Writing a book seems so glamorous to the average reader but frankly the process can be overwhelmingly mundane at times. Sometimes you can find that rare gold needle in the proverbial haystack, but at other times the road to a published book on the shelves is so fraught with potholes you feel you’ll never make it. So what do you do when roadblocks happen? As a writer, what do you do with your gift, your talent, your passion, when you hit hurdles, or even come up against publisher deceit? Such is the focus of this series of articles I’m doing in the hopes of bringing about a sense of commonality and brotherhood. Stories of other writers, like me, that fell on the sword of a bad publisher who, to coin a phrase, done them wrong. My hope is that by sharing our stories, we can be a cautionary tale to help new writers avoid the scams we fell into. I also want to ENCOURAGE other authors who have found themselves in this same spot. To raise each other up. In this spirit of support I give you Bill Haile, Sr.
Bill began writing in 2004. As many writers do,
he poured his heart and soul into his work using
the books as an outlet to share his faith. In his words, he would, “sit for hours at a time in front of the computer trying to get down into words exactly what it was that I was feeling. Sometimes backing up and deleting to write and rewrite again.” He worked for months until 2005 when he finally finished his manuscript and began seeking out a publisher. Bill’s work is faith-based, Christian, so he prayed and searched for a Christian publishing house. Then he found Tate Publishing, LLC. He then did what he thought was a solid amount of due diligence before signing on. “I Researched Tate and even checked them out with The B.B.B. of Oklahoma. They had a sparkling reputation. I submitted my manuscript and a month later got a call.”
It seemed as if Bill’s prayers had been answered with Tate. His book, A Walk In Assurance, was respected and he was treated in a professional manner. “It Was a Wonderful experience! Every step of the process was carefully done and, as the author, I was treated with absolute respect. I received encouragement from everyone that I dealt with. They extended every kindness.” The experience was so positive that Bill Haile, Sr. released not just one but TWO books. One of which, A Walk in Assurance, was also released as an Audio Book and even went into a SECOND edition. It seemed that everything was going well. At the end of 2007 Haile’s books had sold over 1000 paperback copies according to his quarterly distribution reports from his publisher. It seemed his work was a success. Then, suddenly, everything just stopped.
In 2008, Distribution reports and Royalty checks slowed to a stop. So much so that, to-date, Bill hardly knows the total number of books that were actually sold. Moreover, Bill claims that his second book and the 2nd edition of his first book were released with poor editing. Despite his personal investment of over $6000.00 dollars, including the number of book copies he was REQUIRED to purchase, Bill was left with incomplete and improperly done work. Not even his audio book, contractually promised to him, was finalized and sent to him. This type of spotty communication continued for quite some time. Then, in January of 2017 he received a mass email that was sent to all Tate authors that Tate Publishing was “in a transition period”. Of course, by the time the email went out Tate had already closed its doors.
Bill’s attempts to reach out to his Tate contacts all fell flat with only one former Tate employee even bothering to respond. They simply stated that they had not worked for Tate in over a year. Any and all files held by Tate were no longer accessible; doors closed, phones unanswered, emails ignored. Bill hasn’t been able to get total distribution reports, final edited files, or even the back royalty checks he feels he is owed.
“When I first found out [about Tate Publishing's closing] I was taken aback in disbelief and … I felt ashamed and hurt. They broke more than a contract with me, they ruined something that had the potential to be amazing!"
Tate's closing was harder still, due to the very personal nature of Haile's work. "My First Book was a labor of love, it was meant to point the way to Jesus through the worst tragedy that a parent can possibly face, the death of a child. I intended my book to help lead the reader to a place where they can HOPEFULLY truly know that they can be in Heaven forever.” Noble intentions indeed! But With Tate's closing Bill is left, in a sense, back at square one. Still, he says his mission is clear and unwavering despite the disappointment. Haile intends to push forward. He hopes to spread The Good News of Christ Jesus. He plans to re-release both original books using self-publishing services like CreateSpace and Amazon, though he confesses to hopeful thinking that one day a reputable Mainstream publisher might work with him.
When asked if Bill had any final words for other authors out there affected by Tate Publishing’s closing, he had an encouraging outlook. “I believe that Perseverance should be something that we ‘Former Tate Authors’ can take from this experience. We can refuse to allow this unfortunate circumstance to destroy what God Has called us all to do.”
Haile has a positive outlook despite a heartbreaking set-back. He continually reaches out to other Tate authors and is a constant stream of encouragement and support. On behalf of all the other authors out there, I applaud him. Also, I recommend adding Bill’s tale to the list of lessons that can be learned. When trying to publish, be cautious, be prayerful, and proceed with eyes-open. If you are passionate about writing, then hone your craft and carry-on. I cover more on things to watch for in my article 7 ways to NOT get Published….but for now I encourage you all to JUST KEEP WRITING!
To read more stories about Author Struggles check out:
CHECK OUT BILL's LATEST, A TIME OF AWAKENING, BOOK AVAILABLE NOW!