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Minoterrae
03-12-2004, 04:10 AM
Does anybody know anything about Tate Publishing? I came across them while at www.publishingcentral.com and was wondering if they were a POD or not?

Thanks!

simchry
12-09-2004, 11:26 PM
Has anyone worked with or know about Tate Publishing. I was just accepted and they sound like a good company but I would like to make sure before I sign on.

Thanks

James D Macdonald
12-09-2004, 11:44 PM
As I look at their page, <a href="http://www.tatepublishing.com/home.php" target="_new">www.tatepublishing.com/home.php</a>, I see that they're in the business of "making your dreams a reality."

Me, I don't want a publisher that'll make my dreams a reality, I want a publisher that sells books by the thousands to the general public.

There's nothing that I see on their page that doesn't scream "Vanity POD!"

See also <a href="http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebt.htm" target="_new">P&E</a>:

Tate Publishing: a subsidy publisher. Not recommended.

HapiSofi
12-09-2004, 11:51 PM
Hopes and dreams, check. Simchry, read this (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005540.html).

maestrowork
12-10-2004, 12:05 AM
Also: "you retain all rights" and "get the highest royalties" and "Christian-based."

simchry
12-10-2004, 12:37 AM
Thanks a lot guys that really helps. I was also wondering about the Charlotte Gusay literary agency I got told I could send in my query letter and manuscript to them.

Thanks again

James D Macdonald
12-10-2004, 12:41 AM
From P&E: <a href="http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pealc.htm." target="_new">Charlotte Gusay Literary Agency: a literary agency. Charges fee. Not recommended.</a>

vstrauss
12-11-2004, 12:33 AM
This agency has a respectable track record of commercial sales. It also charges a $35 fee with submissions. In my opinion, small submission fees like this (less than $50) are a gray area. A handful of reasonably well-established agents do charge them, supposedly to help cover processing costs and/or to ensure adequate return postage.

The danger, of course, is that the agency will request submissions in which it isn't interested, in order to get the fee--and in fact I have received some reports that seem to indicate this is the case with Gusay, at least some of the time: submissions rejected so quickly they couldn't have been read, that sort of thing. In one case, the rejection letter was dated the same day the writer’s submission package was received (she’d sent it with a tracking number). In situations like this, you can't really know for certain whether a request for a submission indicates real interest in your work.

- Victoria

writemaster
06-12-2005, 08:32 AM
I have worked with Tate Publishing in the past and they are not a POD company, but more like a company that helps unkown author get a chance, my manuscript was actually not accepted by them, but I will be submitting another one pretty soon. They were really nice to talk to, you should call them!

DaveKuzminski
06-12-2005, 07:10 PM
Hmmm, anyone see a potential red flag in that response?

Cathy C
06-12-2005, 08:03 PM
<snerk> More than one, dave.

Try these links, Minoterrae:


http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=673
http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005540.html (See if you notice anything familiar on her site. Teresa Nielsen-Hayden is a long standing editor for Tor/Forge Books)

aka eraser
06-12-2005, 08:04 PM
Hmmm, anyone see a potential red flag in that response?

Hmm...let's see. First post and it's a response to a post that's been languishing in the AW basement for 15 months. Had to dig deep to dredge up that baby. And it puts a positive spin on the company in question. The "chance" thing resonates somehow too.

Ohmygosh! You don't think it might be someone from the aforementioned company do you?

Nah, that would just be wrong.

victoriastrauss
06-13-2005, 03:31 AM
Tate's a vanity publisher. It charges approximately $4,000, and claims to "co-invest". We all know how often that happens, right?

- Victoria

Haray72
06-23-2005, 01:07 AM
I have a book with Tate Publishing that is due to be published this Fall. They have been extremely helpful and honest with me all along the way. I submitted a manuscript to them and about 3 months later they called me to tell me they were very interested in it.

When I expressed misgivings about making such a large "co-investment" the owner called me personally from Oklahoma City (I live in Michigan) and spent no less than 30 minutes telling me all about the company and why they charge what they charge. What sold me was the fact that he said, "You seem concerned about making this investment. If you don't feel that your manuscript is marketable, then do NOT do this--we feel it is marketable."

My book has gone through several different stages of editing, layout, backmatter, cover design, etc. No process proceeds without my approval.
I retain ALL rights to my manuscript (another reason I went with them) and will receive 40% royalty--much higher than average.

The reason this publisher is doing well is that they specialize in Christian fiction, which is hotter than hot right now. My book fits them perfectly, and I look forward to seeing the results. If my book flops, that's life--I'm not going to blame the messenger. It took me 5 years to finish the book and I'll be proud of it regardless. I'll try to keep you all informed as to how successful (if at all) the book will be!

Genuinely,
Haray S.

pepperlandgirl
06-23-2005, 01:28 AM
Wow, you're saying somebody spent 30 minutes on a long distance call (probably $3.00 total) to make $4000?

Authors do not have to invest in their books. Ever. They've already done all the hard work. The Publishing houses pick up the rest of the slack, with some help from the author, but never money! As Uncle Jim says, "Money flows towards the author, always."

They should have been giving you an advance, not asking for a co-investment.

If you wrote a good book and Christian books are hotter than hot right now, you can find a better publisher. And by "better" I mean "one that doesn't take your money."

Aconite
06-23-2005, 01:53 AM
What sold me was the fact that he said, "Your questions raise some red flags about making this investment. If you don't feel that your manuscript is marketable, then do NOT do this--we feel it is marketable."

Friend, I hate to break this to you, but that statement was meant to do exactly what it did: convince you to shell out the money by convincing you that this was someone who was taking a chance on your book because it was bound to be a success. It's what every author wants to hear. The only time you should ever believe it is when the speaker is offering you a contract in which they alone are taking the financial risks and you are receiving, not spending, money.

Good luck. I hope you do well.

Richard
06-23-2005, 02:02 AM
What sold me was the fact that he said, "Your questions raise some red flags about making this investment. If you don't feel that your manuscript is marketable, then do NOT do this--we feel it is marketable."

Oh dear. This usually translates pretty much as "Accept the compliment and pay up, or tell me that the life's work you're so proud of is a piece of crap, that you've wasted every evening for the last five years, and that your hopes and dreams are as dust beneath my speckled toilet bowl."

I heard pretty much the same thing from someone a couple of years ago for a freelance gig that suddenly requested a reading editorial fee, and suffice it to say, it was immediately followed by my world-class dialling tone impression.

Your investment is time and talent. That is all. Their website is quite blatantly marketing towards authors, not book buyers, and that's Captain Red Flag in this business. Although I'd love to know how much that 800 page (!) book on Revelations they mention in their news section was priced up...

Birol
06-23-2005, 04:45 AM
If anyone might possibly be interested, the e-mail address writemaster used to register has the word "tate" as part of the userid. If you're not, well, then feel free to ignore me.

James D. Macdonald
06-23-2005, 07:10 AM
If your book flops it's because your publisher doesn't need to sell books to make their profit.

For your next book please consider a commercial press.

writerjenn
06-23-2005, 05:30 PM
Not anymore...lol The email option has been removed.


Jenn


If anyone might possibly be interested, the e-mail address writemaster used to register has the word "tate" as part of the userid. If you're not, well, then feel free to ignore me.

Haray72
06-23-2005, 06:10 PM
I knew my statements would bring out some passionate responses from you.
You all make valid points.

First of all, let me explain my reasons for going with Tate:

1. There is no doubt that Tate is not a traditional publisher. I agree money should always go to the author, that just makes sense.

However, in the publishing business, it's very difficult for a new author to be recognized, regardless of their talent, in any TIMELY fashion at all. That being understood, this subsity publisher fit the mold for me. But until you understand the co-investment concept, it's easy to cry foul.

Remember, any advance you are to gain from a traditional publisher is just that--an advance on sales, or potential sales. Until you earn out that advance, you will not see royalties. Also, production costs may be deducted from that initial advance as well.

With Tate I have "paid up" all at once, and now will concentrate on working with their marketing representative to try to make a profit.

Yes, I'm operating from $4,000 in the red instead of even or up $1,500 with an advance. Advantage Tate? Without question, but they never forced me to pony up $4,000, and you get what you pay for, ladies and gentlemen. I may not make a dime on this book, but that is not why I wrote it. I had a story to tell and didn't want to wait around watching my life go by just so I can say

"Bethany House signed me for $1,500 bucks and they were kind enough to take the burden of ownership off my hands too! Plus the book will be available sometime in the next half-century, and if it doesn't sell REALLY well in 6 months (I'm such a big shot author now that I'm sure they will just POUR marketing resources into it) it will get the honor of being BACKLISTED or OUT OF STOCK." Gaaah! To me, it's worth the investment to maintain control over my "baby". Control freak? Guilty as charged!

Don't get me wrong folks, there is NOTHING wrong with scoring or trying to score with the big boys. If you do sign with them you should be darned proud of it. I'm just not the right person to try. Casual author? Guilty as charged.

Tate represented an opportunity for me to get things going sooner. I am a professional marketing representative, so I guess I have a bit more confidence in the whole marketing aspect than would your average author. It's my job to be able to read people. At Tate they are real people with a real business that is doing quite well. It's easy to be suspicious of their fees, but let me ask you this: How many "disreputable" presses out their paste their faces on their website under "meet the staff?" No snake in the grass wants to be identified. They make no apologies for what they are and what they do, and that is very appealing to me. People like who they like I guess.
Idealistic? Mmmmm....oh, alright guilty again!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Keep em' coming!

Haray S.

aka eraser
06-23-2005, 06:26 PM
If anyone might possibly be interested, the e-mail address writemaster used to register has the word "tate" as part of the userid. If you're not, well, then feel free to ignore me.

I'm flabbergasted.

I'm also 27, wealthy, and way better looking than Brad Pitt on his best day.

aka eraser
06-23-2005, 06:28 PM
Haray, I genuinely hope your book does well and you end up in the black.

I've never heard of any mainstream publishing company deducting "production costs" from an advance though. Where'd you get that idea?

Haray72
06-23-2005, 06:52 PM
Thank you. I appreciate that! Remember folks, if your writing is excellent and you can get the word out, you can sell anything. The road we take to getting that word out is greatly influenced by who prints the words, but success is not predicated by them.

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 07:24 PM
I had a story to tell and didn't want to wait around watching my life go by just so I can say

Haray, if you wanted only the opportunity to write your book, have full control over the process and get it in print form in what you considered a timely manner, then you have no reason to apologize or defend yourself. You paid for the privilege of holding your book in your hands. Good for you.

But if your goal is a CAREER in writing, where the money from the sale of your books takes the place of a day job in paying your mortgage and food and electricity, then plain and simple --- you're in the wrong place.

You might well sell a few thousand copies if you bust your tail to market it, but reality is reality. You probably won't sell 100,000 or a million, because the stores simply won't stock it. If you can't catch the casual reader's eye, the best you can do is break even.

I'm glad that you're having a good experience with Tate and hope that you enjoy your book. But for those people who are looking for a career, it's probably not the right house.

James D. Macdonald
06-23-2005, 07:45 PM
The reason writers talk about money is this:

We aren't really interested in money, we're interested in readers. We know that there's a positive correlation between money and readers. There's no easy way to count readers. There is an easy way to count money. Therefore to know how well we're being read, we count the money.

When we talk about advances, we know that they're "advances against royalties." Those advances are themselves royalty checks -- so when folks who got an advance say that they didn't earn any royalties they mean they didn't earn any royalties beyond the advance. They've already earned royalties.

Excellent writing will only take you so far. Beyond that, to reach readers, you need excellent distribution.

Ah, well, I suppose you know your own situation best. Please keep us posted on how things work out for you.

(Just as an aside, Robert Fletcher put his picture on the old ST Literary Agency site.)

Haray72
06-23-2005, 07:54 PM
Cathy;

Your credentials speak for themselves. I have no doubt you know what you're talking about. I'll stop defending now..thanks for the input!

LloydBrown
06-23-2005, 08:40 PM
The reason writers talk about money is this:

We aren't really interested in money,

I'm interested in money. Every time I ask my mortage company if they'll take fan loyalty, interest in a new book, or customer goodwill, they just stare at me like I'm some kind of freak.

If I could sell one copy of each title for $20,000, I probably would.

James D. Macdonald
06-23-2005, 08:45 PM
I'm interested in money. Every time I ask my mortage company if they'll take fan loyalty, interest in a new book, or customer goodwill, they just stare at me like I'm some kind of freak.

If I could sell one copy of each title for $20,000, I probably would.


Sure, Lloyd, I'm interested in money too. I do this "writing" thing for a living. I have to be interested in money.

If I don't have readers, I don't have any money.

Most of your writers out there don't make enough money to live on. Many authors aren't interested in making a career of writing. For them, it's readers. For me, too, it's readers. That there are enough of them to pay my bills is a happy circumstance that allows me to play around rather than go get a job.

allenparker
06-23-2005, 09:43 PM
For racing fans, there is a lot of hard working drivers that battle each Friday night at a local track. I did it for years. Most of them will never see the inside of a Winston Cup car, or sit in the back row of the Indy 500, but drivers drive because that is what racing people do.

Writers also write because that is what we do. If we never get rich or make a living at it, we will continue in our quest because that is what makes life enjoyable. We feel best when we see someone reading our material.

In my present position, I will not be able to live well from the royalties of my books. I may be able to support my pet hampster, so long as she doesn't want dessert often. I do have the ability to enjoy some of the other treats that come from being an author.

Money isn't everything.

Allen

Haray72
06-23-2005, 09:44 PM
I guess for me the idea of selling more than 10,000 or so books is completely "pie in the sky." Most published books (I talking the VAST majority) fail to sell even half that much. So to be considered "midlist at best" is not too shabby.

I think it all comes down to distribution/marketing. My publisher claims to use Baker&Taylor /Spring Arbor and Barnes and Noble/Amazon. This is true as I have checked. My question is this:

If both a small press and a large press use the same distribution channels, would that not level the playing field a bit? I suggest this because I feel that most readers couldn't give a wooden nickel about who published the book, that is a battle that authors and publishers wage with each other for vanity's sake. As long as the book has a nice look, feel and quality--and is priced right and returnable--what's the big difference?

Aconite
06-23-2005, 09:56 PM
I guess for me the idea of selling more than 10,000 or so books is completely "pie in the sky." Most published books (I talking the VAST majority) fail to sell even half that much. So to be considered "midlist at best" is not too shabby.

But 10,000 is "midlist" (the way you're using the word, anyway). "Bestseller" is way, way above 10,000. Where did you get your statistics that most published books fail to sell 5,000 copies? I'd be interested in the source.

Cathy C
06-23-2005, 10:02 PM
Pfft! Midlist goes all the way up to about 200K SALES before you're a front list name --- and that doesn't count returns from the stores. Most full-time authors worry about less than a 30K printing for mass paperback. It's sort of a death knell number.

My fervent hope is one day to have the fan base of our genial uncle!

Haray72
06-23-2005, 10:11 PM
You're kidding aren't you? 10,000 copies is a GOOD number for a new author. The statistics are everywhere! But I think at this point it's important to break them down a bit.

For nearly all published authors, the average advance is between $1,000 and $5,000 dollars. There are so many publishers out there spewing out so many books that this number will continue to go down and publishers see less and less need to ante up. After all, the new talent is walking up to them everyday.

*Most new authors will never earn out their advance
*Most will never sell more than 2,500 to 5,000 copies
***If they manage to secure a large press, they may in fact do better on average, but I do not know the statistics for large press new authors only.
*The real money is made on the second or third book, not the first. That is when reputation and sales records can turn a $2,500 advance into a $250,000 one pretty quickly.

Aconite
06-23-2005, 10:13 PM
Can you cite sources for this information?

Birol
06-23-2005, 10:17 PM
You're kidding aren't you? 10,000 copies is a GOOD number for a new author. The statistics are everywhere! But I think at this point it's important to break them down a bit.


Haray, please define "everywhere".

MadScientistMatt
06-23-2005, 10:29 PM
I tried to search Google and Ask Jeeves for that number. Didn't find it readily, but I did find this:

http://www.oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/ask_tim/2003/salesexpect_0603.html

This is a summary of sales records for O'Reilly. They're not a small publisher, but they are something of a niche group that specializes in computer books. Not one of the Big Five or anything like that. They are well known to computer people, but they're not like St. Martin's or Random House. And you can see that their average book sells way more copies than 5,000.

Statistics can be misleading. They say data will confess to anything if you torture them long enough. The stats you have may be lumping everything in together, from novels that you find in bookstores to textbooks to the books put out from vanity publishers. How much you sell depends on which one of these categories your book falls into. Sell your manuscript to a major publisher, they put it in bookstores and sell thousands of them. Pay a vanity publisher to print it, most bookstores won't stock it, and few books from these places sell more than a couple hundred.

It's just like the claims about how low the odds are about making it out of a slush pile. The overall odds may be that only 1% of the books make it, but in reality, it's more like an on/off setting. Most of the books have a zero chance and the rest have a chance close to one.

Haray72
06-23-2005, 10:31 PM
http://www.fonerbooks.com/paper.htm

I'll try to get some more to you very soon. Just to clarify, I never meant to suggest that 10,000 books meant success as an author. We all know that such a low number means we cannot quit our day jobs.

I simply meant that for the average new author, 10,000 copies sold is a great start, and a success in it's own right.

As I've researched the dream of selling millions of copies, I kept finding the same sobering statistics. Take them for what you will.

MadScientistMatt
06-23-2005, 10:36 PM
Trouble is, that's almost certainly taking into account all books. Vanity published books which authors try to sell out of thier own garages, small regional guides to local fossil deposits, technical guides that only researchers in narrow fields would be interested in, etc. And that's even if Foner is using accurate data. They don't say where they got that number at all.

Haray72
06-23-2005, 10:38 PM
Enjoy! This is a great source of information!

http://www.parapublishing.com/getpage.cfm?file=statistics/index.html

James D. Macdonald
06-23-2005, 10:48 PM
Let's not get too far into the "cite your sources" wars.

One thing I notice going on here is a bit of confusion between "all" writers and "all" books, and "new" writers with "first" books. Keeping the terms equivalent is the first step to making meaningful comparisons and (it is fervently to be hoped!) reasonable decisions.

I'd be happy to agree that $1-5K is a perfectly reasonable advance for a first novel, and that 5K sales is a reasonable expectation for a first novel.

Remember that when a book doesn't earn out, that that's the expected result. It doesn't make the book a failure. It doesn't mean that the publisher didn't make a profit on the book. It only means that the publisher was right about how well the book would sell. Publishers try to set advances to what they estimate a book will earn over its life.

(If a book looks to be selling well, publishers are perfectly happy to go back to press, swing more promotional and marketing muscle behind it, and generally help it along.)

Books listed with Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and on Amazon, BN.com, and the publisher's own web site -- well, that doesn't mean much beyond that the book is in print and has an ISBN.

Ingram and B&T are wholesalers, even though they're called "distributors." They lack a marketing arm.

The hopeful thing here is the listing with Spring Arbor (http://www.springarbor.com/). They are distributors. It would be interesting to know what level of service Tate has signed up for. Will they be using Spring Arbor's salesforce? Again, there's a difference between being a number in a database somewhere and being actively promoted to retailers.

I ask because I don't know: Are Tate books physically on bookstore shelves? If they aren't, no amount of author push will help. The author will almost certainly be able to get his or her book on the shelves at local bookstores. The question is whether they'll be on the shelves in bookstores that the author has never visited.

Generally speaking, publishers have two places they can get their money. They can get it from readers, or they can get it from authors. The presumption is that publishers who are getting their money from authors aren't able to/don't need to get it from readers.

CaoPaux
06-23-2005, 11:02 PM
http://www.tatepublishing.com/home.php

Rife with weasel wording such as "make available".

And I love this bit:


You probably know by now that publishing companies are a dime a dozen. There are many vanity presses that will offer you a one time edit and layout on your work with a template book cover. They'll slap it together, print out a couple of hundred copies and send you on your way. On the other hand, there are the traditional publishing houses that only sign one, maybe two new authors a year. Most of the time, they won't give you the time of day. You are our passion at Tate Publishing. We look for unknown, undiscovered, diamond-in-the-rough, waiting to be found authors. We'll provide you with outstanding customer support and give your work the attention it deserves.Can you say "misdirection"? :Wha:

victoriastrauss
06-23-2005, 11:28 PM
You're kidding aren't you? 10,000 copies is a GOOD number for a new author.You really can't make a blanket statement like this. It depends on a lot of things, including the genre and the publisher's expectations. For debut literary novel in hardcover, 10,000 is fabulous. But a first romance novel from one of the larger publishers that sold just 10,000 copies would be considered a dismal failure. For a new fantasy author issued in mass market paperback, 10,000 would probably be disappointing. And in any genre, if the new author had been picked up for a sizeable advance in the expectation of a popular book, 10,000 would probably not make the publisher happy.

As you can see, it really depends.

For nearly all published authors, the average advance is between $1,000 and $5,000 dollars.I'd agree that this is true for first-time authors. Not for established authors, though.

There are so many publishers out there spewing out so many books that this number will continue to go down and publishers see less and less need to ante up.The average advance for a new author is more or less the same as it was 20 years ago (this is a horrible statistic--how many industries are there where the starting salary hasn't changed in 20 years?--but at least they aren't lower). For successful established authors or a new author that the publisher thinks is going to be hot, the advance amounts paid now are inconceivably high, compared to a couple of decades ago. For instance, with the sudden popularity of YA fantasy, many YA fantasy authors are getting mid-five-figure and even six-figure advances--something barely imaginable when I was writing YA fantasy back in the 1980's.

Granted, most authors don't make much money. And I emphatically agree with people who say that bloated advance amounts are harmful to publishers' bottom lines, and should be reined in. But as a general trend, advances are not decreasing--and if they did decrease, it wouldn't have anything to do with the number of books being published. The number of books being published now is at least double the number being published a couple of decades ago--but the upper limit for advances has increased way more than that.

Most will never sell more than 2,500 to 5,000 copiesAgain, I question the use of "most". I just don't think this is accurate, especially in more popular genres.

- Victoria

Sassenach
06-23-2005, 11:30 PM
Speaking of 'weasel words', how about this:

Author Leon Mentzer's Latest Release In Barnes & Noble


February 22, 2005 marks the offical release of Leon Mentzer's "Just When You Think You're Alone," and Mentzer's local Barnes & Noble is already carrying this collection of short stories.


They also refer to their business as 'publishing services.' They're not a publisher.

Richard
06-23-2005, 11:45 PM
Yes, I'm operating from $4,000 in the red instead of even or up $1,500 with an advance. Advantage Tate? Without question, but they never forced me to pony up $4,000, and you get what you pay for, ladies and gentlemen.

Wait...sorry. I'm having trouble parsing this. You say this, and you work in marketing?

Aconite
06-24-2005, 12:02 AM
Haray72, have you worked out how many copies of your book you'll have to sell for your royalties to equal the $4000 initial payout? The reason I'm asking is this: When POD-DY MOUTH http://girlondemand.blogspot.com interviewed agents and editors about the kinds of sales they'd want to see from a self-published book in order to consider picking it up, the number ranged from about 3000 to 5000 units per year. Agent One commented that selling 3000 units of a self-published book was like 10,000 sales of a commercially published book (that is, if you manage to sell 3K copies self-published, you'd probably have sold about 10k copies commercially). So, if you're saying that 10,000 units of a commercially published book is really good, and 5000 is pie-in-the-sky, how likely is it that you'll earn out your own "advance" of $4k?

victoriastrauss
06-24-2005, 12:06 AM
Remember, any advance you are to gain from a traditional publisher is just that--an advance on sales, or potential sales. Until you earn out that advance, you will not see royalties. Also, production costs may be deducted from that initial advance as well. No. An advance is an advance. Nothing is deducted from it--except, if you have an agent, the agent's commission. Commercial publishers--large and small--do not expect their authors to bear production costs--or editing costs, or marketing costs, or any costs at all. They are compensating you for the right to make a profit from your intellectual property. They cover all costs, but they also keep the lion's share of income. It's a good deal for them, believe me.

With Tate I have "paid up" all at once, and now will concentrate on working with their marketing representative to try to make a profit. To make back your $4,000, you'll have to sell a minimum of 1,700 copies (that's assuming 15% royalties on a cover price of $15.95--your book may be priced higher, of course, but that 15% may also work out lower if the royalty is paid on the publisher's net receipts). This is going to be very, very difficult, given that your book will not be stocked in bookstores unless you yourself make sure the bookstore manager puts it there (which you will have trouble doing if, as I suspect, Tate's books are not returnable). Most people buy books in bookstores, so bookstore presence is essential if you want volume sales.

If your book is nonfiction with a niche audience you know how to reach directly, you may do better. But if so, you could have gotten a very similar service from a POD self-publishing service such as iUniverse for just a few hundred dollars.

"Bethany House signed me for $1,500 bucks and they were kind enough to take the burden of ownership off my hands too! Plus the book will be available sometime in the next half-century, and if it doesn't sell REALLY well in 6 months (I'm such a big shot author now that I'm sure they will just POUR marketing resources into it) it will get the honor of being BACKLISTED or OUT OF STOCK."This idea that books go out of print in 6 months if they aren't a big success is just a myth.

It's easy to be suspicious of their fees, but let me ask you this: How many "disreputable" presses out their paste their faces on their website under "meet the staff?"Many scammers make a major point of presenting themselves personally (if misleadingly) to their victims. Scams work best when conducted face to face. Of course, once things start to go bad, they duck out of sight. Initially, though, the "personal touch" is a powerful way of selling the scam.

I'm not saying that Tate is a scam, by the way. I have no evidence of this. Here, however, is what I know about so-called subsidy presses:

- Most are not subsidy presses at all. The fee you're charged typically covers everything plus profit. In other words, the publisher's claim to contribute large amounts of its own cash is, if not outright false, seriously exaggerated.
- Most will tell you almost anything to get you to sign on. Often they'll make verbal promises that aren't reflected in the language of the contract. Verbal promises are not to be relied on.
- Most will use misleading language to convince you that you'll get more service than they actually intend to provide--for instance, telling you that your books will be "available" in bookstores. This is literally true, since people will be able to order them in bookstores, but it doesn't mean the books will be stocked on bookstore shelves (which may well be what you assumed "available" meant).
- Many will promise you a sizeable print run. In fact, they probably rely on POD technology, so only the 50 or so books that are initially sent to you, plus any you order for yourself, will be printed.

- Victoria

Jnaxyc
06-24-2005, 12:09 AM
Yep, I'm a lurker, de-lurking to add a comment or two. :eek:

According to Tate: "On the other hand, there are the traditional publishing houses that only sign one, maybe two new authors a year."

:Jaw: Nice way to make folks feel desperate. And HIGHLY inaccurate.

Ahem! :Lecture: Even the very traditional academic publishing houses that basically operate at a loss and have itty bitty lists sign more than two new authors a year. The big guns? LOTS more than two new authors a year.

:Soapbox: NO NO NO! No giving in to places that play (falsely!) on authors' fears of the marketplace. Grrrrrr.

Birol
06-24-2005, 12:24 AM
Welcome out into the open, Jnaxyc.

Haray72
06-24-2005, 12:27 AM
Since you fired the first shot, let me respond politely by asking if you believe in the concept that you have to spend money to make money?

In marketing, you have to know who your customer is, and what they are interested in buying. I've made the investment in a niche genre that will best enable me to reach my customers. Again, this a basic marketing concept.

I can send press releases all over the world, make a million phone calls to "potential" customers and it will not make a significant difference if I am not talking to someone that likes Christian fiction. Small christian bookstores have been handed their hats thanks to Walmart, and the Christian writers of the world have been the first to see the benefits. But although the superstores stock everything and anything, you still have to target a very specific audience, and means finding a small press publisher that specializes in that field. If you don't follow this thinking, that's fine with me.

Further, you also have to know what your readers could care less about, such as who is the publisher of the attractive book they hold in their hands as they stand in the bookstore. Let's draw a simple comparison--as a rapid baseball fan, I love to watch homeruns. Do I care if my favorite team hits them out with Louisville sluggers or do I insist they use Phoenix bats or Old Hickory? Naw, I just want to see the long ball. My point is as long as the product gets to right customer, there is a chance for a sale.

Just one final remark about why I went with Tate. I will retain ownership of my property--5 years worth of work is worth $4,000 to me. With a traditional you've just coughed up your seed corn. George Lucas can tell you a thing or two about the importance of retaining rights!

My book also has potential to be made into a movie (again, pie in the sky but I hold all the rights, baby.) Maybe this should have been a discussion about the pros and cons of retaining rights to one's work rather than potential sales. Thanks for your insight.

Aconite
06-24-2005, 12:34 AM
Just one final remark about why I went with Tate. I will retain ownership of my property--5 years worth of work is worth $4,000 to me.
Haray, what rights do you think you give up to commercial publishers? It sounds like you're confusing work-for-hire with what you sell to commercial publishers when they purchase your book. You don't typically give up movie rights, for instance.

MadScientistMatt
06-24-2005, 12:40 AM
It only takes money to make money if you are running a business. If you are an employee, what it takes to make money is time. You wouldn't pay an employer to get a job, would you?

robeiae
06-24-2005, 12:41 AM
*sniff...snnniff*

Hmmm....

:horse:

Rob :)

James D. Macdonald
06-24-2005, 12:48 AM
Since you fired the first shot, let me respond politely by asking if you believe in the concept that you have to spend money to make money?

And I do ... paper, ink, postage, whatever value the time I spend sitting in front of this keyboard might be worth.

Burger King doesn't pay me to take burgers off their hands. In the same way, I don't pay publishers to take my intellectual property.


In marketing, you have to know who your customer is, and what they are interested in buying. I've made the investment in a niche genre that will best enable me to reach my customers. Again, this a basic marketing concept.

Okay, who are your customers? How will you reach them?



I can send press releases all over the world, make a million phone calls to "potential" customers and it will not make a significant difference if I am not talking to someone that likes Christian fiction. Small christian bookstores have been handed their hats thanks to Walmart, and the Christian writers of the world have been the first to see the benefits. But although the superstores stock everything and anything, you still have to target a very specific audience, and means finding a small press publisher that specializes in that field. If you don't follow this thinking, that's fine with me.

I have to confess that I didn't follow that thinking at all. Specifically, what does "Small christian bookstores have been handed their hats thanks to Walmart, and the Christian writers of the world have been the first to see the benefits" mean?


Further, you also have to know what your readers could care less about, such as who is the publisher of the attractive book they hold in their hands as they stand in the bookstore.

Well, maybe. The question that begs is will they in fact find your book in a bookstore?


Just one final remark about why I went with Tate. I will retain ownership of my property--5 years worth of work is worth $4,000 to me. With a traditional you've just coughed up your seed corn. George Lucas can tell you a thing or two about the importance of retaining rights!

Presumably Tate is taking the right to publish your work in book form? How is that different from what any other publisher would take?


My book also has potential to be made into a movie (again, pie in the sky but I hold all the rights, baby.) Maybe this should have been a discussion about the pros and cons of retaining rights to one's work rather than potential sales. Thanks for your insight.

Derivative and secondary rights are a whole 'nother discussion. There's no reason you wouldn't retain dramatic rights to your work with any other publisher. That's all negotiable.

Richard
06-24-2005, 12:48 AM
Since you fired the first shot, let me respond politely by asking if you believe in the concept that you have to spend money to make money?

Do I believe that it's wise to pay $4000 for something I could have gotten for free? No. I think that's foolish. It's bad business sense, if nothing else.


In marketing, you have to know who your customer is, and what they are interested in buying. I've made the investment in a niche genre that will best enable me to reach my customers. Again, this a basic marketing concept.

You also need to know what you are. In this case, you're the customer, not your potential readers. Tate's webpage makes it abundantly clear that they're most interested in selling their concepts to authors, not to readers. You've bought their service - they haven't bought into you as a writer. That's regardless of how good they may be at their job.


you still have to target a very specific audience, and means finding a small press publisher that specializes in that field. If you don't follow this thinking, that's fine with me.

I don't think anyone here has criticised small presses. But small presses don't ask you for $4000 up front either.


Further, you also have to know what your readers could care less about, such as who is the publisher of the attractive book they hold in their hands as they stand in the bookstore.

You imply that they'll be able to hold said attractive book in the bookstore. Will this actually be the case? There's nothing wrong with small press. I won't touch the pointless baseball metaphor there because it's irrelevant. Will Tate be doing widescale distribution of your book, getting it on shelves in actual bookstores? Do their books have a return policy to make them more approachable to stores, and realistic prices?

Never mind ownership of your property. Are they geared up to sell your book. That's the number one question you should be asking yourself - and more importantly, asking them.


Just one final remark about why I went with Tate. I will retain ownership of my property--5 years worth of work is worth $4,000 to me. With a traditional you've just coughed up your seed corn. George Lucas can tell you a thing or two about the importance of retaining rights!

You imply that signing with a traditional publisher automatically means giving up all your subsidiary rights. You're incorrectly assuming a pure work-for-hire situation, rather than a negotiated contract.

Haray72
06-24-2005, 12:54 AM
Good point, let's move on. It appears we all have different views on what the recipe for success is. I bow to all published authors with repectable sales, whatever that is.

Haray72
06-24-2005, 01:05 AM
I'm under the impression that Tate does in fact stock the books in bookstores and are fully returnable, refundable, etc. Spring Arbor is their distributor, but that's all I know.

Their royalties are 40% from their site and I believe 15% from outside sources.
I retain all rights to my work--I was under the impression that most publishers seek these out right away, especially if they think you'll sell. Apparently there is more to this than I understand.

Thanks for all your information, criticism and feedback. I'm certainly the wiser for it.

Genuinely,
Haray S.

LloydBrown
06-24-2005, 01:37 AM
I retain all rights to my work--I was under the impression that most publishers seek these out right away, especially if they think you'll sell. Apparently there is more to this than I understand.

It's understandable. I wonder, though, was that a misunderstanding you began the process with, or did it originate during a phone call with Tate?

CaoPaux
06-24-2005, 01:43 AM
FWIW, an inventory search at my local Borders stores indicates that Tate books are only available to order. One's listed at $20 for 175 pages. :faint:

James D. Macdonald
06-24-2005, 01:52 AM
Not too surprising if they're aiming for the Christian bookstore market. The question is whether they get store placement in Christian bookstores.

Cathy C
06-24-2005, 01:56 AM
Now, see, there's a TERRIFIC idea, Caopaux:idea: Anytime you've got ANY question about whether you should sign with any publisher, take a few minutes to visit their website, go to the "bookstore" section, write down three random titles that catch your eye, along with the author and ISBN (if listed.) Then call three major bookchains in the nearest major city to you (yeah, this might involve some long distances charges -- which are CHEAP by comparison!) Ask if they have the book IN STOCK. If they have to order it, ask if it's in their WAREHOUSE. It's two different kinds of ordering, you see. One is "we don't have enough shelf space, so we have everything at our regional warehouse and can have it here tomorrow," versus "we have to order it from the publisher/printer because NONE of our stores has it."


If all three have it in stock or in their warehouse, it's a good bet that they're a good publisher! After all, selling books is sort of their business!

Here are some of the primary chain stores:

Barnes & Noble
Borders/B Dalton/Brentano's
Waldenbooks
Hastings
Booksamillion

Try a few different publishers if the calls are local. It's a little bit of shoe leather for a whole lot of peace of mind!

Birol
06-24-2005, 02:23 AM
Haray, through the some research and a well-placed grapevine, it seems the last time you showed up in any writing forum it was to innocently say that you had "stumbled upon a wonderfully well-written Christian book on a place called Lulu.com or something like that". (Don't worry, we're familiar with Lulu.com here and it is well-respected for the services it provides.) All of your posts at that time said basically the same thing, the majority of them were hit-and-run posts, meaning you stopped by the forum, made your pitch, and then didn't stick around. Almost all of your posts on these other forums were worded nearly identically. Meaning it smacked of a spam campaign to get the word out about your book.

So, what's your game this time? To get the word out about your latest book? If it's so good, why don't you try to go with a traditional publisher? Why do you have to resort to these tactics?

Our regulars are well-versed in countering dubious claims made by individuals such as yourself in order to protect up-and-coming writers, but you should know, we don't appreciate arguments created just for publicizing one's work here. If you have a book to plug, post in the announcement section of this board. Otherwise....

Victoria, Jim, Dave, et al, you may wish to let this one go. It'll quickly become like beating a dead horse if the information I've located and my instincts are accurate.

Haray72
06-24-2005, 04:22 PM
Yes, at the time I was indeed testing the waters for interest in the market, especially Christian fiction. A friend of mine was writing a book as well and I wanted to know what folks thought of the genre, and what they would think of ebooks in general. I tried to generate some discussion about it. If this is unacceptable "hit and run" tactics as you describe, you'll have to excuse me but it takes a little while to learn the complexities of the literary e-world.

My reasons for being here are simple. I wanted to know what folks think of Tate Publishing, as I obviously have committed time and money to them. My posts are about what I have learned and understand to be true about them. Most of your responses have been clear and helpful, others just anti-small press.

I have nothing to hide, detective. By the way, the high road is in the other direction.

Genuinely
Haray S.

Trapped in amber
06-24-2005, 05:59 PM
No one attacked small presses in this thread. Just the view that vanity publishing is a good idea if you're looking for what a commercial publisher will provide. Vanity publishers make their money from authors, commercial publishers (even small ones) make their money from readers.

Still, I wish you every success with your book. :)

Gravity
06-24-2005, 07:32 PM
[QUOTE= Vanity publishers make their money from authors, commercial publishers (even small ones) make their money from readers.

__________________________________________________ _____

That's true, Haray. To wit: my first Christian novel was printed by PublishAmerica. In my own own defense, it was in late 2001, PA had almost no presence yet on the Internet (and hence very little info was available on them), and their contract was damnably clever in its weasel-words. In short, I got taken, and my book now is as dead as a hammer ("How dead?" the fellow in the back inquires? I'm glad you asked, sir. My PA book has sold eight copies this year. Eight. As in two less than ten). That's what short discounts, no returnabilty, and no sales force nets a vanity-published fiction author: bupkis.

Now,fast forward three years. In 2004, my next book was published commericially by one of the big five CBA houses (Cook/RiverOak). The difference is amazing. I got a nice advance, it's selling well (in the stores!), the sequel will be out in October, and I'm contracted for another one,which I'm presently finishing up (out next fall).

All I'm saying is, if a newbie like me can do it,anyone can.

John

Jnaxyc
06-24-2005, 08:01 PM
Knowing full well that Birol may snatch back that welcome mat if someone ;) persists in beating a poor dead horse ...
... someone rolls up a newspaper and contemplates swatting someone, or something, instead.



Swat!


Tate offers services for a fee. They charge four thousand dollars for services that can be rendered for much less expense if an author wanted to pay to have a book published.


Evidence available suggests they do not "pour marketing resources" into a book. I chose 20 books already in print at random from their list. (MANY of their books are not yet "in print." Although the stated print date for many has already passed by months, and you can find the books by searching specifically with title and author name on sites like Barnes and Noble and Amazon, both B & N and Amazon note the books are not yet available)

I checked the sales rank and reviews. 16 of the 20 had no sales rank. Only 2 of the 20 had any reviews at all (posted by "readers"), and only 2 of the 20 had a book description, and in both cases it was a short, single sentence that did nothing to pique interest. Simply saying "inspirational poetry" ain't gonna convince me to buy a book. Evidently, Tate frequently can't be bothered to give a description of the book. The only way readers are going to find these puppies and possibly buy them is if they're told to do a highly specific key word search and if they already know what the books are about.

I then googled the 20 books using title and author last name. The highest number of hits I found was 89 -- a significant number of these hits were the Tate website itself. The lowest number of hits I found was 9, for a book that had been released almost a year before. 6 of the 9 were Tate. In most cases, the hits numbered in the mid-20s, and in those cases, I found no press releases, book signing notices for bookstores, publicity pitches, etc. In one of the higher hit tallies, I did find one link announcing a book signing at a local church, and another hit from a church newsletter where the author herself submitted to the newsletter notice of her book and requested that parishoners pray for its sales.

I then went to 5 small presses that don't charge the upfront fees for services that Tate does. I deliberately chose presses with much smaller lists and less marketable niches than the Christian market. I picked 4 books already in print at random from each press and went through the same process.

14 of the 20 had sales ranks. All 20 had reviews posted by readers, and useful book descriptions from the publishers. 12 had excerpts of reviews published by outside sources such as newspapers, magazines, journals, etc.

Googling the books resulted in a high number of 892 hits and a low number, for a book released two months ago, of 50. All of the books googled had press releases, hits advertising book signings in bookstores, publicity pitches, and 17 had at least one review in a newspaper, magazine, journal etc.

Tate does not appear to be actively marketing the books on its list to the general populace.

Okay, how about the Christian populace? I checked four major online outlets for Christian books. I only found 4 of the 20 titles listed, and not on all the outlets. None of the 4 had a book description -- not even a one-liner, or book reviews of any kind.

The small presses that don't charge an author $4,000 to print a book seem to be doing much better marketing and, with the exception of the 40% royalties return on sales*, offering the same, if not more services.

* Please note: Tate only gives that 40% on sales that originate from Tate's own website/catalogue. If it's not bought directly from Tate, the author ain't getting 40%.

Aconite
06-24-2005, 08:42 PM
I have nothing to hide, detective. By the way, the high road is in the other direction.
*eyebrows up* That's quite a statement from someone who created false identities to shill his own book, and is now claiming innocent inquisitive motivation for posting here. It's clear from your posts that you didn't come to ask questions or "test the waters," but to explain what a brilliant decision you made in going with Tate.

People make mistakes. We all know that. Trying to cast us as villians because you're embarrassed just digs you in deeper.

Haray72
06-24-2005, 11:00 PM
You've went WAY too far here.

In the future I would hope you would pause before making such slanderous comments. Good day.

Jaws
06-25-2005, 01:35 AM
I'm going to say this once, and once only.

A "subsidy publisher" is a vanity press. The only difference is the (unverified and unverifiable) claim that the publisher is putting capital in at a subsidy publisher.

"Subsidy publisher" sounds nicer; so does "sanitation engineer." That does not change the fact that the latter is the guy who picks up the garbage (which is not intended to imply that all books from vanity presses are necessarily garbage). But: The legal title to the books as they come off the press is in the publisher, not the author, and
The guaranteed capital flow at the moment the first book comes off the press is away from the author, not toward the author
So, no matter what one calls it—"vanity press," "POD publishing partner," "subsidy publisher," "cooperative publisher"—in substance it's a vanity press.

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2005, 02:27 AM
Please, let's not confuse vanity publishing, small-press publishing, and self-publishing.

Aconite
06-25-2005, 02:47 AM
In the future I would hope you would pause before making such slanderous comments.
You may find it useful to learn what "slander" is, and how it differs from both "libel" and "things I don't like hearing."

Birol
06-25-2005, 05:27 AM
Knowing full well that Birol may snatch back that welcome mat if someone ;) persists in beating a poor dead horse ...
... someone rolls up a newspaper and contemplates swatting someone, or something, instead.

Nah. No worries. It's your time to do with as you choose. My only complaint with your whoppin' two posts is typing your userid in order to respond to you. ;)

Birol
06-25-2005, 05:29 AM
You've went WAY too far here.

In the future I would hope you would pause before making such slanderous comments. Good day.

Interesting overreaction to Aconite's comments.

Haray72
06-25-2005, 06:11 AM
You two need to back off! You don't know anything about me at all.

You've accused me of something that has nothing to do with this forum. I'm infuriated that you've painted my intentions in such a negative light. I've signed with Tate, but never have I professed that I was making a "brilliant" move. Have you even read my posts? They are harmless! That was a low blow and I'll wait for your apology!

Secondly, it's none of your business what I've posted before and where and what my motives were. Why the heck would I keep defending myself so vehemently if I wasn't an honest person? You would overreact too if you were getting roasted on a forum! (At least I would hope.)

Yeah, I'm WAY passed embarrassed. What's slander? Stop insulting my intelligence. Pick up your hammer and shield and keep protecting the new authors of the world from big bad me. Well done hero.

Richard
06-25-2005, 06:49 AM
Slander is spoken, libel is written.

aadams73
06-25-2005, 06:49 AM
You may find it useful to learn what "slander" is, and how it differs from both "libel" and "things I don't like hearing."

Yeah, and it is neither slander nor libel if it's true. :)

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2005, 07:42 AM
Calmly, everyone.

Haray isn't someone that anyone needs to be protected from.

I fear he's in a bad position right now. I wish him the best. I hope he'll keep us posted on his adventures with Tate.

Birol
06-25-2005, 08:39 AM
I know my comments were what started the pile-on. For that I apologize. I stand by my first posts indicating what I learned about Haray's previous forays into internet communities. It was information the sages and valued members of our board needed to know so they could determine the best use of their time. Otherwise, Jim is correct. Let's allow this thread to drift downward in the forums or else I can move the appropriate posts to TIO and give myself a time-out for stirring up the ruckus.

Victoria, I offer my personal apologies to you for starting the conversation in the direction it has taken in your forum. I know you work very hard to keep things in B&BC on topic.

victoriastrauss
06-25-2005, 05:41 PM
No problem, Lori. I think maybe we all jumped on Haray a bit too vigorously, me included.

- Victoria

NicoleJLeBoeuf
06-25-2005, 05:47 PM
I think the dogpile is partially due to the behavior pattern he appeared to exhibit: "Look, this publisher isn't so bad. What, you don't agree with me? Well, screw you, you don't know anything! I will now speak condescendingly to you about how you have to spend money to make money!" (Example greatly exaggerated for rhetorical purposes.) It's a pattern that's shown up countless times in the Bewares Board, to the point that it's automatically cause for suspicion.

That said, Haray's no Fransesca. Thank goodness. ;)

Haray72
06-25-2005, 06:03 PM
Apology accepted, and appreciated.

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2005, 06:06 PM
So tell me, Haray, how did you find out about Tate in the first place?

Haray72
06-25-2005, 06:31 PM
I was searching for a Christian Publisher as I thought it would be the best to seek out specialization versus a larger entity. Initially I was uncertain about the the price, but as I said, they seemed genuine enough to me. After dodging bullets from Janet Kay and Publish America, the difference was apparent. You have to remember, I'm new to the whole industry and was feeling good about my choice.

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2005, 07:15 PM
Janet Kay and PublishAmerica are real bottom-feeders. You did well by avoiding them.

Did Tate come up on a Google search, or did you find 'em in some other reference source? I know that they advertise all over the Web in Google Ads.

Haray72
06-25-2005, 07:22 PM
Yes, I believe it was a Google search, but I can't be sure. It could have been a Netscape search...

Medievalist
06-25-2005, 07:31 PM
Haray, Odd as it might seem, the web is not the way to find yourself a publisher. The Macdonald and others may have better solutions, or refer you to Writer's Market. In a case like yours in particular, where you have publishers who only publish Christian books, I'd go to your local Christian bookstore, if you have one, and see who publishes books like yours. Contact those publishers. Then do the same at a "regular bookstore," and look for overlap. You already know:

1. They publish Christian books.

2. They get them in bookstores--Christian and mainstream

3. You can see the actual quality of the books they publish.

James D. Macdonald
06-25-2005, 08:47 PM
As a general rule, every publisher whose books you find in bookstores pays you.

Yes, there are exceptions (it's hard to say "every time" and "all" or "never" and "none" about anything in this world) but that's how the smart money bets.

Gravity
06-25-2005, 09:23 PM
Haray...I don't know if it's too late or not, but Sally Stuart puts out huge volume every year called the Christian Writers Market Guide. It's full of agents, publishers, magazines, et. al., with notes telling you who publishes what, their guidelines, pay, etc. As always, it's caveat emptor, but her book is a great place to start. All the CBA stores carry it, it comes out (updated) the first of every year. Hope this helps, and as I said, I hope it's not too late. Four grand is a lot of cabbage.

John

Haray72
06-27-2005, 04:51 PM
Good stuff. I will certainly remember this advice.

Thanks to everyone for your insight and information. It is greatly appreciated.

Genuinely,
Haray S.

Peaseblossom
07-11-2005, 03:37 AM
Dear Friends,
1. :hi: THE PEASE HAS ARRIVED!!!!!

2. Stupid introduction aside, do any of you kool kats know anything about Tate Publishing Co., i.e. DO THEY CHEAT WRITERS?! Actually, if you know anything about their general reputation, it would be awesome if you passed it along.

3. What's happenin' in here?

4. Holla back @ yo' girl!

Love, peace, chicken grease.
Peaseblossom

TemlynWriting
07-11-2005, 03:56 AM
Welcome!

I performed a search on the forums and found this thread, which has been updated pretty recently, at the end of June. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992

In fact, it was started in 2004, but most of the posts have been since June of this year, with only 2 from 2004.

This one is a bit older, but also has some information. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=673

If you search the forums you can find information that has been mentioned. Hope that helps!

Haray72
11-29-2005, 07:46 PM
Hello all!

I just wanted to make a quick post to let you know the latest with Tate. My book ISBN# 1933290129 (I wasn't sure if this was the proper place to post advertising) was released Nov. 8 and it is doing well. It appears that most of the online sites have sold out of their initial stock orders for the moment--I hope that is a good thing. Anyway, feel free to check it out at any major online bookstore. Also, I was successful in placing the book in several bookstores with no problems because Tate offers the standard 40% discount plus returnability. That's it for now, hopefully things will continue in a positive direction!

Regards,
Haray

Peggy
12-02-2005, 11:12 PM
There was an article in the LA Times today about a police officer who wrote a Christian-themed mystery for teenagers. The article makes clear that the author paid to publish through Tate, and indicates that it is unlikely to be a money-making proposition:

Fulcher paid Tate $3,900 to publish and market the book. He receives royalties on sales, and if the book sells 5,000 copies in a year — an unlikely prospect for a beginning novelist — Tate will reimburse him the $3,900.Is it really the case that a beginning novelist would not be expected to sell 5,000 copies if he were commercially published, rather than vanity published?

Link to article (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-copwriter2dec02,1,2708961.story)(requires free registration)

CaoPaux
12-02-2005, 11:50 PM
Beginning novelists with no support from their publisher cannot rationally be expected to sell 5,000 the first year (especially if they have to buy the books themselves to resell). Thus Tate keeps their money.

Keep in mind that being commercially pubbed includes a whole lotta marketing and distribution that vanities like Tate don't have. Even if a commercial pub's marketing effort was no more than "buy a box of King and get some J. Doe free" deal to bookstores, there are enough booksellers that odds are good 1,000's of browsers would pick up J. Doe's book, and a percentage would actually buy it (presuming the pub did their job to provide an attractive cover, interesting blurb, yada, yada, yada). And, since a commercial pub does a LOT more than that, odds are better that a debut novel will sell more than 5,000, especially if/when the first folks to buy it recommend it to others.

James D. Macdonald
12-02-2005, 11:58 PM
A lot depends on the publisher.

A small press might print up 5,000 in the expectation of selling 3,000. Another press might print up 7,000 in the expectation of selling 5,000. Or more. Or less.

One of the majors will pitch the book to all 8,000 bookstores in America, and expect about half to take it. Those that take it might order five, in the expectation of selling three. So ... 12,000 isn't out of the realm of belief either.

5,000 is an entirely reasonable number for any first-timer to think about. Nothing outlandish there at all.

Peggy
12-03-2005, 01:09 AM
And, since a commercial pub does a LOT more than that, odds are better that a debut novel will sell more than 5,000, especially if/when the first folks to buy it recommend it to others.
5,000 is an entirely reasonable number for any first-timer to think about. Nothing outlandish there at all.
Thanks for the clarification. That's essentially what I had gathered from other threads here at AW. It's too bad the Times didn't make a distinction between vanity and commercial publication.

Selena_Fai
12-22-2005, 09:10 PM
Hi,
Has anyone had any experience good or bad with this publisher?

Thanks.

AC Crispin
12-23-2005, 10:30 PM
Selena, Tate Publishing is a vanity publisher. That means that you, the author, pay to have your book published by them. They specialize in Christian books, I believe.

Vanity publishing is not the "norm" in today's world. When you see books in your local bookstore, they were published by commercial publishing houses, not vanity publishers like Tate. The publisher paid the author to publish the book, not the other way around.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com (http://www.writerbeware.com)

Selena_Fai
12-28-2005, 12:55 AM
I knew it was too good to be true when they called me at home...:)

I'm almost too afraid to submit to anyone because it seems anytime I see someone likely to take on a 1st timer, they are a vanity press, or worse, Publish America. (Glad I at least was able to dodge that bullet.)

I guess I will bite the bullet myself and finish the book first and then start submitting. I just don't want to pay for this myself....

Thanks for listening. :)

Aconite
12-28-2005, 01:46 AM
I'm almost too afraid to submit to anyone because it seems anytime I see someone likely to take on a 1st timer, they are a vanity press, or worse, Publish America. (Glad I at least was able to dodge that bullet.)
Selena, skip the ones that advertise that they're "looking for first-time authors." Reputable publishers don't care if you're a first-timer as long as your book is good. Scammers, on the other hand, talk a lot about "giving new authors a chance" and the like. As long as your book is good, you have as good a chance as anyone else, first-timer or not.

Good luck!

James D. Macdonald
12-28-2005, 07:36 PM
All publishers, even the biggest, publish first-time authors. First-time authors are published by major publishers every day. You can check that out yourself, at the bookstore.

Aim high.

MadScientistMatt
12-28-2005, 07:50 PM
I knew it was too good to be true when they called me at home...:)

I'm almost too afraid to submit to anyone because it seems anytime I see someone likely to take on a 1st timer, they are a vanity press, or worse, Publish America. (Glad I at least was able to dodge that bullet.)

I guess I will bite the bullet myself and finish the book first and then start submitting. I just don't want to pay for this myself....

Thanks for listening. :)

You mentioned elsewhere that your book is a children's book. One good way to avoid vanity publishers and scammers is to go to a bookstore and look at other children's books. See who published them. Books from scam publishers almost never turn up there.

stormie
12-28-2005, 08:19 PM
Selena, skip the ones that advertise that they're "looking for first-time authors." Reputable publishers don't care if you're a first-timer as long as your book is good. Scammers, on the other hand, talk a lot about "giving new authors a chance" and the like. As long as your book is good, you have as good a chance as anyone else, first-timer or not.

Yup, I agree. If I read or hear one more so-called "publisher" saying that they give new authors the chance to see their book published, I'll scream.

Write, rewrite, read as much as you can about writing, rewrite again, and send queries to traditional (conventional) publishers. It's hard work but worth it in the end.

Selena_Fai
12-29-2005, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

I actually have 2 books I want to see published. The first is a childrens book already completed. The second is a novel which is no where close to being finished.

I believe I will go get me a copy of the Writer's Market and start submitting that way once I am ready.

I'm so glad I found this site. So far I have ben saved from the Children's Literary Agency and Publish America, which both wanted to sign. Glad I didn't.

Selena (Gin)

Cathy C
12-29-2005, 01:21 AM
If I read or hear one more so-called "publisher" saying that they give new authors the chance to see their book published, I'll scream.

I've started to collect them for fun. It helps with the screaming. Here are some of my favorites, gleaned from a variety of vanity sites.

"Mainstream publisher seeking authors with a fresh voice!"
"The diamond-in-the-rough author is our passion!"
"Seeking writers with exceptional talent!"
"We provide a haven for unknown authors!"

and my personal favorite,

"Actively searching for undiscovered masters of the written word!"

(Notice how they all end with an exclamation point?! :ROFL: I just LOVE that part!)

Anyone else care to add ones they've seen? :popcorn:

Aconite
12-29-2005, 02:10 AM
I believe I will go get me a copy of the Writer's Market and start submitting that way once I am ready.
A much better way is to go to bookstores and see which publishers actually have books in the stores. Not all the publishers listed in WM can manage that.


Anyone else care to add ones they've seen?
Teresa Nielsen Hayden's lists from Making Light on how to spot scam publishers by the way they talk about themselves: A brief note on linguistic markers (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005540.html) and More linguistic markers (http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/005555.html)

victoriastrauss
12-30-2005, 05:33 AM
I've started to collect them for fun. It helps with the screaming. Here are some of my favorites, gleaned from a variety of vanity sites. Should I find it depressing that I recognize nearly all of those???

- Victoria

CaoPaux
12-31-2005, 10:33 PM
Not at all! It means they're on your radar. Now to get a lock on the rest.... :e2teeth:

SuperSnooperdog
01-02-2006, 10:38 PM
Hello, I stumbled onto this forum while doing research on publishing and publishers. I see that Publish America has been well covered as it has been on other forums. The research here and in other places indicates that many have had problems with that publisher. I have found quality information about iUniverse and several others. One company, Tate Publishing, has generated a lot of comment, but very little substantive or factual information is included, other than it being a subsidy company. At this point in my research, I’m not interested in subsidy, vanity, innuendo, hyperbole, I think, or other issues mentioned about them or others. There are some basic questions that I would like answered if anyone would be so kind as to furnish the info. The info will be used in a definitive list of publisher information I am developing.

1. Have any on the forum had business with Tate or do you know anyone who has?

If yes, please give pros and cons.

2. Has anyone met the principals of the company? I notice that the employee photos are on the site. Some what unusual when compared to other sites.

3. Do you know of any instances of failure to perform as per the contract, and if there has been, were the problems resolved satisfactorily and in a timely manner.

4. Are the books of good quality as measured against other books of the general type paperbacks?

If you don’t wish to post here, send a private message.

Any answers will be appreciated.

Thank you

Alyce08
07-12-2006, 07:41 PM
Here's something I found interesting about Tate:

Ryan Tate states on another thread that he only publishes 4-6% of his 15,000 manuscripts received.

That's 750 authors per year - about 60 a month - two authors/day.

Based on his wording - I'm assuming that is how many say "yes" to spending $4,000.

On their website they have a PRODUCTION STAFF of 20 and a MARKETING STAFF of four (Only ONE Book Sales Staff Member - as for the other three staff members - Are they marketing to find more authors OR marketing to sell their "published" books?) With that kind of volume of authors being published and with no staff to really support what they "say" they will do - is there any doubt they are misrepresenting themselves?

Real Experience:
A personal friend of mine received an offer from Tate- it was her VERY first submission to any publishing house -- Tate told her how "lucky" she was, how "rare" it is for a first submission, of course how "Christian" they are and their "deals" with authors are so much better than other publishers.

Why didn't Tate do the real "Christian" thing and educate my friend (first timer) to try traditional publishers FIRST - having a chance to receive an advance before paying out $4,000 to be self-published?

Yes, she signed - I don't know if she has paid them the money - she is excited beyond words - and she's not asking for anyone's advice - I wish she would - she DOES NOT have $4,000 to lose.

She's VERY intelligent so I am shocked that she fell for this!

1. Any suggestions on how to tactfully tell her to check Tate's references without destroying our friendship?

2. Can she get out of the contract?

Any suggestions are appreciated! (please forgive misspellings - I could not download spell check)

Thank you!!!

JerseyGirl1962
07-12-2006, 09:51 PM
1. Any suggestions on how to tactfully tell her to check Tate's references without destroying our friendship?

2. Can she get out of the contract?

Any suggestions are appreciated! (please forgive misspellings - I could not download spell check)

Thank you!!!

Alyce,

First up - :welcome:

1. Some people do not want to be told that something's not on the up and up; they have to learn the hard way (just ask my hubby ;)). Anyway, I'm not the diplomat in my family, so, unfortunately, I can't help you on this one (but others may be able to).

2. Depends on what the contract looks like, and I wouldn't expect to get any legal advice on this site (for very good reasons). However, you may want to Google Volunteer Lawyers For the Arts for an attorney near you and your friend. I'm not sure if they work for you completely free or if there's some sort of sliding scale depending on income. But they would know publishing contracts, which I've come to learn are quite different from your standard, every day contract.

Good luck - and let us know what happens.

~Nancy

Alyce08
07-12-2006, 10:41 PM
Thank you!!!

Alyce

soloset
07-13-2006, 02:58 AM
Any time what you want conflicts with what is real, there's the temptation to rationalize and dither in pursuit of the want instead of the reality. And it's terribly frustrating to watch someone you care about fall into that trap.

Remember, though, you can't save her if she refuses to be saved. Point her to this thread; heck, make her promise to do you a favor and then insist reading this entire thread is it.

Ask questions, as gently as possible. Ask her what her goals are, and show her there are cheaper ways to have your book in your hands (lulu.com, to name one). Ask her how many books she'll need to sell to make back whatever she pays, and if that's an issue for her.

Take her to the bookstore (or at least Amazon) and ask them for a book from the publisher. Find out how long it'll take to get that book in your hands, how much it costs, and how many pages it has. Ask her if she'd buy a book of that many pages for that price. Ask if, since she's considering this company, she's ordered one of their books to see what the quality is like.

Then let her make her own decision and never, ever say "I told you so".

Alyce08
07-13-2006, 04:16 PM
Any time what you want conflicts with what is real, there's the temptation to rationalize and dither in pursuit of the want instead of the reality. And it's terribly frustrating to watch someone you care about fall into that trap.


That really sums it up. Good point.
Thanks
Alyce

psm0904
08-01-2006, 04:14 PM
I talked to them once, and they try to sound like a legit publisher. They do a good job convincing you to shell out $4,000. Fortunately, I was unable to come up with that much at the time. New to the business, I didn't realize how outrageous that was. I'm happily e-pubbed now. It didn't cost a thing, and, since making a fortune isn't a goal of mine, I'm content.

Sly Buck
08-16-2006, 10:27 PM
This is my first posting on this site. I wanted to get a sense of the experiences other authors have had with Tate and you all have certainly done that. Here's my experience.

The other day I got a phone call from an aquisitions person at Tate and she had glowing praise for my novel. Said it was the best she had read in some time and that they wanted to sign me to a contract immediately so she was overnighting a contract to me. Needless to say I was excited since I had received several rejections to this point. I dreamt of big money and movie deals that night... lol. (I had done absolutely no research on Tate to this point and had sent them my manuscript after I stumbled across their web site.)

I was stopped cold on the second paragraph of the contract. That's where the "Author Participation Fee" of almost $4000 raised its ugly head. I immediately called an old family friend who has published 20 books and asked what he thought. His response was that he has never heard of Tate and that I should have nothing to do with them. He told me that if I wanted to self publish why spend $4000 with Tate when I could do virtually the same thing with a company like Author House for $1000 or less. (I've not looked into Author House -- is that accurate?)

Don't get me wrong, I not saying anything against Tate. They seem like nice enough people and since they post their photos on their web site I doubt that they are crooks. All I really know is that they are not the right publisher for me right now. I'm happy for anyone who has published with them and is pleased with the results. I fact, I'd like to here from more of you who have had good experiences with Tate.

I still believe (perhaps naively) that my novel has great promise. All I have to do is find the right publisher. I know that's a challenge that may take some time and perserverance but for now I have plenty of both.

Would appreciate your suggestions and thoughts.

Roger J Carlson
08-16-2006, 11:06 PM
I still believe (perhaps naively) that my novel has great promise. All I have to do is find the right publisher. I know that's a challenge that may take some time and perserverance but for now I have plenty of both.

Would appreciate your suggestions and thoughts.The only way to get any real distribution for your book is to go with a real publisher, not vanity press.

You might want to start querying agents. You have to watch out for sharks there too. A real agent is one who has represented books sold to real publishers, available in real stores. Look through the threads here (especially the Literary Group Tentacles Thread) for more on what to look out for.

The good thing about querying agents is that if you get a bite and send a partial, the agent will be able to tell you whether (or not) the book really has as much promise as you think it has.

Roger J Carlson
08-17-2006, 12:17 AM
He told me that if I wanted to self publish why spend $4000 with Tate when I could do virtually the same thing with a company like Author House for $1000 or less. (I've not looked into Author House -- is that accurate?) Oh, and you should check out the Author House thread (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=924) too.

James D. Macdonald
08-17-2006, 12:55 AM
AuthorHouse is yet another vanity POD. Don't throw away your novel. Let the big houses reject it first.

Sly Buck
08-17-2006, 01:47 AM
Thanks, Roger and James. Your advice coincides with my gut instincts.

BruceJ
10-10-2006, 12:15 AM
Haray, I'll jump into your court.

Hi, all. I just joined the site and have enjoyed what I've read so far. You all seem like a class act. I'll try not to drop the property values.

I, too, have a work coming out with Tate. I'm also, at this point, a casual writer, so I understand and appreciate both what Haray has written and what CathyC mentioned above regarding career writing. Tate has been very good to me; however, to be perfectly honest, as a new author I have no experience with any other publishing houses. I've personally been to their offices, as well as spent time on the phone and in both e-mail and snail mail exchanges with them. They've always been up front with me and I understood going in that this would be a partnering effort from square one. Therefore I had no problem investing some money along with my interest in the success of the publication and marketing of my book. Perhaps I'm naive (that's not the worst of my traits...) and you folks with more experience undoubtedly have a leg up on this (absolutely no sarcasm in that last comment, BTW). I also did some research prior to contacting Tate, though, and seriously doubt I would have a book ready for release this fall--or maybe ever--if not for their business approach in receiving new authors. I may flop, or I may be on the first step toward a very rewarding avocation, I don't know. But I do appreciate the chance they've given me and will reserve judgment until all the votes are in on my first book.

Thanks for listening...er, reading. Good to meet all of you. Best of everything in your writing--career, casual or otherwise. bcj

chickeebabee
10-12-2006, 06:43 AM
I did read the other thread about Tate Publishing. I wanted to post a question to authors that have published with Tate.

So, if you have published your book with Tate Publishing, would you let me know what you thought of the company. Do you feel that your money was well spent. Did you atleast break even with your book? Was your book marketed well? Did your book get into stores and not just their websites? If you had it to do "all over again" , would you go with Tate Publishing again.

Any other thoughts will be appreciated too.

Thank you

JohnB1988
10-13-2006, 11:48 PM
Sorry, can’t help you other than to restate the old saying: “He who has a Tate’s is lost.”

Popeyesays
10-13-2006, 11:56 PM
I did read the other thread about Tate Publishing. I wanted to post a question to authors that have published with Tate.

So, if you have published your book with Tate Publishing, would you let me know what you thought of the company. Do you feel that your money was well spent. Did you atleast break even with your book? Was your book marketed well? Did your book get into stores and not just their websites? If you had it to do "all over again" , would you go with Tate Publishing again.

Any other thoughts will be appreciated too.

Thank you

Don't go with Tate's. It's out and out vanity pressing your book which is never a good idea.

What kind of book do you have in mind for self-publishing?

If you can't make yourself stay away from self-publishing, do it with Lulu. It's cheaper, they are up front about what they offer.

Heck, if all you want is your bokk made into a book, they'll do one for you for free.

Regards,
Scott

Emmanuele
10-24-2006, 08:49 PM
I am a new writer and have been doing some research on publishing my book. I keep coming on here looking at different posts trying to get a read on a legitimate book publishing company. I see alot of companies to stay away from but I don't see anyone recommending good ones. Is it some kind of secret once someone found a good one??? I just want to know where to start looking there are so many out there and so much to watch out for. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

batgirl
10-24-2006, 09:41 PM
Hi Emmanuele - somebody wiser and more experienced than me will probably be along in a moment to tell you this, but if you want to know who the legitimate publishers are, go to your local bricks&mortar bookshop and look at the shelves. Legitimate publishers are those that get their authors' books onto bookshop shelves.
Note down the publishers of books like yours. Go online and find those publishers' websites. Find their submission guidelines - this is another clue, because legit publishers don't make it easy to find their guidelines, and scammers do. Legit publishers make it easy to buy their books.
If any of those publishers accept unagented submissions, follow their guidelines exactly and send in your work. If they want queries only, send a query.
I think that's it.
-Barbara

Roger J Carlson
10-24-2006, 09:49 PM
I am a new writer and have been doing some research on publishing my book. I keep coming on here looking at different posts trying to get a read on a legitimate book publishing company. I see alot of companies to stay away from but I don't see anyone recommending good ones. Is it some kind of secret once someone found a good one??? I just want to know where to start looking there are so many out there and so much to watch out for. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank youThis is because while there are universally bad publishers (scams, self-publishers, inexperienced, etc.), there is no such thing as a universally good publisher. It depends on what you write and what your goals are. Tor is a terrific publisher of Fantasy and SF, but if you write romance, they're not good for you.

There is no substitute for research. A good place to start is WritersMarket.com. But don't take everything there as gospel. Many of their listings are wrong. Once you get a list of publishers and agents (don't forget to look at agents), you can check out their websites, ask questions here, try to find any books published by them (Google is your friend).

Kasey Mackenzie
10-24-2006, 11:40 PM
Tor is a terrific publisher of Fantasy and SF, but if you write romance, they're not good for you.

Unless you write paranormal romance, since they have a paranormal romance imprint now. =) But your point is still a good one.

triceretops
10-25-2006, 07:27 AM
I had a best of the small press for SF and Fantasy, but nobody seemed interested so the thread died.:cry: This was a perspective, positive type listing. I sympathize with Emmanuele, because we have thousands of negative posts on bad/scam agents and publishers. No where do we have a list of competent ones, drafted by those who have used them and can vouch for them. I was particulary interested in the SF and Fantasy section. Even the Romance section has a good listing. And I do know we have a very long list of publishers with their URLs, but with no comments or experience listed.

Tri

rocketman
12-03-2006, 04:45 AM
I have a friend who is trying to break into the "Christian Market". Until I spoke up he said, "They have to be honest, it's a Christian publisher!"

victoriastrauss
12-03-2006, 05:10 AM
I have a friend who is trying to break into the "Christian Market". Until I spoke up he said, "They have to be honest, it's a Christian publisher!"This is one reason, I think, that there are so many scams and borderline schemes in the Christian market.

- Victoria

PVish
12-03-2006, 06:12 PM
. . . if you want to know who the legitimate publishers are, go to your local bricks&mortar bookshop and look at the shelves. Legitimate publishers are those that get their authors' books onto bookshop shelves.

In my county and several surrounding rural counties, there are only small independent bookstores. Local books—many self-published, POD, or subsidy published—are on the shelves of all these bookstores.

An aspiring author browsing the shelves at these places would see books from TATE, PA, Trafford, almost any POD, etc. Plus, these aspiring authors can easily find the local authors and talk to them. The local authors (at least those who are happy with their publishers) will, of course, give glowing reports and share their publishing success story.

Regarding Tate: I recently acquired a book published by Tate. The cover was beautiful. The plot, however, had a couple of humongous gaping holes. But the book was nicely printed and bound.

There used to be a URL where one could access info about books in B&N—by typing in a title, one could tell if a book was on the shelves, not available, or available to order. Does anyone know if this URL still exists, and—if it does—what it is?

James D. Macdonald
12-03-2006, 08:05 PM
That wasn't B&N, that was Borders, and the URL is http://www.bordersstores.com/index.jsp

I live in a rural area too: the closest real bookstore is an hour away by road. The office supply store in my town also sells books, and yes, you'll find Xlibris books there (two of them, from two local guys who I happen to know).

Some PODs are reasonable choices. If you're writing a local book with local appeal, and you have access to sell locally through stores where you are known personally, and if that fits your objectives, why not?

victoriastrauss
12-03-2006, 10:34 PM
In my county and several surrounding rural counties, there are only small independent bookstores. Local books—many self-published, POD, or subsidy published—are on the shelves of all these bookstores.Because the authors persuaded the stores to put them there. However, getting books into stores--preferably, on a national level, not just stores near the author's home--is the publisher's job. Pay-to-publish publishers don't do this (though they often encourage authors to assume they do).

- Victoria

CaoPaux
02-14-2007, 09:55 PM
FYI - This publisher has received "two thumbs down" from Writer Beware:

http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/02/happy-valentines-day-from-writer-beware.html

Prosperity7
03-16-2007, 12:25 PM
I just asked Tate Publishing the following questions. I will post their answers when I get them.

"What percentage of the writers who publish through Tate publishing sell enough books to get their $4,000 investment back?


Of all the books you have in print, how many are best sellers?

What is the average number of books sold by people who publish though you?

What percentage of people, whose manuscripts you accept for publishing, choose to accept you as their publisher?"

Toothpaste
03-17-2007, 12:08 AM
Anyone who charges anything (let alone 4000$ !!!) is a vanity press. The line also that says they are the best hope for unpublished authors out there, is the second sign. I feel that whenever a publisher or agent say this, they can't be trusted. Because many many previously unpublished authors get published every year (for example, me), and they even receive advances, sometimes rather nice advances. This sort of sentence strikes at the very core of the fear of a new writer, that because they have no credentials they will never get published and so they will choose this route with Tate because they think it is their only option. It is manipulative, mean and just plain false.

Am most enjoying this email conversation, it will be interesting to see whether they ever answer your questions, which seem pretty reasonable to me!

III
03-29-2007, 11:19 PM
I had been seriously considering Tate and even sent them a submission. After reading the comments on this board and doing some more research, I decided to go with iUniverse anyway, due in no small part to Tate's lackluster book descriptions and virtually no buyer feedback for their books on Amazon. I was surprised that Tate actually ended up REJECTING my submission because the novel was too long (170k words). I figured they'd print just about anything just to get the $4k, but I guess long novels aren't cost-effective for them.

On the positive side, I've had a great experience with iUniverse. Fast, professional service with good online distribution (Amazon & B&N) for about $400 - 1/10th the cost of Tate. I ended up splitting my 400 page book into two 200 page books (a little tip for any other first-time authors with long manuscripts). I found out the hard way that it's almost impossible to get an agent or publisher to even look at a manuscript over 120k words from an unpublished author - especially in the Christian Fiction genre.

Anyway, iUniverse got my book to print in about 6 weeks. I'm just jazzed to see a quality finished product from all my hard work without having to dig out of a $4k hole. Thanks to this forum for your sage advice.

Heroes Of Old (http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-Old-Book-1/dp/0595436625/ref=sr_1_8/103-9752343-1288621?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175182092&sr=1-8)
Jay Young

GunsBigGuns
03-30-2007, 06:38 PM
Okay, I'm a new author trying to get published. TATE sent me a contract and very nice letter in the mail. Mc-Graw-Hill also has my manuscipt and I am leaning towards getting an agent to speed things up with them. Obviously, they are my best bet. I think my book is going to make it BIG because I have famous people involved (for a particular sport) and it's cutting edge. But, heres my question regarding TATE PUBLISHING- I did like the comments Trinity made about my book. In other words she saw why it had potential. But, regardless of how good my book may be, how would other have access to it, when it's not going to be on the shelf. Now I realize a lot of books written are of poor quality and TATE can't be responsible for books like that if they do not make it. However, what about a book like mine which is a sure thing with the right exposure? Would TATE not do everything in their power to get my bookk on the shelf so they could also make more money in the end? Or do they just want to make a quick $4,000.00 dollars up front and be done with it? I'm a bit confused on this and hope some of you can give your opinions. I think paying $4,000.00 would be better than self publishing because it would have access to teh big book stores and be on amazon. I'm a new author, so please realize I still have a lot to learn. Thats why I am here. Please enlighten me!

Momento Mori
03-30-2007, 07:09 PM
GunsBigGuns:
what about a book like mine which is a sure thing with the right exposure? Would TATE not do everything in their power to get my bookk on the shelf so they could also make more money in the end? Or do they just want to make a quick $4,000.00 dollars up front and be done with it

You've answered your own question. Tate gets $4k up front. What incentive does it have to put that book on the shelves when it's already got money in the bank?

Companies like these aren't in the business of selling books to the public. They're in the business of taking money from authors with big dreams and(sometimes) giving them a physical product with a shiny cover.

If you still need convincing, think of it this way. You're paying $4k for the privilege of publication and you get 40% royalties on books sold. How many copies are you going to have to sell to get that $4k back again?

If you want to self-publish (and there are plenty of reputable self-publishing outfits like lulu), then you can do it far more cheaply. My advice however, would be to make sure you've got the best manuscript you can write and pitch it to reputable agents (and remembering that you can check back here if you come across someone you're not sure about). As was said earlier in this thread, Tate's access to big book stores and Amazon basically amounts to an ability to order from them and that's not the same thing as having books on shelves. Go to your local bookstore and see what they've got on their shelves - you will only see a Tate book (if at all) because some poor author has begged or persuaded the store to stock it and even then, I'd doubt you'd see more than one or two copies - not enough to make your advance back.

Seriously, don't waste your time, effort or cash.

Sassenach
03-30-2007, 07:40 PM
Okay, I'm a new author trying to get published. TATE sent me a contract and very nice letter in the mail. Mc-Graw-Hill also has my manuscipt and I am leaning towards getting an agent to speed things up with them. Obviously, they are my best bet. I think my book is going to make it BIG because I have famous people involved (for a particular sport) and it's cutting edge. But, heres my question regarding TATE PUBLISHING- I did like the comments Trinity made about my book. In other words she saw why it had potential. But, regardless of how good my book may be, how would other have access to it, when it's not going to be on the shelf. Now I realize a lot of books written are of poor quality and TATE can't be responsible for books like that if they do not make it. However, what about a book like mine which is a sure thing with the right exposure? Would TATE not do everything in their power to get my bookk on the shelf so they could also make more money in the end? Or do they just want to make a quick $4,000.00 dollars up front and be done with it? I'm a bit confused on this and hope some of you can give your opinions. I think paying $4,000.00 would be better than self publishing because it would have access to teh big book stores and be on amazon. I'm a new author, so please realize I still have a lot to learn. Thats why I am here. Please enlighten me!

I don't think anything is a "sure thing." I suppose if McGraw-Hill agrees with you, they'll offer a contract.

DeadlyAccurate
03-30-2007, 08:24 PM
In other words she saw why it had potential.

Specifically, she saw another potential $4,000 in her checking account. If you knew you could make a quick $4,000 doing almost nothing, why would you do more? $4,000 easy money vs. a possible larger amount for a lot of hard work?

You sell the rights to publish your book through a publisher. You don't pay for it.

Anyone with an ISBN can be listed on Amazon/B&N/Walmart, etc.

James D. Macdonald
03-30-2007, 08:26 PM
The way it works is the publisher offers you $4,000.

III
03-30-2007, 09:27 PM
GunsBigGuns, As a new author I've spent the past year researching the same questions you're asking. Basically, Tate publishing IS self-publishing (as the more experienced members of this forum will tell you.) There are at least 5 - 10 large self-publishing companies on the web (lulu, iUniverse, Llumina) that will do EVERYTHING Tate does (cover artwork, ISBN, listing on Amazon and B&N) for about 1/10th the cost.

Go to different self-publishing websites and look at their books, then go to Amazon and look at customer feedback. Tate does a terrible job of creating a short book synopsis and does absolutely no marketing and almost none of their books have quality feedback or sales on Amazon. I originally leaned towards Tate because I'm a Christian and I liked thier mission statement, but there are plenty of Christian authors who self-publish with other companies and have great experiences.

And like everyone says - spend at least 6 - 12 months polishing your manuscript and trying to get a quality agent so you won't have to shell out any of your own money. Best of luck to ya.

Roger J Carlson
03-30-2007, 09:31 PM
However, what about a book like mine which is a sure thing with the right exposure? Would TATE not do everything in their power to get my bookk on the shelf so they could also make more money in the end? If your book really is as good as you think it is, a real commercial publisher will think so, too. So will an agent. Why not send it to people who have the ability to market it right? Why go with a company that can't market it? Just because they sent you a nice letter and said nice things?

GunsBigGuns
03-30-2007, 10:26 PM
I want to thank everyone for their quick repsonses. I truly appreicate all the nice and very honest words. This forum is obvious filled with writers who know their stuff inside and out..

I just got off the phone with a credible agent who liked my manuscipt and said it was very interesting. I have to re-work my propoal a bit and we are set.

I am also a believer in God and that's why i contacted TATE in the first place. This reminds me of phony TV. evangelist using God to get money. Ya know, there's no bigger sin on earth than that. And to keep trying to justify their wrong doing is so sad. I hope TATE changes the error of their ways if they are what they appear to be. I will say this- if TATE publishing is who they claim to be, they will change their marketing stategies after reading these post and I believe they are well aware of what's being said. They should be doing everything in their power to get authors work in the book stores. So sad for all the authors who has high hopes.

jonereb
05-22-2007, 01:45 AM
I submitted to Tate not realizing they were a sulf-publisher. Guess what. They accepted my book. Sending the contract overnight. I emailed them and politely said no thanks.

sdent1
10-23-2007, 12:00 AM
I stumbled across this thread when an author on a social site I frequent said their book was out of stock and no distributor that their publisher used could get it. They indicated the book was out of print and more needed to be printed. I didn't know this author from Adam (okay, I do know a few Adams :) but being a newly published author myself and having to become well-versed in just what a publisher is I said, HUH? Nothing about what I read made sense.

I googled and found the publisher was Tate. I went to their site and saw that nowhere did they mention they were a vanity or Co-op publisher but they did ask for money up front for promotion.

Myster solved.

They're a vanity/co-op publisher.

Doesn't matter that the money they asked for was for "promotion," they won't accept your manuscript if you don't sign up for their "promotion" package. If this has happened, I'd sure be surprised.

The only sad part to this story for me is that I've learned that they're listed in a popular Christian Writer's Guide under something other than a "vanity/co-op publisher! :o And this is how the author I read about got lulled in.

The good news is, I contacted the author of said popular Christian Writer's Guide and was told that while Tate wasn't considered by them as a vanity press-huh!-that they would be listed under a specil section for co-op publishers on their next printing.

They also indicated they'd had complaints but most were about Tate not negotiating contracts!!!!! Is there something to negotiate? You either pay them or you don't. *scratching head* Vanity-Co-op . . . tomato-tomoto.

I don't get it. They're a vanity/co-op press. How were they supposed to act? Whether they say they are one or not, is sort of irrelevant. The fact that they ask for money pins them down. Is there some law that says these guys need to say what they are? There should be one!!!

I see the last post was 5-21! Just doing my part to keep everyone infomred. :)

AC Crispin
10-23-2007, 12:21 AM
Can you email me the name and contact info for the person you contacted who wrote the Christian Writer's Guide? I'll be happy to back you up about Tate being a subsidy/vanity press.

-Ann C. Crispin
Chair, Writer Beware
www.writerbeware.com
anncrispin@aol.com

Leon Mentzer
10-29-2007, 07:12 PM
With regards to GunsBigGuns, As a Tate author my books have always been in a store and or available to be placed there should the buyer choose the theme of my book. Unfortunately just because I’m in one Barnes & Noble that doesn’t mean the rest of the buyers will agree that it’s good for their area. That being said I decided to re-check the facts and I went directly to the source.
Mark Mingle is the Director of Marketing for Tate Publishing and this is his response to the statement made by GunsBigGuns. With his permission I post his answer.


Tate Publishing works hard every day to make sure our authors’ books appear on shelves at brick and mortar stores. Our marketing staff works directly with buyers and managers from all major bookstore chains, including Barnes and Noble, Borders, Family Christian, Hastings, and Mardel. We take orders every day from these and other stores, and these chains all host our authors for book signings and events across the country. I would invite you to view the online events calendar on our website to see the stores that host our authors and that we regularly supply with books. If you have any questions about Tate Marketing, please do not hesitate to contact me at mmingle@tatepublishing.com or call 888-361-9473.

Mark Mingle
Director of Marketing
Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC
Toll-Free Phone: 1-888-361-9473
Fax: 405-376-4401
Email: mmingle@tatepublishing.com
Web Site: http://www.tatepublishing.com


Just an added thought, another sin is “judge not, less ye be judged yourself”.

It’s so easy to post negative things if you can be anonymous. So I say go straight to the source and ask Tate. Do research don’t rely on posts on the internet. Oh I wonder what would happen if we had to prove our statements?

Blessings Leon

Author
“JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE ALL ALONE”
“A collection of five wonderful stories for the whole family”
BY: LEON MENTZER
Voted “Best New Christian Writer 2005”
Named one of the
“Top 100 Inspirational Writers” in the nation by Writer’s Digest .

Author “AMEN A Simple Guide to Self- Marketing Your Christian Book”

Roger J Carlson
10-29-2007, 07:34 PM
With regards to GunsBigGuns, As a Tate author my books have always been in a store and or available to be placed there should the buyer choose the theme of my book. Unfortunately just because I’m in one Barnes & Noble that doesn’t mean the rest of the buyers will agree that it’s good for their area. That being said I decided to re-check the facts and I went directly to the source.
With all due respect, Leon, the Director of Marketing of Tate is hardly an unbiased "source". If they try very hard to place books in bookstores, why have they only managed to place yours in just one B&N? Did they, in fact, do it at all, or did you have them placed there? And how much did it cost you to have them published?

To quote Jim Macdonald above:

The way it works is the publisher offers you $4,000.

JulieB
10-29-2007, 08:42 PM
Welcome to AW, Leon.



It’s so easy to post negative things if you can be anonymous. So I say go straight to the source and ask Tate. Do research don’t rely on posts on the internet. Oh I wonder what would happen if we had to prove our statements?


Few of us are anonymous. We may use nicknames, but many of us link to our web sites and blogs. We post the covers of our books. That hardly makes us anonymous. (I use my first name and the first initial of my last name. There's a well-known editor who shares my name, and I don't want to create confusion. I don't post a picture of myself because I believe in keeping the Internet a beautiful place.;))

Having said that, I'll also mention that I was once a news director at a Christian radio station. Publishers sent us books in hopes we'd interview authors. This is how I know that there are many publishers - both Christian and mainstream, large and small - that publish inspirational books. This is like any other segment of the market: Why subsidy publish when you can go to a publisher that pays advances and royalties AND will get you on the shelves at bookstores all over the country?

Now there are reasons to self-publish or subsidy-publish. For example, if you make your money by selling books from the back of the room at speaking engagements, this may be a good option for you.

Otherwise, why pay to get published when there are publishers out there who will pay YOU? I'm not casting stones. I'm just asking.

Leon Mentzer
10-29-2007, 09:24 PM
I used that remark of one store as an example, because many authors think that if you have a book in B & N, then they’re in all of them. This is not true. My books are in Walden’s, Lifeway Christian, Family Christian, Hastings and many other chains and stores. But not in ALL of their stores. That is a decision that the corporate buyer makes and some store don’t have the space to place all published titles.

B& N super stores carry up to 20,000 titles. They can have a larger Christian themed area then the smaller B&N in Springfield Ill. Who can stock only 10 to 12,000 titles.

Tate does all the marketing at this higher level. They set up all of the stores thru their distributors Ingram & Spring Arbor. NO I can’t even begin to try and place my books with these big companies. There isn’t enough time for me to learn how. They set up all my book signings and they provide me with the support I need to partner with them in marketing my book(s).

And as to unbiased source, before I enter a court of law I need to have both sides deposed so that I could present facts to establish a fairer case ruling. You might want to review the meaning of unbiased. The facts are that we have an alleged comment about a company. offered with no proof and then we have the company and a witness with proof. This is not biased, this is fact.

My first book I paid a fee. Right under $4,000.00. A partnership arrangement was enter in to. We call that a “meeting of the minds”.

I owned the rights to the book(s) at that time and still do. When I sold the screenplay rights for five one hour TV shows, I had to share with no one but my wife & the IRS.

When I sold 5000 books I received my fee back as per the contract. I do not have to pay anything for my second book or the 3rd etc. As long as my books sell the publisher is pleased to publish them. I have proven my book(s) sales ability. My investment and faith in Tate has paid off. Will all authors who use Tate have the same success? NO. I was lucky. The market wanted what I wrote. The public brought the book, encouraged the distributors and the publisher.

A first time author who sell 1,000 to 2,500 is considered a success by the top six companies:
• Random House, Inc.
• Penguin Putnam Inc.
• HarperCollins
• Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings
• Time Warner
• Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Now that I’m published, my second book has been selling very well. It gets easier when you’re established. It’s the old entry level position opened…… but you need three year experience. As my sons would say DUH? It’s hard.

As to James D. Macdonald quote: I say this “Not so in the real world, not for first time authors”.

Leon Mentzer

“JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE ALL ALONE”
“A collection of five wonderful stories for the whole family”
BY: LEON MENTZER
Voted “Best New Christian Writer 2005”
Named one of the
“Top 100 Inspirational Writers” in the nation by Writer’s Digest.
Author “AMEN A Simple Guide to Self-Marketing Your Christian Book"

Momento Mori
10-29-2007, 09:53 PM
Hi, Leon and welcome to AW.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
My books are in Walden’s, Lifeway Christian, Family Christian, Hastings and many other chains and stores. But not in ALL of their stores.

When you say that your book is in those stores, are they the stores in your immediate area or do they include stores that are out of state? Do Tate give you precise figures on how many stores your book has been physically placed in?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
The facts are that we have an alleged comment about a company. offered with no proof and then we have the company and a witness with proof. This is not biased, this is fact.

I'm not sure what you call it in the USA, but in the UK it's for the judge or a jury to determine the facts of a case. Each side can only put forward their arguments and evidence in support of those arguments. :)


Leon. R. Mentzer:
My first book I paid a fee. Right under $4,000.00. A partnership arrangement was enter in to. We call that a “meeting of the minds”.

Can I ask what first led you to Tate? Had you been querying other Christian publishers before hand or agents with your book proposal? If so, what sort of response had you been getting to that?

Publishers (including specialist Christian publishers, which other posters will no doubt identify) don't require "partnership agreements" because they have the commercial experience to be able to judge whether or not to take a risk on a book. The principle is and should always be that "money flows to the author". As I think I said in an earlier post here, if a publisher is requiring you to put up $4,000 then there's v. little incentive for them to do any of the things that they're required to do, e.g. promote your book, ensure that it is placed in all book stores etc. Under this "partnership" structure, it's the author who is taking all of the risk that they won't get back their $4,000 and whilst I'm not doubting that you have had a good experience, I'd be interested to know how many people have lost that sum of money and the reasons for the same. The 'resources' that Tate is proffering to put up to match your $4,000 are the precise resources that they should have in place and be offering as a matter of course, which should mean that whatever risk they're taking on is completely manageable.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
When I sold 5000 books I received my fee back as per the contract. I do not have to pay anything for my second book or the 3rd etc. As long as my books sell the publisher is pleased to publish them. I have proven my book(s) sales ability. My investment and faith in Tate has paid off.

With those 5,000 books sold, did you make any royalties on those books (and if so, are you able to share the percentage)? If not, what percentage of royalties do you make on sales over 5,000 and how are those royalties calculated? Are you able to share a ballpark figure of the amount of money that you've received on your book sales to date (I'm not asking for an exact amount, just a rough estimate). How much does your book retail for?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
A first time author who sell 1,000 to 2,500 is considered a success by the top six companies:

I expect that one of the United States based posters will be able to come back on this, but to me that doesn't sound quite right (although I expect it depends on genre). I can certainly tell you that in the UK (which is a much smaller market), 1,000 - 2,500 wouldn't be considered a success for fiction sales, although it would be viewed as healthy for certain non-fiction markets (my father writes history books and the initial print run of his publisher is 500 copies).


Leon. R. Mentzer:
As to James D. Macdonald quote: I say this “Not so in the real world, not for first time authors”.

That's simply not true. Smaller publishers might not be able to afford to give you a large advance, but the reputable ones will pay you to publish rather than expecting authors to stump up cash and this is true even in non-fiction.

MM

III
10-29-2007, 09:57 PM
When I sold 5000 books ...

That's pretty impressive. Where did most of your sales happen? Christian brick & mortars, big bookstore brick & mortars, or online?

Leon Mentzer
10-29-2007, 10:06 PM
Hello JulieB,

By anonymous I meant never having to prove what one has stated.

With regards to self-publish or subsidy-publish. The problem is that there is another type of publishing called partnership publishing. While it acts similar to self-publish or subsidy-publish, it is not the same. There are very fine lines between the three. The courts have recognized this.

I know authors who have self-published or used a subsidy publisher and for the most part they're pleased. An author will almost do anything to get that first book in print.......I'm guilty of this. But it paid off. The publisher has a huge risk when they take on a first time author.
For example: here are some of the large advances for authors whose books have flopped. These authors were paid and some never had to return the advance.

• Journey to Justice By Johnnie Cochran, Ballantine paid a reported $3.5 million
• Behind The oval Office by Dick Morris, Random House paid an estimated $2.5 million
• Leading with my chin by Jay Leno, Harper Collins paid a reported $4 million.

I think that you get what you pay for. It’s like getting that first car, you want wheels! Now! And you’ll do want ever……….opps I should’ve waited like Mom & Dad said save some more $ and got one with a motor in it.

Lifeway Christian stores turned my book down………But when it came out they wanted it in all 126 stores and they wanted the next project. I guess they had to see it in the flesh and see sale reports or what ever to say that.

Leon Mentzer

Roger J Carlson
10-29-2007, 10:06 PM
Well, this is interesting:

Just When You Think You Are All Alone (http://www.amazon.com/Just-When-You-Think-Alone/dp/1933148365/ref=sr_1_2/105-0002409-6106048?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193681078&sr=1-2)

Amen!: A Simple Guide to Self-Marketing Your Christian Book (http://www.amazon.com/Amen-Simple-Guide-Self-Marketing-Christian/dp/1602474672/ref=sr_1_1/105-0002409-6106048?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1193681212&sr=1-1)

mscelina
10-29-2007, 10:15 PM
oh rats. out of stock. how did THAT happen?

victoriastrauss
10-29-2007, 10:19 PM
Ingram, and its subsidiary Spring Arbor, are wholesalers, not distributors. The difference between the two has been discussed extensively elsewhere in this forum.

Writer Beware considers Tate deceptive about its fees. The sole reference on Tate's website to author payments occurs in small print at the bottom of this page (http://www.tatepublishing.com/services.php) (my bolding): "To learn more about royalties, author investments and production services and timelines, you can request more information to be e-mailed to you." This circumspect language might easily be misinterpreted by an inexperienced author. Indeed, many of the writers who contact Writer Beware with questions about Tate are surprised to find out they have to pay.

Nowhere on Tate's website is the actual payment amount revealed.

Publishers that get money from their authors upfront have little incentive to market books to readers. I don't question Mr. Mentzer's success, but I would guess that most Tate authors never come close to reaching that magic 5,000 sales figure--at least, for sales to the public. I've heard from Tate authors who received royalty checks for less than $30 for a quarterly payment period. In some cases, they received zero.

Of course, if Tate writers have the cash to spare, they can buy their own books at 60% off retail. According to Tate's contract, author purchases count toward the 5,000 sales threshhold. Even at 60% off, an author purchase of several thousand copies would generate way more money for Tate than the amount of the author "investment," so it's not much of a sacrifice to return it.

Writer Beware has corresponded with Tate about these issues. We've asked them to reveal the number of books they've published that have sold more than 5,000 copies to the public (rather than to the books' authors). To date, they haven't responded.

- Victoria

P.S. It's sad to say it, but a first-time author with a large publishing house who sells just 2,500 copies of her debut book is going to have a hard time getting her second book published.

AC Crispin
10-29-2007, 10:45 PM
My name is Ann C. Crispin. I am the Chair of Writer Beware. Tate charges authors 4000 dollars to publish their books. That makes them a vanity press. I've checked and their books aren't carried on the shelves in any of the book and mortar Christian bookstores near me. (There are three.)

Tate doesn't deny charging authors to publish their books.

Now you have it from a non-anonymous source.

-Ann C. Crispin

Khazarkhum
10-29-2007, 11:37 PM
Victoria, what are the average sales for a debut novel? In general terms, of course. I'm primarily interested in romance, but SF would do.

victoriastrauss
10-30-2007, 01:14 AM
Khazarkhum, I'm afraid I don't have an answer to your question. I don't even know if anyone has ever credibly broken out debut novels as a sales category. You do see prognostications about this, especially on self-publishing websites, where there's an investment in convincing authors that commercial publishers aren't all that--but they never cite sources, so I remain unconvinced.

Given that sales vary widely by genre (low sales are probably pretty much the same anywhere, but the best-selling debut from a fantasy author will probably sell significantly fewer copies than the best-selling debut from a thriller author), I suspect it's something that you'd have to look at genre by genre. You'd also have to factor in the kind of marketing involved--debuts where a publisher decides to provide a major publicity push probably do a lot better, on average, than debuts that just get the basic backing. Another consideration: some debuts aren't actually debuts, but an experienced author's first novel under a new pen name.

My hunch is that whether or not a novel is a debut matters much less to sales than factors like genre and publicity. I don't have any hard evidence to back that up, though.

- Victoria

herdon
10-30-2007, 01:53 AM
You'd also have to qualify the type of publisher or lack thereof. I'm sure the average sales for all debut novels would be pretty low considering the sheer quantity of debut self-published novels in relation to debut novels published by the big guys.

Momento Mori
10-30-2007, 02:35 PM
Leon. R. Mentzer:
The problem is that there is another type of publishing called partnership publishing. While it acts similar to self-publish or subsidy-publish, it is not the same. There are very fine lines between the three. The courts have recognized this.

Can you give a citation for which case recognised "partnership publishing" (a term that I've never come across before but which one of the other posters here might be able to explain for me).


Leon. R. Mentzer:
An author will almost do anything to get that first book in print.......I'm guilty of this. But it paid off.

I agree that authors will do anything to get their first book in print and unfortunately there are a lot of shysters out there who are willing to take advantage of that desperation.

You keep saying that Tate Publishing paid off for you, but I notice that you haven't answered any of the questions I raised in my previous post, which I've set out again below:


With those 5,000 books sold, did you make any royalties on those books (and if so, are you able to share the percentage)? If not, what percentage of royalties do you make on sales over 5,000 and how are those royalties calculated? Are you able to share a ballpark figure of the amount of money that you've received on your book sales to date (I'm not asking for an exact amount, just a rough estimate). How much does your book retail for?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
The publisher has a huge risk when they take on a first time author.

Yes they do, and the way that publishers manage that risk is by making sure they can get their product into bricks and mortar stores, which is where most people buy books.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
For example: here are some of the large advances for authors whose books have flopped. These authors were paid and some never had to return the advance.

• Journey to Justice By Johnnie Cochran, Ballantine paid a reported $3.5 million
• Behind The oval Office by Dick Morris, Random House paid an estimated $2.5 million
• Leading with my chin by Jay Leno, Harper Collins paid a reported $4 million.


I'm not sure what you think that these examples prove.

Certainly two out of those three people were all celebrities (apologies, but as a Brit I have no idea who Dick Morris is!). The unpalatable truth is that celebrities tend to get big advances for their memoirs (over here, the wife of the former Prime Minister, Cherie Blair reportedly got a £500,000 advance for her autobiography).

I can assure you that whilst other non-fiction authors won't get million dollar advances, they do nevertheless get advances and those advances are calculated on what kind of sales the publisher thinks they can achieve with the book in question. The problem with Tate Publishing (and it's one that I and others here keep banging on about) is that by making the author stump up cash, they are not assuming any risk. I would assume that the £4,000 represents their printing costs on an initial run (or at least, a significant proportion of those costs), so where is the incentive for them to try and achieve nationwide sales? Again, I notice that you have not answered my questions about this, which I have posted again below:


When you say that your book is in those stores, are they the stores in your immediate area or do they include stores that are out of state? Do Tate give you precise figures on how many stores your book has been physically placed in?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
Lifeway Christian stores turned my book down………But when it came out they wanted it in all 126 stores and they wanted the next project.

I'm not sure I understand what you think this shows. Did you ask Lifeway Christian stores to publish your book (because I checked out their website and don't see a printing arm listed).

In terms of stocking your book, surely Tate Publishing should have already negotiated their holding your book, given that you're writing about Christian subject matter? How come Lifeway Christian first turned down stocking your book and what changed their mind? How many books had you sold before they agreed to stock it and how had Tate Publishing achieved those sales?

MM

Calla Lily
10-30-2007, 03:33 PM
Memento Mori, you rock. Vanity/subsidy =:rant: Vanity/subsidy that plays the "Christian" card = :e2teeth:

Leon Mentzer
10-30-2007, 06:13 PM
Hello Momento Mori,
Your first question: yes they’re in stores all over the United States and over seas.
I never asked them for a list of every store my book is in because that is information that is not relevant to the bottom line. That is how many books get sold. When I travel for my speaking engagements I also have book signing events in those towns also.

The law is basically the same here. But we demand absolute proof, not just alleged comments or non- binding non- legal opinions. For example: in our courts stating that a publishing firm is a vanity or subsidy, one has to explain away other forms such as “partnership publishing“ and why it is not valid. Just because you have a bill and webbed feet doesn’t make you a duck. What about the platypuses.

My wife told me about Tate. Who is going to argue with that? Not me. LOL
I had an agent Janet Kay & Assoc. but she disappeared and as most of you know got in to trouble. Lifeway Christian Resources (stores) turned me down after the asked for my manuscript (they have their own publishing house) but one month after my book was published they order 1,200 copies and offered me a new contract. I declined.

As to publishers that can ensure that your book is going to be in ALL the stores. No way. Just an example: K Rowling, is not in all the stores. Just about all of them, but never the less not all.

When my firm published advertisements of any type to market or inform our clients / public of something, the costs were huge. Much more then $4,000.00. Try publishing a book and see what the cost is.

Tate publishing does give advances but those authors have star appeal, they have name recognition. For example: Shane Hamman, two time Olympian and currently the strongest man in the world. He rec’d a $20,000 advance. He has a lot more to offer success then my book.

Yes I make royalties. The break down was this: 15% if sold in a store, 40% if purchase from Tate’s web store and 60% if purchase from my web-site.
As to amount I make. That’s between me, the wife and the IRS. The sign on the back of my new 40’ diesel pusher motor home will say “pd4by books”. The fact is that even my royalties can’t pay for my life style, a wife, two homes, two sons in collage and two Bassett hounds. Not yet. Soon maybe. LOL

The first book is $16.95, the 2nd is $12.99. As for incentives for the publisher, there isn’t much because there‘re over 10 to 20,000 titles every month to pick from and then we come along with our first book. There’re lots of great books that don’t get to first base.

In this day and age of selling books one has to not over stock. The book store get to send your book back for credit and this credit is charged back to an author. So 500 books is more the norm if you are a small publishing company. Supply and demand.

The bottom line is this you’re not forced to pay for anything to anyone.
Even if you signed a contract.
It’s not against the law to charge fees.
But it’s against the law to state that certain practices are a scam with out providing proof. The laws are changing and one has to start being very careful in stating one opinion as if it were law. As for the court’s opinion on deciding a case involving a differents of opinions, the courts tend to look at over kill as unnecessary. So I question the professionalism of anyone who tends to overstate their opinion to the point of obsession.
One cannot enter in to a contract with Tate without reading the fine print. If an author signs it and then complaints about it there is no relief for stupidity.

I believe that both Ann & Victoria were asked if they’d like to visit the Tate Publishing Corporate offices and they never responded. As to them asking about company sales figures, that will never happen with any publisher unless there’s a court order. Those kind of remarks are just red herrings.

What my book(s) do in sales has NOTHING to do with other authors books and their success or failures. Your book must stand on its own no matter who publishes it.

As to extra cash buy and sell your own books, red herring remark, someone has to pay the band. There is no free lunches there ‘re no free books. If you want to sell them yourself you have to pay for them.

I‘ve talked to Victoria, she wanted to talk to me about my experience with Tate, she insisted on the questions and answers to be by e-mail not by phone. I responded to her request. But I also asked her for the proof that she allegedly had on Tate and other companies that I was looking at. She never responded. I guess my experience wasn’t what she was looking for.

What she does is great for authors, but sometimes Victoria steps over the line with her opinions and her non- responsiveness to requests from those who have a different opinion.

As for Ann, ok three stores out of how many others? What’s your point here? There’re thousands of stores. Not all of them carry Tate titles. But many do and this is a fact that can be proven. How many stores carry your book(s)? There are 12 near me and there is no Ann in them. That doesn’t mean that I can’t get them does it?

Leon Mentzer

Roger J Carlson
10-30-2007, 06:47 PM
The law is basically the same here. But we demand absolute proof, not just alleged comments or non- binding non- legal opinions. For example: in our courts stating that a publishing firm is a vanity or subsidy, one has to explain away other forms such as “partnership publishing“ and why it is not valid. Just because you have a bill and webbed feet doesn’t make you a duck. What about the platypuses.

...

But it’s against the law to state that certain practices are a scam with out providing proof. The laws are changing and one has to start being very careful in stating one opinion as if it were law. First of all, AW is not a court of law. It is a place where writers come to share ideas and opinions.

Secondly, "vanity press" is a standard industry term that does not need definition to explicitly exclude "partnership publishing", which is not. Vanity press means that the author has paid to have the book published. You paid to have the book published, so by definition, Tate is a vanity press, regardless of the nuance you want to put on it.

Thirdly, NO ONE on this thread has called Tate a "scam". In fact, Victoria explicitly said so (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=232713&highlight=scam#post232713). If you're going to cast aspersions, you better do your research. What HAS been pointed out are the number of things Tate has in common with other vanity or "subsidy" publishers. People are free to make up their own minds.

JulieB
10-30-2007, 07:13 PM
Ann writes under A. C. Crispin. Her books are in all Borders stores in my area. Yours are available for order, as are those of a Tate author who lives in my city. The big Christian chain in my area is Family Christian Stores, and I can't find your books on their site. In fact, I can't find any Tate books on their site. The other big chain around here is Lifeway. I do see your books on their site, but I might check the shelves of the new one that opened up in my neighborhood, just to see if they happen to be there.

Would you be willing to state whether or not you made your investment back, or expect to make it back? Oops. I see you noted that already. Apologies.

But to get back to my original point:

Otherwise, why pay to get published when there are publishers out there who will pay YOU? I'm not casting stones. I'm just asking.

The books you mentioned may have bombed, but the point is that the authors didn't have to pay a dime to get them in print. And don't pull the "famous" card. New authors get signed all the time by major publishers. A first-time author probably won't get much of an advance, but that's a risk that the publisher is willing to take. In return, that first-time authors books get stocked on bookstore shelves all over the country. The author doesn't have to do a thing to make that happen.

I'm not saying that Tate is a scam, and I suspect you went into the deal with your eyes open, which is perfectly fine. But why go this route without having at least tried to sub your manuscript to the big houses? I'm curious.

Momento Mori
10-30-2007, 07:20 PM
Leon - many thanks for your response, I just wanted to pick up on a few things:


Leon. R. Mentzer:
yes they’re in stores all over the United States and over seas.

Is it Tate who have published them overseas? Does Tate have the right to publish your books in all territories or just the USA? Do you know which countries your books are being sold in? It's just that this surprises me a little. Those people I know who have published overseas have done so because foreign publishers have picked up territory rights. When you say that they're sold overseas, do you mean that they are being physically printed and stocked in other countries, or are they available to order by stores based in other countries?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
I never asked them for a list of every store my book is in because that is information that is not relevant to the bottom line.

Well, with all due respect the number of stores carrying your book is highly pertinent to your bottom line. The majority of people buy books from bookstores, so the more bookstores that carry your book, the higher your potential is for making sales. I wouldn't necessarily want to know the exact number, but I'd certainly want a ballpark idea of the stores where the book's been physically placed (even allowing for the fact that books are usually sold on a returns basis).


Leon. R. Mentzer:
But we demand absolute proof, not just alleged comments or non- binding non- legal opinions. For example: in our courts stating that a publishing firm is a vanity or subsidy, one has to explain away other forms such as “partnership publishing“ and why it is not valid. Just because you have a bill and webbed feet doesn’t make you a duck. What about the platypuses.

Every court case involves two sets of facts and assertions - there may be common ground between the parties, but the whole idea of a legal dispute is that there's something that the parties don't agree on. The judge and/or jury take a look at the evidence being offered by the parties and decide which is the most convincing.

However, jurisprudential discussions aside, you originally stated that there had been a court case that specifically recognised the concept of partnership publishing as being different to subsidy or self-publishing. Are you able to give a citation for that particular case? In addition, is this a case that Tate was involved in (i.e. has there been a case where Tate has specifically been held not to be a vanity publisher?)


Leon. R. Mentzer:
I had an agent Janet Kay & Assoc. but she disappeared and as most of you know got in to trouble.

Unfortunately, from the discussion here http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=976 Janet Kay was never a legitimate agent, given that she charged fees and was subject to a criminal investigation. I'm sorry you got caught up with her.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
As to publishers that can ensure that your book is going to be in ALL the stores.

I don't think I ever said that a publisher ensures that your book is in all stores. I said only that publishers ensure your book can get into bricks and mortar stores.

J.K. Rowling isn't really a relevant example because her success is pretty much lightning in a bottle.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
When my firm published advertisements of any type to market or inform our clients / public of something, the costs were huge. Much more then $4,000.00. Try publishing a book and see what the cost is.

Again, I'm not sure that this works as a comparison.

Depending on what your initial print run was (and I'm assuming that there was an initial print-run, but please correct me if I'm wrong), I would suspect that $4,000 would go a long way to meeting the costs of materials and labour. Perhaps one of the other posters can jump in here with their experience. In any event, I think one of the earlier posters in this discussion worked out that from Tate Publishing's claims that they're taking on up to 70 authors per year - 70 authors, each paying $4,000 comes to $280,000, which is a lot of stake money, particularly if Tate isn't committing to large initial print runs.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
Yes I make royalties. The break down was this: 15% if sold in a store, 40% if purchase from Tate’s web store and 60% if purchase from my web-site.

With apologies for repeating the question, but did you make royalties on the first 5,000 book sales (which I understand is what triggered the return of your $4,000)? I'm not able to comment on the royalty figures of 40% and 60%, although they do seem quite high to me - the 15% is equivalent to what the UK non-fiction writers I know get from sales.

Are you able to say how those royalties are calculated, i.e. are they calculated on the cover price of the book or the price paid after discounts?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
As to amount I make. That’s between me, the wife and the IRS.

Okay, are you able to tell us how many copies of each of your books have been sold to the date of your last royalty statement (again, a ball park figure, rather than an exact amount). In addition, are you able to tell us what the breakdown of those sales are - i.e. how many are through stores, how many through Tate's website and how many through your website?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
As for incentives for the publisher, there isn’t much because there‘re over 10 to 20,000 titles every month to pick from and then we come along with our first book. There’re lots of great books that don’t get to first base.

I'm not sure that I understand this comment. Publishers are incentivised to pick and sell books that they think they can make a profit on. Almost every publisher has a slush pile, but a publisher should only be picking up the books they think are worthwhile and if they've picked up a book, then they go through the usual processes associated with getting it into bricks and mortar stores and promoting it.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
It’s not against the law to charge fees.

You're right. Unfortunately it's not illegal to charge fees where those have been disclosed in advance, although it can potentially be illegal to make false promises or representations with the intention of inducing someone into suffering a financial loss. However, I don't see how it can ever be to the advantage of an author to pay the fees being asked for, particularly an amount as significant as $4,000.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
But it’s against the law to state that certain practices are a scam with out providing proof. The laws are changing and one has to start being very careful in stating one opinion as if it were law. As for the court’s opinion on deciding a case involving a differents of opinions, the courts tend to look at over kill as unnecessary. So I question the professionalism of anyone who tends to overstate their opinion to the point of obsession.

I'm not sure that anyone has said that Tate Publishing is a scam - in fact, I think that Victoria deliberately said that it wasn't a scam.

What is being said is that Tate Publishing is little better than a vanity press, one that charges a lot of money for the privilege of being published. What is also being pointed out is that authors could do a lot better by going to other publishers with their work, preferably to those that have distribution into physical bookstores and which pay authors an advance.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
One cannot enter in to a contract with Tate without reading the fine print. If an author signs it and then complaints about it there is no relief for stupidity.

With all due respect, if Tate is so proud of its "partnership model" then the fee language shouldn't be in the fine print and it should be something that is specifically drawn to the attention of an author so that everyone signing with them knows exactly what the consequences of the deal are likely to be and Tate should be advising authors who are uncertain about what the contract says to seek independent advice.

The sad truth is that there are people who sign up to things without understanding how they work and I don't think that authors should be censured for their naivety. Are you saying that you deserve to be pilloried as an idiot for having signed with Janet Kay because you didn't do your research on her?


Leon. R. Mentzer:
I believe that both Ann & Victoria were asked if they’d like to visit the Tate Publishing Corporate offices and they never responded. As to them asking about company sales figures, that will never happen with any publisher unless there’s a court order. Those kind of remarks are just red herrings.

Huh? Sales figures on books are extremely pertinent to a publisher and most publishers are only too happy to give an indication of how books are doing. Certainly over here, an author's sales figures are available via a number of databases and are used by publishers to determine whether they'll take the risk of another book with a particular author. If you open the Sunday Times, you'll see that book sales figures are displayed next to the listings.


Leon. R. Mentzer:
If you want to sell them yourself you have to pay for them.

Are you saying that you are buying copies of your book in order to sell them?

MM

Bubastes
10-30-2007, 07:31 PM
Can you give a citation for which case recognised "partnership publishing" (a term that I've never come across before but which one of the other posters here might be able to explain for me).


I did a quick Lexis/Nexis search for any federal or state court decision containing the term "partnership publishing" or "partnership publisher." I did not find any cases.

herdon
10-30-2007, 07:51 PM
Okay, are you able to tell us how many copies of each of your books have been sold to the date of your last royalty statement (again, a ball park figure, rather than an exact amount). In addition, are you able to tell us what the breakdown of those sales are - i.e. how many are through stores, how many through Tate's website and how many through your website?



Discounting sales directly from the publisher's website (or any other sales that wouldn't go through Ingrams), he's sold 90 copies of his latest book which was released in the last month or two, and he hasn't sold any copies of his 2005 book in the last two years (noting that it was released early 2005).

Momento Mori
10-30-2007, 08:26 PM
MeowGirl:
I did a quick Lexis/Nexis search for any federal or state court decision containing the term "partnership publishing" or "partnership publisher." I did not find any cases.

Cheers for that. I'm not surprised by the [lack of] result.


Havlen:
Discounting sales directly from the publisher's website (or any other sales that wouldn't go through Ingrams), he's sold 90 copies of his latest book which was released in the last month or two, and he hasn't sold any copies of his 2005 book in the last two years (noting that it was released early 2005).

See, now I'm a little confused because Leon said:


When I sold 5000 books I received my fee back as per the contract.

Either he sold 4,900 books in stores during the early part of 2005 (which is possible), or those 4,900 sales came via the Tate website or his own website (which is again possible, but without a platform to make people go to those sites, I'd be interested to know how it was done). I'm definitely having problems understanding how he made the sales to make back the fee, let alone earn royalties on top of that without a considerable store presence.

I'm not knocking the fact that 90 sales have been achieved, but in publishing terms that isn't a significant volume. In fact, isn't it estimated that most PA authors end up making around 100 sales?

I did go back and look at the email that Leon shared from Mike Mingle, Tate's Marketing Director:


Mike Mingle (BOLDING MINE):
Tate Publishing works hard every day to make sure our authors’ books appear on shelves at brick and mortar stores. Our marketing staff works directly with buyers and managers from all major bookstore chains, including Barnes and Noble, Borders, Family Christian, Hastings, and Mardel. We take orders every day from these and other stores, and these chains all host our authors for book signings and events across the country. I would invite you to view the online events calendar on our website to see the stores that host our authors and that we regularly supply with books.

Nowhere in the email does Mike actually say: "Yes, your books are on bookshelves and Tate Publishing has put them there". Basically "works hard every day to make sure our authors’ books appear on shelves at brick and mortar stores" doesn't mean anything - it turns on the results and if the result is that the books aren't on the shelves, then it doesn't matter how hard you've worked at it.


We take orders every day from these and other stores, and these chains all host our authors for book signings and events across the country.

I would suggest that Tate Publishing books are in fact only available to order in the vast majority of stores, rather than physically present in stores for purchase. Where books are physically placed, I would not be surprised if the books are only physically present in specialist stores or stores near the author's home.

I wonder if Tate's actually operating as a POD, only publishing to fulfil actual orders rather than doing print runs for shipping but I'm dipping into speculation there.

MM

victoriastrauss
10-30-2007, 08:39 PM
I believe that both Ann & Victoria were asked if they’d like to visit the Tate Publishing Corporate offices and they never responded. Both Ann and I have corresponded a number of times with people from Tate. We were indeed invited to visit their offices, and if Tate were in driving distance for either of us, we might have accepted the invitation (if our lawyer approved). But Ann lives in Maryland and I live in Massachusetts, and a trip to Oklahoma on our dime would set us back a fair amount. SFWA covers basic expenses for Writer Beware, such as paying for our domain name, but I doubt it would agree to reimburse us for airfare and hotel rooms to go visit a vanity publisher.

I‘ve talked to Victoria, she wanted to talk to me about my experience with Tate, she insisted on the questions and answers to be by e-mail not by phone. I responded to her request. But I also asked her for the proof that she allegedly had on Tate and other companies that I was looking at. She never responded. I guess my experience wasn’t what she was looking for.I keep my Writer Beware contacts in writing where at all possible. This is what's advised by Writer Beware's attorney, and given the frequency with which Ann and I are threatened with legal action (whether those threats are veiled, as in Mr. Mentzer's posts, or overt), it just make sense to have a paper trail. Keeping my contact with Mr. Mentzer in email also allowed me to cc Ryan Tate to keep him in the loop--as I explained in my response.

"I asked her to provide proof and she didn't respond" is (to use Mr. Mentzer's phrase) a red herring. People who contact Writer Beware do so in the assurance of confidentiality. We don't share their names or contact information, and we don't provide copies of the documentation they send us except to law enforcement officials. In response to requests for information, we DO clearly describe the information and documentation we have on hand. Any statements we make about a publisher, literary agent, or anyone else is either directly supported by documentation in our possession, or identified as opinion.

Also, as to proof...Mr. Mentzer himself has confirmed Tate's $4,000 fee, and a search of Tate's website will confirm the fact that the amount isn't disclosed anywhere on the site, and the fee is mentioned--in evasive language--only on one page of the site.

No doubt there are still a few genuine subsidy publishers, which are honest in their claim of sharing costs and revenue with their authors. But "partnership publishing" is much more likely to be a euphemism for vanity publishing. I can't say for sure whether or not there are court cases recognizing differences between "partnership publishing" and any other kind, but I have to say I doubt it.

- Victoria

Soccer Mom
10-30-2007, 08:54 PM
I did a quick Lexis/Nexis search for any federal or state court decision containing the term "partnership publishing" or "partnership publisher." I did not find any cases.

Ditto for Westlaw.

III
10-30-2007, 09:03 PM
Either he sold 4,900 books in stores during the early part of 2005 (which is possible), or those 4,900 sales came via the Tate website or his own website (which is again possible, but without a platform to make people go to those sites, I'd be interested to know how it was done). I'm definitely having problems understanding how he made the sales to make back the fee, let alone earn royalties on top of that without a considerable store presence.


I wonder if author purchases are included in the 5,000 total.

Bubastes
10-30-2007, 09:10 PM
This is an old blog post on Lee Goldberg's site, but Leon has commented here as well with some more details on his book sales:
http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_writers_life/2006/03/tit_for_tate.html

herdon
10-30-2007, 09:15 PM
Either he sold 4,900 books in stores during the early part of 2005 (which is possible), or those 4,900 sales came via the Tate website or his own website (which is again possible, but without a platform to make people go to those sites, I'd be interested to know how it was done). I'm definitely having problems understanding how he made the sales to make back the fee, let alone earn royalties on top of that without a considerable store presence.

I'm not knocking the fact that 90 sales have been achieved, but in publishing terms that isn't a significant volume. In fact, isn't it estimated that most PA authors end up making around 100 sales?


You are a little confused. He has two books: One released in early 2005, one released in the last month or two. It was his latest book that has the 90 sales. I found no sales of the book released in 2005, but the sales information only gave figures for 2006 and 2007.

I think it entirely possible that he sold 5000+ copies in 2005 if the book had wide distribution to Christian book stores.

Calla Lily
10-30-2007, 09:16 PM
Victoria and Ann, long may you reign. Your services have saved so many of us!

Leon Mentzer
10-30-2007, 09:19 PM
First of all, AW is not a court of law. It is a place where writers come to share ideas and opinions

Your point is?

Secondly, "vanity press" is a standard industry term that does not need definition to explicitly exclude "partnership publishing", which is not. Vanity press means that the author has paid to have the book published. You paid to have the book published, so by definition, Tate is a vanity press, regardless of the nuance you want to put on it.

Tate has one element of a vanity press. What I paid would never put the book in print. I have no expertise in the process. So that money wouldn’t do me any good all by myself.

Thirdly, NO ONE on this thread has called Tate a "scam".

I never said that anyone did. I stated that if someone did …….my idea and opinion that it wouldn’t be right.

JulieB.

Yes I have made my investment back.

I grew tried of waiting for someone to agree with me that I thought it was a good book to publish and please send me a contract and an advance. Personal choice here. I had 28 firms ask for the manuscript. Three replied back, the others haven’t.


Japan:
http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/guest/cgi-bin/booksea.cgi?KEYWORD=%6A%75%73%74+%77%68%65%6E+%79% 6F%75+%74%68%69%6E%6B+%79%6F%75+%61%72%65+%61%6C%6 C+%61%6C%6F%6E%65


Germany:
http://www.buch.de/shop/bde_homestartseite/suchartikel/just_when_you_think_you_are_all_alone/leon_mentzer/ISBN1-933148-36-5/ID6114128.html?jumpId=359249

I own the rights to the book. Yes Tate is responsible for my books being there, they’re the publisher.

I’m not aware of any court cases involving Tate publishing.

Yes I rec’d royalties on all book sold. My reports indicate that the amount was base on price of sale.

As to the amount of books sold. Respectfully that is not anything that will help an author chose a publisher. I would never say that Tate will be a success for you and your book. I will say that Tate has been a good choice for me personally.

The advantage of an author choosing any publisher, any form of publishing is that it’s their choice. Whether there are POD’s, e-books, subsidy, Vanity or what ever I think that is a personal thing. It’s more of a pros and cons deal then a right or wrong deal. We all have opinions on this don’t we?
As to buying books, the remark is that isn’t a terrible thing but you have to pay for them no matter what.
Copies of my book are available thru my web page and at all my seminars.

Victoria, sorry if you think my posts are a veiled threat? I’m sharing my ideas and opinions.
As your remark………We don't share their names or contact information, and we don't provide copies of the documentation they send us except to law enforcement officials. In response to requests for information, we DO clearly describe the information and documentation we have on hand. Any statements we make about a publisher, literary agent, or anyone else is either directly supported by documentation in our possession, or identified as opinion.
You never responded to me.
As to your remark ……. Keeping my contact with Mr. Mentzer in email also allowed me to cc Ryan Tate to keep him in the loop--as I explained in my response.
Are you saying that you were sharing information with Mr. Tate about my requests? Please explain this?

Leon Mentzer

Roger J Carlson
10-30-2007, 09:32 PM
First of all, AW is not a court of law. It is a place where writers come to share ideas and opinions

Your point is? My point is that quibbling over exact legal wording has no place here. This is a writer's forum for exchanging ideas and opinions, not a court of law. Many of the opinions here are that it is better to not publish with a vanity publisher like Tate. This is perfectly legitimate opinion to hold and share.




Secondly, "vanity press" is a standard industry term that does not need definition to explicitly exclude "partnership publishing", which is not. Vanity press means that the author has paid to have the book published. You paid to have the book published, so by definition, Tate is a vanity press, regardless of the nuance you want to put on it.

Tate has one element of a vanity press. What I paid would never put the book in print. I have no expertise in the process. So that money wouldn’t do me any good all by myself.
Actually, you can put a book in print with iUniverse (their top package) for far less. http://www.iuniverse.com/packages/



Thirdly, NO ONE on this thread has called Tate a "scam".

I never said that anyone did. I stated that if someone did …….my idea and opinion that it wouldn’t be right. But since you acknowledge that no one did, why did you make the statement? The implication (and veiled threat) was quite clear.

rwam
10-30-2007, 09:51 PM
Hey, you guys should probably take it easy on Leon because I don't think he's the problem here. Yes, he piped in from nowhere (always a red flag) to give us his positive experience with Tate, but a couple of the questions/comments directed at him seemed borderline accusatory. I don't think we're entitled to know the financial details of how he's done with Tate, etc. I don't think we need to infer that he may have reached the 5000 break-even point by buying a bunch of his own books. That's none of our business, really. I guess the only proof I need that Leon's genuinely satisfied with Tate is that he published a second book with them and it's doing better than the first. Okay, sounds like we can chalk one up for Tate. With that said, I don't think we can know how many more we can chalk up against Tate.

I'm no fan of vanity publishers because I think they pretty much prey on inexperienced writers with unrealistic expectations. Thing is, their business model does work for a small minority of writers - that is, those with a platform, maybe even a distribution outlet, and the energy to actively market their works. Granted, that's a very small minority.

Anyway, I don't know Leon and I appreciate him stopping by, but it just seems like the spirit of this thread has gone awry. Hey, that rhymes. Also, I'm in no way defending vanity presses, either....just trying to give an objective opinion.

herdon
10-30-2007, 10:06 PM
Tate has one element of a vanity press. What I paid would never put the book in print. I have no expertise in the process. So that money wouldn’t do me any good all by myself.


You can get your book in print for roughly ten dollars depending on the size of the book.



Thirdly, NO ONE on this thread has called Tate a "scam".

I never said that anyone did. I stated that if someone did …….my idea and opinion that it wouldn’t be right.


Tate is a scam. There, I said it, now you can resume veiled threats of lawsuits knowing at least one person has said it.

I'll stand by it too. I went to the website and followed their link for authors and didn't see a single word about payment, only a bunch of words on how they are great choice to publish my book. The only reference to payment was on a different page (publishing services) and not only buried at the bottom but obfuscated as 'author investments'.

They hide that they charge, and they charge enough to make money without selling any books. Sounds like a scam. At least reputable vanity presses are up front about the fees.

victoriastrauss
10-30-2007, 11:01 PM
I wonder if author purchases are included in the 5,000 total.As I noted in a previous post--yes, they are. Per Tate's contract, authors can buy their own books at a 60% discount, and their purchases count toward the 5,000 total.

Buying 5,000 copies of a book priced at $16.95 at a 60% discount would cost $33,900--a substantial outlay for an author and a large chunk of income for Tate, which wouldn't lose much by then refunding the author's $4,000 payment.

As to your remark ……. Keeping my contact with Mr. Mentzer in email also allowed me to cc Ryan Tate to keep him in the loop--as I explained in my response. Are you saying that you were sharing information with Mr. Tate about my requests? Please explain this?In my correspondence with Ryan Tate, he told me that he'd ask some Tate authors to write to me about their experiences. One of the names he mentioned was yours. When you subsequently contacted me asking "how can I help you," I assumed you were getting in touch as a result of a suggestion from him. I let you know that I preferred to correspond via email, which not only allowed me to document everything, but to cc Mr. Tate as I promised him I would. If you keep your emails, you can look this up. The date of my email is 10/1/05. It was sent from my beware@sfwa.org address.

Checking back through my records, I see that indeed I never responded to the detailed account you sent me of your experiences with Tate. For that I sincerely apologize. I have an enormous email load with Writer Beware, and now and then something falls through the cracks. Again, I'm sorry, and I hope you'll accept this very belated "thank you" for the information you provided.

Based on my contacts with the people at Tate, I don't believe they are ill-intentioned. However, Tate's website is misleading in that it encourages writers to assume Tate is a "traditional" publisher, and I wasn't convinced by Tate's attempts to explain why it isn't more straightforward about its fees.

- Victoria

Leon Mentzer
10-30-2007, 11:47 PM
Victoria, Thank you. I have been reading and benefiting from your web-site and postings for years. As well as Ann's ( who my wife has almost if not all of her books.) It's indeed a good day when we can share ideas and opinions. However our e-mails can be a little short on personality. At the end of this thread I agree that there 're well defined views & opinions.
If we came to an agreement what would that say about independent thought?

Blessing to you all and thank you for the chat.

Leon Mentzer

DaveKuzminski
10-31-2007, 03:22 AM
• Journey to Justice By Johnnie Cochran, Ballantine paid a reported $3.5 million
• Behind The oval Office by Dick Morris, Random House paid an estimated $2.5 million
• Leading with my chin by Jay Leno, Harper Collins paid a reported $4 million.



Reported by who?

James D. Macdonald
10-31-2007, 05:24 AM
Those high-dollar celebrity books? Don't think that the authors got those advances in the form of checks.

Those dollar figures assume that every single escalator clause kicks in. For example, an escalator may say, "Book is a #1 New York Times Best Seller: $50,000." Sure, you can claim that $50,000 when you're bragging about how big an advance you got, but you won't see a dime of it unless and until the conditions set for the escalator occur. Which may never happen.

Monica Lewinsky's book, for example, had a reported $600,000 advance, and it tanked. But Monica's actual advance was far, far lower than that. Like low-five-figures. None of the escalators clicked in.

Oh -- and authors don't return advances. The only time that happens is when the author never gets around to turning in the book.

Leon Mentzer
10-31-2007, 05:42 AM
--The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 1997.

Leon Mentzer

Bubastes
10-31-2007, 06:21 AM
--The Wall Street Journal, May 29, 1997.

Leon Mentzer

Did you get your figures from this site (as opposed to the WSJ itself, which is the primary source)?
http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm

Given that it's a site promoting self-publishing, I'd want to see the actual WSJ article in context, but that's just me.

Momento Mori
10-31-2007, 02:36 PM
Havlen:
You are a little confused. He has two books: One released in early 2005, one released in the last month or two. It was his latest book that has the 90 sales. I found no sales of the book released in 2005, but the sales information only gave figures for 2006 and 2007.


Ah - I see. Thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I was getting confused because of the figures for the second book.

I think the point here is that Leon seems to have shifted position from:


The problem is that there is another type of publishing called partnership publishing. While it acts similar to self-publish or subsidy-publish, it is not the same.

to


Tate has one element of a vanity press. What I paid would never put the book in print. I have no expertise in the process. So that money wouldn’t do me any good all by myself.

which is heartening. If he's happy with his decision (and I'm not casting doubt on that), then so be it. But my concerns about Tate still stand.


rwam:
I'm no fan of vanity publishers because I think they pretty much prey on inexperienced writers with unrealistic expectations. Thing is, their business model does work for a small minority of writers - that is, those with a platform, maybe even a distribution outlet, and the energy to actively market their works. Granted, that's a very small minority.

I think though that writers with a platform are probably better off going to Lulu or another POD route that's up front about what it does and doesn't charge you $4,000 right off the bat. As a number of other posters have pointed out, Tate isn't exactly up front about wanting your cash when it says it wants to give your manuscript the chance it deserves.

Some of the comments on Lee Goldberg's blog about Tate are pretty heartbreaking - it's clear that there are authors out there who went with Tate because their expectations hadn't been managed.

MM

PVish
10-31-2007, 03:26 PM
Goldberg's posting about Tate is here:
http://leegoldberg.typepad.com/a_writers_life/2006/03/tit_for_tate.html

AC Crispin
11-01-2007, 08:40 PM
As Chair of Writer Beware, I was the lead contact Tate wrote to when they attempted to convince Wriiter Beware that they did not deserve the term "vanity press" or "subsidy press." (I don't believe they ever used the term "partnership publishing.") They did indeed invite Victoria and me to visit their offices. They were courteous in their letters, and they really, really wanted Writer Beware's approval of their operation. Failing that, they wanted us to remove them from our "thumbs down" list.

We exchanged emails for a week or two, all very polite, but when, after some initial foot-shuffling and evasion, Tate finally did confirm that they charge authors 4000 bucks to publish with them, there really wasn't any point in continuing, and I believe we both knew it. I pointed out to Mr. Tate that this amount is not mentioned on their website, and that not revealing this fee upfront to prospective authors put them in the "questionable" practices column of Writer Beware's database. That's when the correspondence ended. It was clear that Tate intended to keep on charging their fees, and not revealing them openly on their website.

Why should Vic and I have visited them under those circumstances? We'd reached an impasse, and it would have been pointless to continue. All the hospitality and cups of tea in their office in the world wouldn't change the facts of the case.

Writer Beware has heard the term "co-op" publishing, "joint venture publishing," "joint risk publishing," for years. Calling it "partnership publishing" doesn't change what it is. In the legal definition of vanity/subsidy publishing, these terms have no valid separate distinction that I've been able to discover. And in our experience, a publishing operation like Tate makes the vast majority of their income from the fees charged to authors, and from authors buying their own books. Only a very small percentage comes from sales to the reading public.

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and the income (read, profit) comes from the authors...well, my friends, that's a vanity/subsidy press, and all the semantic games in the universe won't change that.

I'm glad some folks are happy with their Tate experience. But the happy voices we've encountered are outnumbered by the complaints WB has received.

-Ann C. Crispin

Gravity
11-01-2007, 09:44 PM
That's what makes outfits like Tate gripe me so badly. It's the obfuscation, the evasion, the weasel-wording. In a perfect world a vanity house would be forced to place the following copy on the website: "Authors. If you're too lazy, too poor a craftsman, or simply have too many ants in your pants to go the commercial publishing route, send us X dollars and we'll print you a nice book."

Bingo. Everyone would know from the get-go what the deal was. No harm no foul. But alas, we don't dwell in a perfect world, do we?

herdon
11-01-2007, 09:56 PM
Personally, I don't think a perfect world should be full of insults, but perhaps insulting people is a part of your perfect world.

It is important to remember that there are cases where self-publishing and vanity press are the best places for a book.

I certainly agree that a publishing company should be up front about any fees associated with publishing books, but lets leave ego and insults out of it.

Toothpaste
11-01-2007, 10:12 PM
When is a vanity press a good situation? That is a genuine question. I can understand when self-publishing with an outfit like Lulu would be a good idea, but I genuinely don't for vanity presses.

Thanks in advance!

Gravity
11-01-2007, 10:23 PM
Exactly. There is a world of difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing. In the above post I was addressing the latter.

Rowdymama
11-01-2007, 10:25 PM
Has anyone ever heard of this outfit?

http://www.tatepublishing.com/

They are interested in my sister's book, but don't allow any profanity or sex. It's a Christian publisher, apparently. They claim to issue print books.

Roger J Carlson
11-01-2007, 10:28 PM
Well, for someone who makes a living on the speaker tour, (say an inspirational speaker) who wants to sell good quality books in the lobby, and who doesn't want to learn about self-publishing but just pay someone to do it, it might be a viable option.

miles
11-01-2007, 10:29 PM
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992&highlight=Tate+Publishing

blacbird
11-01-2007, 10:33 PM
Major vanity press:

http://anotherealm.com/prededitors/pebt.htm

caw

preyer
11-01-2007, 10:45 PM
ask for darren.









(j/k. get it? tate... darren... bewitched...? funny, sex and 'bad' language isn't appropos. i guess that leaves excessive violence? lol.)

Toothpaste
11-01-2007, 10:46 PM
So vanity publishing will design a cover for you and everything and format your book, whereas self-publishing with someone like Lulu, you'd have to do the work yourself, is that what you mean?

herdon
11-01-2007, 11:12 PM
Well, first off, I'd say it is debatable whether or not Lulu is a vanity press or a self-publisher. I would classify it as a vanity press. It makes its money primarily from selling books to the author and the author's friends.


As for when it would be a right decision to go with self-publishing or a vanity press over a traditional publisher, there are many different reasons. If someone wanted to write a family history and put it in book form, or the history of a small town, or a historical event with regional interest at best, or was using the book as a form of extra income coinciding with their work -- such as someone who does customer service speeches to corporations writing and selling a book to sell to those companies.

Those are all areas that probably would not appeal to a large publisher, but are perfectly valid reasons to go ahead with vanity or self-publishing.

Why choose vanity over self-publishing? Well, first, as I mentioned, part of it will be a matter of what one considers vanity and what one considers self-publishing. If we wanted to be very strict about it, self-publishing would be contacting a printer whose sole business is to print books, not sell them. Anything else would be inching closer to vanity press.

But, for a short answer: When the fee is worth the service. If someone sets up their own publisher and charges $250 to publish with them and they use Lulu.com as their printer/distributor, then they fall pretty much into vanity publishing. And for someone that thinks $250 is not much to pay for getting a custom cover done and having someone else format and submit the book, it might be a great choice.

There are plenty of people that could spend hours on Lulu's site trying to figure out how to properly format the manuscript even if they are just using the clipart templates for a cover. Others could do the same in under an hour. In the end, it becomes a service.

Lauri B
11-01-2007, 11:23 PM
Another reason (or case )when vanity publishing makes sense: corporate books or books used for fundraising or celebratory purposes. IF your company is celebrating a major milestone (such as 100 years, or the completion of a giant project or whatever), or your organization (particularly schools and the like) are gearing up for a big development campaign, it's not unusual to hire a publisher to create a really good-looking book for that specific purpose. It's usually well beyond the company's internal abilities, takes up too much time, and isn't cost-effective to do in-house. In those cases, going with a pay-to-publish makes perfect sense.

Gravity
11-01-2007, 11:31 PM
In the end, it becomes a service.

Havlen, I believe you've nailed it right, and I think we're both saying the same thing. If a vanity house/self-pubbing press/ what-have-you simply states in writing what the customer will get for their cash--no more and no less--that would solve 90% of the problem. It's when those houses do the old double-shuffle and try to hide from the author how things truly work do the wheels come off. Thanks.

Soccer Mom
11-01-2007, 11:39 PM
Follow the links. It's a vanity press. They don't want your sister's book. They want her $4,000.

AC Crispin
11-01-2007, 11:40 PM
There is nothing inherently wrong with vanity or subsidy presses. As has been noted, they have their uses.

It's only when a company attempts to disguise what it is that Writer Beware places them in our questionable database. For that reason, you find Tate and PublishAmerica there. You DON'T find Dorrance or Vantage because they state what they are upfront to authors.

-Ann C. Crispin

PVish
11-01-2007, 11:41 PM
What Havlan & Nomad said. I have both self-published and vanity published (through a reputable up-front POD). Both work for small niche projects where the author already has a readership in place and an outlet for sales. I used POD for a collection of previously published columns and previously published short stories. I'm often invited to speak to various organizations. I sell my books there or at a few local gift shops. I haven't lost money, but my profit is modest.

I have friends who've successfully used POD for their memoirs, local history, or their collections. Vanity is NOT a good choice for fiction.

Toothpaste
11-02-2007, 12:06 AM
Okay now I am super confused. I thought Lulu was a means through which you could self publish. That is like with a photocopy machine, you are paying for the priting services etc but that's it. I thought vanity publishing was when you pay a lump sum of money to have someone else publish for you. A lump sum that could possibly exceed what it would cost to buy printing services. Kind of like you pay a stylist to do your hair, instead of buying the products and doing it yourself.

I never saw Lulu as a vanity but as a printing service. Now I feel confused. Please explain again. I'm sorry.

(PS I do understand the reason to self publish, family histories or niche market. That wasn't really my question. I just didn't understand why someone would vanity publish if it was cheaper to do it through Lulu [which I obviously don't understand]. Then I thought that maybe vanity publishing was good because you didn't have to design the cover and layout and stuff. But are my theories way off?)

blacbird
11-02-2007, 01:18 AM
The major difference between Lulu and an outfit like Tate, is that Lulu charges nothing up front for basic printing, and relatively little for extra services, like ISBNs, whereas a true vanity press like Tate, or Dorrance, or Vantage, charges a hefty up-front fee for making a print run. Lulu takes a slice of every book sold, but you get to set your own price, and sell books through their site or on your own. In many ways, Lulu is a good fit for certain niche projects, like organizational or laboratory manuals, family histories, club publications, things with a well-defined private market.

Like any other POD, it's not a good fit for anything you want to get stocked in major bookstores.

caw

herdon
11-02-2007, 01:57 AM
I never saw Lulu as a vanity but as a printing service. Now I feel confused. Please explain again. I'm sorry.


The main problem is that some companies can blur the line. But, overall, I'd throw Lulu in with the vanity presses.

With a true self-publishing route, you are paying someone to print your books, and then you are making the money from selling them. With Lulu, you pay them to print your books, and then you pay them a commission for selling them. (And you might pay them for other services as well.)

And, in the end, Lulu works because they make money off of Authors. Just as PA works because they make money off of Authors even though they don't charge them.

Now, Lulu does seem very honest and upfront, so I certainly don't think they are a bad company -- in fact, I think they fill a very real need -- but I wouldn't call it true self-publishing in the traditional sense.

And, really, at the end of the day it becomes just a matter of opinion. Many of the companies blur the line and become a hybrid of the two.

Toothpaste
11-02-2007, 02:49 AM
Thanks guys. I did not know any of that about Lulu, I really appreciate the clarification!

blacbird
11-02-2007, 03:06 AM
With Lulu, you pay them to print your books, and then you pay them a commission for selling them. (And you might pay them for other services as well.)

Misleading. For basic service (the book and a default cover or a cover you yourself design), you pay nothing, until a volume is printed. They have a basic charge for printing, and a percentage cut per sale, per volume, but only when a volume is actually sold, to you, or to someone else via a storefront you can freely and easily put up on the Lulu site. By selling through that storefront, you never send Lulu any money at all, but simply collect your net profit, I think it's twice a year. Lulu accounts for all the sales, and sends you a check. All very up front and transparent.

caw

herdon
11-02-2007, 03:20 AM
You are right, I could have worded it better. Lulu gets paid for printing (built into the cost of the book) and paid a commission on each sale (except when author is taking no profits).

sdent1
11-05-2007, 09:24 PM
Under the definition of vanity publishing, explained in this thread again and again, under that definition, Lulu is not a vanity press. Lulu is Print on Demand. They don't ask you for money, they tell you what it will cost for them to print your book. They also don't supply an ISBN if you've already bought yours. They give you the option.

I guess selecting to use a vanity publisher is sort of like choosing to shop at a store that charges you fifty dollars just to go inside AND you have to be invited to shop there! :0

Would you do that?

Maybe, if you really needed the something you were looking for. But what if you didn't even know whether they had the item you were looking for?

What if there was a store right next door that did have the item you needed?

Would you still pay to take a chance on the other store?

Roger J Carlson
11-05-2007, 09:26 PM
I guess selecting to use a vanity publisher is sort of like choosing to shop at a store that charges you fifty dollars just to go inside AND you have to be invited to shop there! :0

Would you do that? Sam's Club.

sdent1
11-05-2007, 09:27 PM
Yes, I thought of Sam's club so then I added a little something to clarify, only I think it just muddied the water LOL

Oh, well so much for my analogies.

Roger J Carlson
11-05-2007, 09:29 PM
Yes, I thought of Sam's club so then I added a little something to clarify, only I think it just muddied the water LOL

Oh, well so much for my analogies.:D

For what it's worth, I don't shop at Sam's Club precisely because I have to pay to go in there, so your analogy is apt for me at least. :)

sdent1
11-05-2007, 09:38 PM
Wait, maybe it does make sense. What if, for the fee you paid, the store guaranteed based, on what you told them, that they had exactly what you asked for. Then you find out, after paying that they didn't have what you asked for?

And if that doesn't help, well too bad. I'm through with the analogies.

choppersmom
11-05-2007, 09:55 PM
The difference is that with Sam's Club, BJ's, Costco, etc., we have saved our membership fees 100x over with the money we save by shopping there. You join because you know you're going to save money. With vanity pubs, you lay it out, and it's up to you to get it back. They give you nothing - no guarantees, no support, nothing. I think it's madness, except for those who are not interested in making any money, and are printing their work for some other reason. Then it's fine.

Trish

honeycomb
12-27-2007, 12:36 AM
Tate Publishing is in the process of producing my children's book, but I feel confident enough to ask an agent to look at it.

How does this process work?

The contract with Tate is non-exclusive. So do I just contact an agent and say, "I've got this book, would you consider repping?" or "should I wait until the book is physically available for sale?"

Irysangel
12-27-2007, 01:38 AM
Do you mean that you've already signed the contracts and are now looking for an agent to rep your novel?

Or that you've already signed the contracts and are looking for an agent to rep your next novel?

Or that you haven't signed anything and you are looking for an agent, full-stop?

DeadlyAccurate
12-27-2007, 02:20 AM
This (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992) Tate Publishing?

If so, they're a vanity publisher. Legitimate agents make their money by taking a commission on the sale of your book's publication rights. In the case of a vanity publisher, there's no sale to make a commission on.

Could you clarify your question?

Giant Baby
12-27-2007, 02:27 AM
I echo Irysangel's question- have you signed anything yet? If not, you may want to hold off if you hope to find representation for this book.

Your post title, mentioning "in production," makes me think that you're already past that point. I think (if that's the case) your best bet is to try to find someone to rep your next book, or another book already written if you have one. Most publishers won't publish a book that's already been put out unless it does very well (I've seen some say they'll consider a self-published book that's sold 5,000 copies, others have said 10,000- either way, it's a lot), so there's nothing for the agent to rep.

Maybe if your later books sell well a publisher will be interested in putting out this book in the future, but you've got a real challenge ahead to find someone to offer representation if it's already been published.

If you haven't finalized things with Tate, STOP! Read this (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992&highlight=tate+publishing) thread and see what you think. If you want to try to find an agent to represent the book, decide that first, and then do that first.

ETA: Or, what Deadly Accurate said faster and more concisely!

honeycomb
12-27-2007, 03:41 AM
Do you mean that you've already signed the contracts and are now looking for an agent to rep your novel?


Irysangel,

Yes. I've already signed the contract, but what I'm wondering is, if an agent would look at a work that has been self-published?

honeycomb
12-27-2007, 03:50 AM
This (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992) Tate Publishing?
If so, they're a vanity publisher. Legitimate agents make their money by taking a commission on the sale of your book's publication rights. In the case of a vanity publisher, there's no sale to make a commission on.

Could you clarify your question?

Deadly Accurate,

Yes, this Tate. I knew going into this that it was basically a self-publishing deal, or something along those lines. I paid for the production already, meaning I signed a contract.

As of today, I have been very satisfied with them. They have been on schedule with everything, and they are in constant contact with me.

I've heard stories of people who have self-pub'd and larger publishing houses have picked up their books. I guess my question is what should I do if I want to sell the story to a large publishing house?

I think GiantBaby has answered, but if not, that the real question.

Provrb1810meggy
12-27-2007, 04:18 AM
I'm sorry to say that in most cases, especially with fiction, self publishing is not the best option if you want to sell to a major house. The best way is to find an agent and then have that agent submit to major houses.

Of course, going from self published to published at a major house is not impossible, but it is very uncommon. Like others said, you'd have to get a lot of sales.

My reccomendation would be to accept that this book will be your self published venture and then target agents with your next piece.

I'm not the most knowledgable about self publishing, but I'm sure somebody will come in with the details!

honeycomb
12-27-2007, 05:26 AM
Thanks Provrb1810meggy.

job
12-27-2007, 06:05 AM
... but what I'm wondering is, if an agent would look at a work that has been self-published?


If you sell several thousand copies of your novel, a publishing house or agent might become interested.

But this doesn't happen much, unfortunately. It is so very rare, in fact, that I can't think of any case where this happened with fiction. Most of the stories you hear about it happening are myth.


Generally, an agent is going to assume that a self-published manuscript has been shopped around considerably.

honeycomb
12-27-2007, 07:04 AM
Generally, an agent is going to assume that a self-published manuscript has been shopped around considerably.

Which probably means that it has been rejected, right?

Silly me, I'm still learning the business and I never thought about an agent when I wrote the story. It was written on a whim, and then dropped in the mail. I think my excitement about writing jumped up a level when the story was accepted and then I was asked to write short stories for several church newsletters.

Oh well, you live and learn.

Thanks for the insight.

ORION
12-27-2007, 07:14 AM
I commend you for your attitude! The fact is, it is unusual to have your first novel picked up by any agent or publisher- If you are serious about being published conventionally then start your next novel and read this board.
Chris P. (Eragon) did it unconventionally so it can be done. Just not easily.

job
12-28-2007, 07:29 AM
Which probably means that it has been rejected, right?

Silly me, I'm still learning the business and I never thought about an agent when I wrote the story. It was written on a whim, and then dropped in the mail. I think my excitement about writing jumped up a level when the story was accepted and then I was asked to write short stories for several church newsletters.



Yes. 'Shopped around' means offered for sale in many places. Not true in your case, but the agent doesn't know that.

I hope self-publishing works out for you.

IceCreamEmpress
12-28-2007, 08:02 AM
If you sell several thousand copies of your novel, a publishing house or agent might become interested.

But this doesn't happen much, unfortunately. It is so very rare, in fact, that I can't think of any case where this happened with fiction. Most of the stories you hear about it happening are myth.

E. Lynn Harris (http://www.elynnharris.com/e_lynn_harris.htm) and Zane (http://www.washingtoninformer.com/ENTZane2005Nov24.html) are the only two I can think of off the top of my head.

And they are both incredible salespeople who were targeting a very specific, and at the time underserved, audience.

I think to make self-pub fiction work on those terms (selling 5,000+ copies and being picked up by a major), you would have to a) have a very specific niche mapped out, along with a pre-existing alternative distribution structure, and b) be an extraordinary salesperson.

Eragon worked because Christopher Paolini's parents treated it as a full-time job for a year. Again, they also had the "specific niche and distribution" and the sales skills going for them.

victoriastrauss
12-28-2007, 08:22 PM
There are also major differences between true self-publishing (in which the writer puts a project together him/herself--this is expensive upfront, but it can yield a much more professional product), the kind of semi-self-publishing offered by print-on-demand companies such as AuthorHouse (much cheaper upfront, but limited options and not as entrepreneurial), and vanity publishing companies like Tate (which combine the worst aspects of the other two--high upfront costs and sharply limited options).

- Victoria

willfs
01-12-2008, 09:41 PM
Every place that has asked me to WORK HARD in order to make money/get results: my factory job, my job at Walmart, my job at the Post Office, all of my teaching jobs.... etc... has actually ended up giving me a check every other week for the work I put in.

Every place that has ever asked me to GIVE MONEY as an easy way to make money/ get results: pyramid schemes, email spam from people in some foriegn country who need me to invest with them, and the stock market.... etc... has either been a scam or turned a low profit. Even the stock market, as being the most reputable "give money to make money" ideas, doesn't give a huge return unless you really work at it or you pay someone else to really work at it. Even with the smartest investors there is still a risk.

Most of the experienced writers on this forum back the good old idea of "WORK HARD to get results." I think I will go with them on this one.

Why doesn't Tate publishing think your book is a good investment? If they do then they should put their money where their mouth is?

I hope I don't come across as being to harsh toward anyone who likes Tate. There seems to be a small possibility for success with them. However, I have seen too many "GIVE MONEY to me and I will give you a lot in return" schemes ruin bank accounts. The people in these schemse are very nice. They are usually not too pushy. They have a sublte way of hooking the unsuspecting individual who has a dream. Oh, and on more thing, they tell you they are "Christian". Think of how easy it is to tell someone you are a Christian organization.

sdent1
02-06-2008, 03:11 AM
I'm just curious, honeycomb, was it your understanding that Tate would also get you into bookstores the way all legitimate traditional publishers can?

That's not to say all traditonal publishers do get you into bookstores, that's just to say all of them can.

JT Barker
02-17-2008, 07:05 PM
Legitimate, traditional publishers DO NOT ASK FOR MONEY from the author. A publisher asking for several thousand dollars up from from the author before they will "publish" their book just proves they are either a vanity press or are dangerously close to such.

I hesitate to call companies such as Tate "publishers." If we're going to get honest here, they are more of a "printer" than a "publisher." I've read only one Tate novel but the writing was dreadful. I don't mean not to my taste, I mean sloppy, careless, flat, and boring. This shows how much "editing" a writer gets for his/her several thousand dollars.

My advice...don't waste your time OR your money with Tate.

Hopcus
02-20-2008, 05:41 AM
I hesitate to call companies such as Tate "publishers." If we're going to get honest here, they are more of a "printer" than a "publisher." I've read only one Tate novel but the writing was dreadful. I don't mean not to my taste, I mean sloppy, careless, flat, and boring. This shows how much "editing" a writer gets for his/her several thousand dollars.

My advice...don't waste your time OR your money with Tate.

I have to second this opinion. You want the most polished version of your book out there or no one will want to read it---regardless of how it is published.

AnneMarble
03-10-2008, 06:14 AM
Here's a link to an article (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2008/mar/07/elementary-student-emma-welborn-published-author/) about a seven-year-old girl whose book was accepted by Tate Publishing. Sigh. I wonder if this is the youngest one yet?

Well I hope she gets a lot of fun out of this rather than disappointment. Also, I hope her family doesn't spend too much money, and that the experience doesn't prove to be a real downer for the girl and her family.

Mr.H.
05-14-2008, 11:33 PM
Ok, go ahead and call me desperate, or dumb, or whatever you wish, but I am still actually entertaining an offer from Tate. Given the current economy and my financial situation it would be ludicrous to fork over $4000 I don't have. I know this. But I have found a small group of investors who are interested in backing that investment for me. Admittedly I feel less unsure knowing that someone else is footing the bill, fully aware that they may not see a return unless the 5,000th book is sold. But, maybe this will help me become "published" thus opening more doors to me in the future. I ask that you not lambaste my desperate naiveté, but welcome your input.

Roger J Carlson
05-14-2008, 11:36 PM
Find out, if you can, how many of Tate's published books actually sell 5000 copies. Then you'll know the chances that you are needlessly risking someone else's money. Frankly, I'd me more unsure about risking other people's money than my own.

Mr.H.
05-14-2008, 11:36 PM
Oh, and yes I went to a couple B&N's around me and although I could get any Tate published book I wanted, none actually lived on the shelves. I searched BN.com and found the same thing from the comfort of my own home. I'm discouraged, yes. I'm aware, sure. But I'm still considering, as it might just be the best fit for my needs right now.

III
05-14-2008, 11:39 PM
Mr. H, if you've already made up your mind to go the subsidy publishing route (for whatever reason) I'd encourage you to compare different subsidy publishers. You'll find several other publishers who provide the same services as Tate for a fraction of the cost. Check out iUniverse (http://www.iuniverse.com), for example.

Gravity
05-14-2008, 11:42 PM
If you're really planning on doing this, make each of your investors sign a document with a "hold harmless" clause in it. Because if this project goes south--as odds are it will--you'll be glad to have that piece of paper.

III
05-14-2008, 11:45 PM
If you're really planning on doing this, make each of your investors sign a document with a "hold harmless" clause in it. Because if this project goes south--as odds are it will--you'll be glad to have that piece of paper.

Yeah, keep in mind most self-published books only sell around 100 copies. Your chance of selling 5,000 copies, unless you're a renowned public speaker or have some great sales platform, are very slim. Tate will not get your books in brick and mortar bookstores and you will be responsible for doing all your own promotion.

Mr.H.
05-14-2008, 11:54 PM
Find out, if you can, how many of Tate's published books actually sell 5000 copies. Then you'll know the chances that you are needlessly risking someone else's money. Frankly, I'd me more unsure about risking other people's money than my own.
Well, see that's the thing in all of this; they know it has a chance of tanking, but they have read it and believe it has potential. I hope they are right!!

Gravity
05-15-2008, 12:01 AM
Well, see that's the thing in all of this; they know it has a chance of tanking, but they have read it and believe it has potential. I hope they are right!!

"Hoping" don't feed the bulldog, friend. This is a business proposition you're getting into. Forget about your own money; it's theirs that should be center stage in your mind. Because good vibes and happy wishes won't mean spit if you find yourself in court.

LloydBrown
05-15-2008, 12:37 AM
It doesn't have a *chance* of tanking with Tate. It has a virtually guaranteed certainty because of the hurdles that vanity publishing creates to success.

You'd be better off with real self-publishing, even if you had to farm out the layout, editing and art.

James D. Macdonald
05-15-2008, 01:21 AM
I am still actually entertaining an offer from Tate.

Their "offer" is "Sure, we'll cash your check!" isn't it?

Self-publishing works best for:

Specialized non-fiction
Niche fiction (where you are intimately familiar with the niche)
Poetry

Once you're out of those areas, the odds (never good) get a lot worse. How angry will those investors be if they never see a dime of their money back (far less make a profit)?


But, maybe this will help me become "published" thus opening more doors to me in the future.

You'll be "published," rather than being published. Generally speaking, vanity publication doesn't open doors.


Have you exhausted every other avenue?

Best of luck to you in any case.

Khazarkhum
05-16-2008, 12:16 AM
Well, see that's the thing in all of this; they know it has a chance of tanking, but they have read it and believe it has potential. I hope they are right!!

What's wrong with Lulu? Helluva lot cheaper.

triceretops
05-16-2008, 02:08 AM
Yes, if you must go this route, go Lulu. It is so much cheaper--less risk.
However, give yourself a fighting chance and exhaust all other legitimate/commercial means of finding a reputable agent or publisher before you go this route.

It took me 145 submissions before I landed with my agent and began to get contracts from little publishers. You have to be willing to hold out until that's accomplished.

Vanity or subsidy publishing is always THE last resort.

Tri