Tit for Tate

I am getting lots of hits today from people looking for information about the vanity press Tate Publishing. Here’s what I wrote about the company last year, when I got the following email from someone…

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.

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 iUniverse, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

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.

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: 

are a vanity press. I’m sure you can find some legit Christians at
another vanity press who will print your manuscript in book form for
much less money.

5 thoughts on “Tit for Tate”

  1. From the Author’s Guild:
    Recently, a handful of POD publishers have been soliciting and “accepting” manuscripts at an astonishing rate and not requiring money up front to publish a book. They even offer what on its face apperas to be a relatively standard publishing agreement and sometimes agree to pay a nominal advance (eg one dollar). This has led writers — particularly novices– to think they are being published by bona fide trade publishers.
    […]They typically will not publish any copies other than those ordered at the authors discount. Apparently, the total number of books purchases for friends and relativesat the “special” author’s price by the presumably large number of people taken in by this scheme makes it a profitable venture for the ethically challenge.
    […]If you are still interested in proceeding in the hope that your publisher is bona fide, be sure to insert, in addition to the requirement that the book be published within a specified time period at the publisher’s sole expense, language stating tha the number of print-on-demand copies of the book initially published at the publisher’s expense “will not be less than ______ copies” (eg 500 or 1000). Language like this, as well as a good out-of-print clause, should flush out the intentions of the publisher and save you from a bad surprise.

  2. I used Tate and actually got my money back. I did fall for the “you’re in the top 3%” if they accept your manuscript. I actually knew 6 other people who sent things into them and they were all accepted. Then one was sent in that was written in 5 minutes and they accepted it! The chances of that happening if they truly are picking the top 3% would be .000000000793. I’d have a better chance of winning the lottery! When we called them on that and the fact that their marketing letters say, “Your book will be sold in bookstores nationwide”… that apparently means that you can walk into any bookstore and order it, I called Dr. Tate and he immediately gave me my money back. He also never answered my question of “How many people actually sell 5,000 books?” and after about an hour and a half phone conversation, he finally told me about 15%. And then he asked me, “If you knew that would’ve you have gone with Tate?” I’m trying to put this awful experience behind me and do things the right way. I have to say that if you do believe in your work, a true traditional publisher will pay you. It takes time, thick skin, and a lot of work, but I already have a feeling of satisfaction. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Good luck everyone.


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