There is a post interview conversation I would like to add. This is not published anywhere except here on this blog. But I was asked the question later by Heather D. Nelson, who interviewed me: "Given how much you visited Tate Publishing's building...meeting the people face to face, shaking hands, even speaking with Ryan Tate directly, how do you think you missed the signs that the company wasn't legitimate? This is not a criticism of you, but I am curious as to how they presented themselves to you that made them appear more legitimate? This is versus the 'email and web only' interface so many of us had."
My reply: "That's what sold me is how sweet everyone was. I published books and albums through them. I loved having everything through one company. However, once I was so discouraged by my perceived lack of vocal talent that I was truly struggling about whether or not I should move on to do a second album that I really had on my heart to publish. One of the acquisition staff called me on her cell phone and talked to me about following my call, which she knew I had from talking with me in the past. She told me a testimony of an older woman who put out an album, a woman whom I will probably never hear of, but she used it to reach the elderly. Many souls were saved as a result of her songs and her ministry. She said that we cannot measure on this earth our success when we are doing the Lord's work; we'll only know in heaven. She said if she were just doing this for money, it wouldn't be worth it. It's the eternal value that really counts. That meant so much to me, and she was right. She was sincere, and I reminded her of our conversation when I saw her for a subsequent trip to Oklahoma, when I was recording my third album.
"When I went to Oklahoma, these were real people, pregnant people, kind people. They would hug me, greet me warmly, and made me feel special. They gave my daughters and I a tour. They let me take my picture with them. They talked of the Lord, and I really believe they were sincere. I had trouble with some of my books with editing, printing problems, etc. but in the end they always did right by me. I changed my mind about the pictures and cover for my Christmas book AFTER it was released, and they gave me a good deal, saving me a lot of money compared to what the contract said it would cost me to redo them. They sent me the wrong books after I placed my order, but allowed me to keep them, so I gave a Christmas Love book to the children at our local children's hospital on Christmas eve. I put a label inside each one wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me and also from Tate Publishing.
"I think a lot of problems occurred when they decided to go overseas, as there was a disconnect with our marketing directors and author representatives. Every time I went they had fewer and fewer employees stateside. Customer service was really great in 2012 when I first signed on. I saw complaints on the internet, but they had an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, and I had seen first hand that they were such nice people. I loved the staff page that had their pictures on it. I felt connected.
"I was happy with my products, and that I had so much say and owned the rights to my books and albums. They believed in me, and gave me a chance that traditional publishers would not give. It opened up opportunities for me to minister that would have never been possible otherwise. I had audio books, book trailers, music videos, a website, hard copy books and albums, and I was making blogs and video journals of my songs. I was speaking and singing my songs at various places, attending fairs and festivals around the state as an author/singer/songwriter, developing an online presence, going to stores and restaurants for book signings, etc. This was an exciting time!
"Then when we recorded the music videos and did the photo shoots, I had such a blast! I also loved getting a tour of the printing area. It was legit! They had a section for the CD's, and the books had several machines, and they had a new one, too. I got to see the whole process. The shipping people were sweet, and everyone seemed dedicated to their jobs. I saw the behind the scenes. They were a good sized publisher. I believed in THEM, so it was easy to overlook a lot of the other problems.
"I believed they would eventually improve their customer service, and hopefully their accounting inaccuracies, once they came stateside, which I believed would happen if Donald Trump became president. He promised to help small businesses, and encourage employment in the U.S.A. I saw Ryan Tate on Fox News, so I knew he cared about his company and the financial burdens to small businesses under the Obama Administration. And sure enough, after President Trump was in office, I received an email that they were coming stateside. Unfortunately, soon thereafter I received another notification that they were in transition, and that ended the communication with them.
"This whole experience was more meaningful to me for other reasons as well. They were making my dreams come true, and these trips with my daughters were very special to me, especially during a tough time in my life. I will miss visiting Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group. My heart truly breaks for all those affected by this closing of what I believe was once a great publishing company, with both book and album publishing capabilities. But in speaking with other Tate Publishing authors, there was dishonesty there, and unfortunately a large collective loss of money due the hard working, dreamy-eyed authors like myself who were called by God to write and minister grace and help to our readers and listeners."
To read more articles and more author interviews by Heather D. Nelson, see her website at www.heatherdnelson.com.