing I told the other person: Tate is a vanity press. They make their money selling books to desperate, naive, and gullible authors, not to readers. You can self-publish your book, for now cash out-of-pocket, elsewhere. But if you are intent on throwing your money away, I'm sure you can find some Christians at another, far less predatory, vanity press who will print your manuscript in book form for much, much less money.
UPDATE 6/1/2012: Those lovely people at Tate are in the news again, this time for firing 25 employees and threatening others who dared to speak about the company's plans to outsource their sleazy vanity press operation to the Phillipines.
Tate Publishing President Ryan Tate said the company is opening an office in the Philippines, but denies there are any layoffs planned. He said the 25 workers who lost their jobs Thursday were terminated for breaching confidentiality agreements in their employment contracts after leaking rumors about the outsourcing.
[…]In a recording of an employee meeting held this week obtained from a Tate employee by The Journal Record, Ryan Tate threatened to sue staff members and file liens against their houses and cars if they violated their employee contracts by talking to the media or sharing information about the company on Facebook and Twitter.
In the recording, Ryan Tate said he would fire 25 production workers after no one came forward to take responsibility for the anonymous email sent out to employees on Sunday that decried the rumored layoffs.
“Good people are going to lose their jobs – it’s not fair,” Ryan Tate said in the recording. “It’s not right, but that’s the reality of the situation. Jesus himself is the perfect mix of mercy, grace and justice. I have probably failed you in that I have been a little too lenient and a little too on the side of mercy and grace and not on the side of justice.”
At the meeting, Ryan Tate then went on to say several employees had already been named as defendants in a $7.8 million lawsuit for breaching their employee confidentiality agreements. A search of state and federal court filings revealed that no such litigation has been filed as of Thursday, a fact Ryan Tate later confirmed.