Rage (pt. 2)
If you need to catch up with "Rage (pt. 1)", please click here.
I apologize for taking so long to write this, but I had to cool down and then I had three hundred and fifty million other things on my list before this. (I still have quite a few things, but they're nothing I want to work on while multitasking.)
The basis of Tate Publishing is that they're a "Christian" publisher–they only take four percent of manuscripts submitted each year, etcetera. You don't have to pay them anything to publish…except a nearly $4,000 retainer fee for the publicist they provide you. And you can't opt out.
The first rule of self-publishing (or "independent publishing", as I prefer to call it, since the former term has a bit of a stigma to it) is:
You DO NOT pay-to-play!
To paraphrase the people on that board, a publisher should ensure money flows into your pocket, not out of it. You should not have to pay anyone anything–not cover design, not promotional materials, not anything! (Maybe food when you're on a book tour, since I'm sure they only pay for travel and hotel; but I don't know, either.)
Not only does Tate make you pay a promotional fee; they actually accept just about everybody, provide no promotional efforts (despite what they tell you), force you to take the cover they designed–whether or not you actually like it–get snitty with you when you don't bow down to them and much else I'm sure I've forgotten.
Worse, Ryan Tate, the founder of the company, is on record (audio and text both) berating the hell out of his employees and telling them he's going to outsource their jobs–despite multiple press releases and commentary to the contrary.
I was outraged because there were more and more people coming onto the thread and saying that they were willing to part with $4,000 and that Tate was worth it. I can't believe people are so crazy…or maybe it was a shitload of sockpuppets designed to give people like me a headache.
As a parting shot, don't work with PublishAmerica, either. They don't make you P2P, but they'll tie you into a contract even more insane than Tate's and tack higher prices on your books than the market tends to favor. Not only that, but the covers are notoriously poor for such a professional company.
Plus, there's always the story about the Book from Hell…
(I don't usually recommend AbsoluteWrite, because the board is full of assholes, but this is a much better and lengthy infodrop on why you shouldn't use PA.)