This article marks my 15th author interview from the new fully defunct Tate Publishing. The previous 14 articles (you can read those by clicking here) ALL involved authors with active contracts, some even with active projects in the works. Each of the authors are facing the herculean task of getting a hold of their creative and intellectual property. And almost all of the authors I spoke with before were out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars lost to Tate’s shady business model. But to think that all the Tate Publishing problems were in the recent few years would be a mistake. Apparently, as I have learned in discussing this next author’s experience, the Tate business model had flaws further back than anyone knew. Read on about Jordan T. Maxwell and his experience with Tate Publishing.
Jordan T. Maxwell, a pen name, had always had a creative streak in him. And writing was always a hobby he enjoyed. It wasn’t until he struggled to cope with a difficult divorce that his hobby took on more of a real life. He began seriously investing his time into his first fiction novel, Dandyflowers, to pass the time and loneliness that divorce carried in. Once he reached a level of completion he felt was ready for public review Jordan investigated publication. A referral from a friend led Maxwell to Tate Publishing’s door and he joined onto their roster in 2006. “I was less than a novice so I had no idea what to expect. Many promises were made and I thought, since they were a “Christian publisher”, there wouldn’t be any issue about them doing what they said they would do.” Maxwell would quickly learn, however, that was not an accurate assumption.
After his first book published, he went on to get an audiobook of the same work. His goal, like any author, was to see his book in as MANY hands as possible. Moreover, Jordan envisioned his work as a series of books and potentially even a motion picture. He felt confident that his books emotional cliffhangers would lead to many future projects for him. Alas, once his book hit the shelves, things got dicey. “In November of 2006 I received the first copy of MY book; I was beyond pleased! Over the next few months I had 3 book signing events but all along I would receive offers from Tate about buying more of my own books at the author price to have on hand for upcoming events. That made sense to me so I purchased a fair amount of stock and waited for my ‘marketing rep’ to send me more events to sell my books where both Tate and I would profit. But when I contacted my “marketing rep” asking about events, I was told where I could look on the internet and then let them know. I realized then things were not what they appeared to be regarding Tate.”
By the time November of 2011 rolled around Jordan T. Maxwell came in possession of what he calls his “smoking gun” email. “I emailed my marketing rep about a local signing event that I was not given. The rep plainly stated that for the three previous years my book was “inactive” and no marketing had been done even though I had several “marketing reps” who continually wanted me to buy more books for the events I had to do all the leg work on myself.“ Maxwell could hardly believe what he was reading and he confronted Ryan Tate, then CEO of Tate Publishing. In January 2012, after what became a heated conversation with Ryan Tate, Jordan produced the email proving that he was directly told his book had received ZERO marketing effort. According to Jordan, Ryan Tate immediately changed his tune and refunded all of the initial author invested funds and then they parted company.
Long before the dramatic shift in company management between Richard and Ryan Tate, business practices were sketchy. And LONG before the fateful lawsuits by Xerox and Lightening source, or the big email in January 2017 about the company closing their doors, Tate Publishing had internal employee issues. A continual string of shifting personnel, combined with poor marketing, and eventually leaked emails. Hmmmmm sounds a little familiar.
Don’t be too disheartened by Maxwell’s tale though, he rebounded pretty well. Having escaped from Tate relatively unscathed, save for lost time, he went quickly into self-publishing. He has used CreateSpace to re-publish his initial book Dandyflowers with is own ISBN number. Furthermore, he was able to quickly publish his SECOND book, Dandyflowers: Laura’s Diaries which is also available to purchase now. Jordan is even working towards a third, and he says final, book in the series! Clearly his time with Tate did not deter his creative process. He is dabbling at screen writing and even claims to have a completed project ready for stage! WAY TO GO JORDAN! He came thru all this a bit wiser still but he did admit to having learned a lesson or two. “If my time as a Tate author taught me anything, it is this. If a publisher asks you for an “author fee” or any other upfront money...smile, say NO THANK YOU, and walk away.” Wise words indeed Jordan T. Maxwell, wise words indeed. Writer's get PAID to write. Publishers should get PAID by selling books. Never PAY to PLAY with a publisher....it's a big giant red flag that their business model isn't based on YOUR succeeding, but by THEM selling you services. An important and HARD lesson MANY of us have had to learn thanks to Tate Publishing and their GLORIOUS demise.
To all my fellow Tate authors who were scammed in these recent years by the events that unfolded at Tate Publishing, take heart. It was a long running business model that was WELL hidden. Only by grace of a freak email-miracle did Maxwell get out when he did. We are not alone in our current struggles and if Jordan’s story teaches us anything it’s to never give up. Hone our craft, market ourselves, keep learning, keep growing, and JUST KEEP WRITING!
To follow Jordan T. Maxwell's writing, check out:
Facebook: Jordan T. Maxwell
And to read MORE articles about the Tate Publishing train-wreck, click HERE!