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

writer-beware-logo“Trouble at Tate: Could it be End of Days for America’s Most Prolific Vanity Publisher?” by Victoria Strauss | 9th December, 2016 | Writer Beware.

“It’s hard times lately for “America’s Top Publisher,” a.k.a. Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a.k.a. one of America’s most prolific vanity publishers.

Tate has been on Writer Beware’s Thumbs Down Publishers List since the list was created. Not just because it charges enormous fees (an initial $3,990, with the option of paying hundreds or even thousands more for extras such as video trailers, custom websites, self-ordered books, and the like), but because it presents itself as a “mainline publishing organization” and doesn’t reveal its fees anywhere on its website or in its promotional videos.

In fact, Tate’s website specifically promises that authors do not have to pay to publish: “Tate Publishing does not charge a fee for publishing and absorbs all the cost of production and distribution of a book.” But this is classic vanity publisher doublespeak. Deeper into the submission process, when Tate finally gets around to asking authors to pull out their credit cards, they are told that the money is for a publicist.

Clearly, Tate wants authors to assume that it’s as traditional as traditional can be. And they do. Writer Beware has gotten hundreds of questions and reports from authors who approached Tate in the belief that it was not a vanity publisher.

We’ve also heard from many Tate authors who don’t feel their money was well spent–and we aren’t alone. In 2015, Tate was the second most complained-about company to the Oklahoma attorney general. Many more complaints–not just about Tate Publishing, but about its vanity recording subsidiary, Tate Music Group–can be found online. They make for terrifying reading–bad editing, shoddy production, constant staff turnover, books ordered and paid for but never received, delayed pub dates, non-payment of royalties, “marketing” that mostly consists of urging writers to buy their own books…the list goes on.”

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WriteIndia Writing Contest: When a Contest Sponsor Changes the Rules

Writer Beware Logo“WriteIndia Writing Contest: When a Contest Sponsor Changes the Rules” by Victoria Strauss | 19th July, 2016 | Writer Beware.

“I harp a lot here on how important it is to read the fine print–in your publishing contract, on websites that host user content, in literary contests. Sure, it’s tedious, especially if couched in lengthy legalese–but skipping this step can result in unpleasant surprises.

What happens, though, if the contest sponsor changes its guidelines while the contest is still in progress?

Last year, the Times of India–one of the world’s largest English-language newspapers–launched the WriteIndia contest. Each month for eleven months, a well-known Indian writer provided a passage or a prompt for contest entrants to develop into a short story. Eleven winners were awarded a Kindle, attendance at an exclusive writing camp, and publication in a compilation of winners’ stories published by TOI’s publishing imprint, Times Group Books.

Major newspaper, eminent writers, publication–what’s not to like? Thousands of writers entered the contest. The final slate of winners was announced July 15 on Twitter…”

Read more via WriteIndia Writing Contest: When a Contest Sponsor Changes the Rules