“We hoped to share our experiences and help others to overcome.“
Those were the words that most resonated with me when I spoke with this mother/daughter pair, the Bryant’s. This, marking the 7th, article in my series on a publisher who had closed their doors and threatened to take authors down with them. I have, by now, heard enough of these stories to get the basic gist of how things shook out. But the heartbreak in that simple statement just struck a deeper chord for me. These two amazing women overcame, and in an attempt to help others they poured themselves out in such a way as to have made Tate's actions somehow even more painful. It’s just about more heartbreak than most people can bear. But these ladies didn't shrink away and languish. They rose....they rose and they are rising still! This is the story of Robin and Shaudonna Bryant. This isn't Tate's story, this is THEIR is their story.
Robin Bryant was a writer long before she became a mother. Her knack for penning her thoughts and feelings passed seamlessly onto her daughter Shaudonna and that natural skill would serve them well. Both had to navigate what proved to be endless bullying during Shaudonna’s childhood years. Writing was the escape they needed when things got rough. Writing gave Shaudonna a voice when she felt she had none. And writing was a connection she could share with her mother; a bond. As Shaudonna's writing developed and her maturity and confidence grew, she knew she wanted to do more than have a private catharsis. She wanted to reach out and help others. “We hoped to share our experiences and help others to overcome the pain of being isolated. We were nervous, of course, but we prayed on it and pushed forward so we could hopefully help people heal and move past the pain bullying can cause.” SUCH an inspiring and RELEVANT message that it was no surprise a publisher scooped up her work in short order.
In 2014, Shaudonna was referred to Tate Publishing by another author.
As if the story wasn’t already heartbreaking enough, things actually got worse for the Bryant’s. Shaudonna, and her mom Robin, began pushing back on a lot of things, including the lack of quarterly sales reports. They even began questioning why they hadn't received even a single royalty check despite proof that her book had landed at Hudson New’s stores, with books selling in all the major airports. The more the Bryant’s pushed, the more Tate flat out began ignoring their calls and emails. At the last attempt Shaudonna made, she was put on hold for literally 1 HOUR before being disconnected. That was the middle of 2016. She never heard from a single Tate representative again. Finally, at the beginning of 2017, a solid 2 days AFTER Tate announced on their website that they had closed their doors, Shaudonna and Robin found out via social media that Tate was no more. After years of hoping, fighting to earn while driving to learn, and investing a sum total of over $5000.00 dollars of their personal funds…. they finally had to admit it was done. All they had left were a few books they bought themselves, a book trailer that was so awful and incomplete it was unusable, and posters sent in such poor quality they had to be thrown in the trash.
“Tate Publishing and the Tate family broke our hearts. But what’s worse is they represented themselves as ‘Christian’ and then treated us all so horribly. It has the potential to place a black eye on the message of our Lord and Savior and that’s really heartbreaking!”
And yet despite all this, Shaudonna and Robin Bryant remain faithful and even HOPEFUL and their words of encouragement now are geared not only for their readership, but for their fellow authors.
“Tate made money off of us all and it can be hard to get out from under the fact that it’s STILL going on in some cases. So many of us Tate Authors who put all we had into our dream, and Tate just destroyed that. But, we can’t go into that place where we are no longer depending on God. We must move forward and we MUST forgive Tate. Of course, we hope they realize what they did and DO the right thing. But we must remain faithful and push on towards our goals. “
Amazing words from a pair of strong women undeterred from their goals. I applaud Shaudonna and her mother both for their servant hearts and determination. To overcome obstacles and push on is a character trait that is not often found these days. But to push on after such heartbreak and broken trust is just such a show of character! Way to display what we are all fighting for ladies! If you truly feel that writing is your calling, if you are drawn to share your insights with the world as an author or blogger, you may have to fight harder than you anticipated to accomplish your goals. BUT DON’T EVER GIVE UP! Hone your craft, do the work, push on, and JUST KEEP WRITING!
----->>A VERY EXCITING UPDATE as of APRIL 11, 2017.<<-----
The Bryant's republished book is officially available once again! I AM SO PROUD of these two and SO VERY EXCITED to see them overcome the massive disappointments caused by shady publishing. WAY TO PURSUE your dreams Ladies! I encourage everyone to check out their book, by clicking the link to the left!
If you are a former Tate author, or an author who had their work pilfered by a predator editor, NEVER GIVE UP! Fight for your work, fight to be heard, and ALWAYS pursue your dreams with dogged determination!
JUST KEEP WRITING!
To learn more about Robin & Shaudonna's writing, check out:
Facebook: Shaudonna's Author Page
Personal Blog: New Life Outside the Box
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