A new battle is emerging for authors and musicians who worked with Tate Publishing. News 9 reported the company's two Oklahoma owners, Richard and Ryan Tate, were arrested last week.
The business has been closed since January, but books are still on the market under the Tate name.
A spokesman for Attorney General Mike Hunter told News 9 the office has gotten more than 200 new complaints since the Tates' arrest, bringing the total close to 1,100.
Now as the authors try to move forward with their life's work, they find themselves facing a task that is easier said than done.
Roz Brown's latest book, So You Wanna Be A Help Meet?: Act Like A Godly Woman Think Like Christ?, hit the market in August last year, with Tate Publishing proudly brandished across the back. She said she never saw a dime from the Tates, and despite their business closing, the books are still out there.
“Any book that’s purchased with the Tate branding on it, they still get the money,” Brown said. “I get nothing.”
Goodreads told Brown in an email, in part, “we have a strict policy against deleting books from the system. Goodreads is striving to be a complete database of all published works, including works that are out-of-print or no longer available. We like our members to be able to add their exact edition to their virtual shelves. Just as a library would not remove a record from its catalog, so we do not remove books from our database.”
On Amazon, Tate's version of Brown’s book still pops up first. The web giant responded to Brown’s request to remove the book with an email citing copyright laws, which do not apply to her specific dilemma.
For some authors, like Kevin Walls, there is no choice. The file for Walls's memoir, The Unbearable Tragedy of Hope: Fighting Through Foster Care To Finally Find The Sun, about life as a foster child is still in Tate's possession, so he hasn't been able to take it to a new publisher.
“It’s actually a journey of life, going through an abandonment at the age of three years old,” said Walls. “I don’t think it’s funny when you’re talking about kids out there, and it happens all the time, kids going through what I’ve been through.”
Walls said his message is more important than the money, but right now his book is listed on Amazon for the out-of-print price of nearly $200, and his hopes are slim that he will ever see the full 40-percent of sales Tate promised him.
Brown advises, buyers beware.
“If you want to purchase our books, you either go directly to the author and see if they have those books, or you go directly to their new publisher,” said Brown.
This is still an open investigation, so the attorney general will not answer questions right now about when the authors affected might see money or their manuscripts.
To file a complaint against the Tate businesses, call the Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029 or click here.