Friday, February 20, 2009


I am always pleased to get these kind of contacts from our authors...I wanted to share this with you. In Monday staff meetings each week our entire staff prays for author requests and the process of our company. We pray that our team will be a blessing to our authors. Here is a result of that company culture and our respect for our authors.

I received a frantic voice message late last night from one of our children's book authors. She left me a number to call back today about what she said was a critical problem with her book. When I called her back she immediately apologized for the late call and said that she had spoken with Jim Miller of our staff and everything was fine now and told me she did not need to speak with me after all and appreciated being able to have my cell number to call about possible problems. She went on to say that when she called her editor, Jim Miller, about her concern about something that had been accidentially left out of her book she said that he was, in her words, "Fabulous." She said, "Dr. Tate, Jim Miller is a true professional. When he called me back and we talked he was so wonderful, caring, and helpful that I had tears in my eyes of the gratitude for his work. I did not believe my story could be better than how I had written it. He not only made my story better but made it fabulous with his ideas, suggestions, and insight. He is typical of everyone I have worked with at your company. He returns phone calls and emails immediately, is polished and skilled, and treats me with great respect. I could not be happier with Tate Publishing and it is totally because of Jim Miller. I know that my work with him will be over very soon and I will be moving on to cover design and layout. I am excited to do that but I am deeply saddened that I will no longer be working with Jim. Please give him my thanks for making this problem go away so quickly." I told her I would inform Jim of her call and words. This effort is the standard we expect from every employee in the company.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


From time to time, we see on the internet other companies try to discredit Tate Publishing. They get desperate in their attempts. One such company even has a brazen ad on their site which shouts, "Don't Use Tate Publishing." Their remarks are ludicrous and incorrect. When you do things like competitors sometimes do it eventually comes back to bite you. We received a lengthy email from an author who signed with that self-publishing vanity press with list after list of complaints, lack of service, failure to provide what was promised, and much more. We will not stoop to post those complaints sent to us (the reason for the email was that the author writing was contacting us to say he wished he had signed with Tate if we would have taken his book) about that publisher. Not our style. Just remember. When you read things on the internet make sure you check out the facts. We are sorry to hear about the bad experience but I am not at all surprised.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Blogging can be a nice communication and point of contact. It can share information, connect nice folks, update seekers regarding needs they have and how they can be met, and much more. However, we all are aware of the fact that there are a lot of "school yard bullies" out there who have made the internet and blogging their way of moaning, whining, and complaining without having to verify anything they are saying or accepting any cuplability, verification or responsibility. The saddest element is that some folks read this nonsense and believe it. Sad.
It was reported to me today by a friend in the publishing industry on the east coast that Writer's News Weekly is reporting that negative bloggers have been hit hard legally. It is high time they get what is coming to them that has been long overdue. David Kuzminiski who is the owner of Preditors and Editors has been sued for libel for his remarks on that "so-called" author friendly web site. He was hit with a $250,000.00 penalty award in favor of the press according to the report I received. There are two others against that same blog site which are pending their penalty award. To confirm any of this you may want to check the Writer's News Weekly web site. If I have any of my information wrong please let me know. If all of this is true, it is about time that those who have nothing more to do than complain and misrepresent have to "pay the piper." Planning to blog? Watch what you say and make sure it is true and responsible. We do.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I always, as I have mentioned in earlier blogs today, appreciated it when our authors take the time to write and tell us of their experiences. I just received the following letter...

Dr. Tate and the Tate Publishing Family,
A special "thank-you" to the Tate Family and staff for helping me to achieve a dream for my grandchildren. It has been a blessed and exciting year working with the nicest people I could ever hope to know. You are truly a great company and I am proud to be a part of your family.
Irene H.

Thanks Irene!!


My visit to Tate Publishing
This past Friday I was in Oklahoma City for a conference and decided, at the invitation of my editor, to visit the offices at Tate Publishing. I've been in the business of boosting these guys and working very hard to ensure that their authors are satisfied and informed. I've been able to recommend them to several new authors, who then submitted material. I've worked many hours and at no compensation, so I figured it might be a good idea to at least stop by and see if it would actually live up to the image that I have been helping them project. Sure, I have been extremely satisfied with my experiences thus far and I wanted to lay eyes on the place for myself. The reception area is stylish with a friendly atmosphere. The girl working behind the counter was very perky when she asked how she might assist me. My editor walked down the hallway and began to show me around the cramped office building. Tate is actually spread out over several different campuses because they grew too fast for their infrastructure, and one of their major goals, my editor explained to me, was to eventually build one massive building that could house all branches of the company. There are now over one hundred employees, and as I poked my head into each office it seemed like all of them were sitting in four tiny rooms. Most employees operating under these conditions would be grouchy at their cramped workspace. I have worked in similar circumstances and remember just how crabby I was all the time. I'm sure everyone at Tate has their moments, but I was caught off guard at the genuinely warm greetings I was given at being introduced as one of the authors for the company. Each person took off their headsets, looked up from their screens, and put their phones on hold to say hello to me. I arrived at Dr. Tate's office, and he likewise put down his workload to greet me. He was very busy and there was going to be a company meeting that afternoon, but he took the time to chat with me a moment about how happy he was to meet me and to say that he looked forward to seeing me again in the future. I also met the marketing director and he was very friendly as well. After chatting with a few more people I asked if I could meet Ryan, the president of the company, but his secretary said that he was running around that day. Which was unfortunate, because I have spoken with him on the phone and looked forward to meeting him in person, but his being busy was consistent with the rest of the staff. They all looked and acted like they were moving with passion and purpose; something sorely missing in most work environments. I saw a stack of contracts sitting on the receptionist's desk awaiting Ryan's signatures. Next to those were books being examined by marketing representatives. Everyone, without exception, greeted me with a friendly smile. I did not warn them ahead of time that I was coming, nor did any of them know that I was the guy who ran the Tate author's blog so they could be putting on their best faces.Near the stack of contracts were two large mail bins stuffed and overflowing with envelopes. Dr. Tate, who had walked down the hallway at that point, grabbed me by the shoulder and asked, "Do you know what those are?" He was pointing at the bins of envelopes. I shook my head.He said, "Those are royalty checks. 1,400 of them. Best part of my job is signing those checks, because I love seeing how successful our authors are becoming. One check in that pile is a royalty check for $20,000. If you ever find someone who tells you we aren't a royalty publisher, tell them you saw this yourself."It was a theme I have picked up several times when speaking with Tate people. They are quite passionate at defending themselves against the attacks by some groups who claim they are a Print-on-Demand, or Self-publisher. This is not the case. They simply have a business model for publishing that more closely resembles other business models in the corporate world, and the older traditional publishers are green with envy.It works like this: suppose I were to bring you a product for you to sell. It has no proven history of sales, nor does it even appear that it works. But I will insist and demand that you pay an exorbitant amount of money to me for providing you with this product. You assume all the risk for it, assume all the costs for it, and if it fails, you lose a tremendous amount of money.That is the traditional publishing model, and it is why those companies are failing. Time magazine ran an article on this several weeks ago, which I linked to below in a previous blog entry.Tate Publishing took everything that worked for the traditional model (screening manuscripts selectively, providing structured editing and marketing, mainstream distribution) and threw away all of the areas that have proven to be failing (paying advances to every author, wasting millions of dollars on failed product, assuming all risk).The result is that an author is pre-screened for quality, then when they pass that test, they are offered a contract that best fits their book. If the book is exceptional and is clearly a marketing bombshell, that author is paid an advance and their book is published. Another option may be that the book is good but it might not sell enough to justify an advance quite yet, so the contract offered to the author is that Tate will assume all costs in producing the book. The third option, and the one that most authors fall under, is for the author to pay a relatively small amount (around $3,900) in relation to the production costs as an investment in their work, and Tate assumes all of the rest of the cost. This way, Tate's bottom line is protected, and their author has a vested interest in the book succeeding. The best part of this contract, though, is that as soon as the book sells 5,000 copies, that author investment is refunded and the author is offered an advance on their next book.This is the business model of the publishing future, and it is why this company has grown so fast that they are now considered a major publisher by Barnes and Noble--which means that they get a good shot at premium shelf space in Barnes and Noble stores. It makes no sense for an author to just simply expect a publisher to do everything for them. No one else in all of capitalism operates that way and succeeds.I left satisfied. They are exactly who they say they are. I even got to meet the people who have worked on my books, and they all expressed their enjoyment of the process


My blog is often unlike the blogs of other executive staff in our company. My son, the President and CEO of Tate Publishing is industry "savvy" and his blogs are informative and full of industry insight. Other staff write about similar issues. Like a proud father I seem to gravitate to wanting to make my missive a "brag blog" more than it possibly should be. My grandfather had a saying that I did not understand at first. He would say about all of us grandchildren that, "My crows are the blackest!" We all know that ALL crows are equally black. He love for us was at the center of his "blackest" reference. When he looked at all the "crows" his stood out as "blacker" than the rest because of his appreciation for them. When it comes to our fine staff, they are, in my opinion, the "blackest." No one is better. That is why the following statements from a few of our authors are in my blog today. These unsolicited remarks from the few folks we sign to contracts confirm about our staff that "My crows are indeed the blackest!" Brag blogging to follow...


Greetings Richard, Ryan, and Trinity, I first want to apologize for this unsolicited note, but I wanted to share my gratitude with you all. I am on your staff's production schedule, as your Acquisitions Team picked up my manuscript for publication recently. My edits haven't begun yet, but I'm almost giddy with anticipation. So much so, that I dreamed about you three last night. Isn't that funny? You are all very gracious, kind, and humorous. I am sure that would hold true if/when I meet you in person in the future. All my life, I dreamed of being a writer. I'm so grateful it is your company that is providing the avenue by which to share it, and make my dreams come true. Again, thank you for this amazing opportunity! Have a blessed day! You've blessed mine, that's for sure!

Kay H.


First of all, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to you and to your wonderful staff ! What a joy and a privilege it has been these last six months to be able to work with such great and talented people as we've put together my book. Your staff has been fantastic during this whole publishing process. They have helped me create a delightful book for young toddlers.
Again, thank you for believing in me enough to publish my books. I look forward to my continued relationship with Tate Publishing as we launch the publishing of my 2nd book.

Tom A.