Saved from a crooked publisher

A little more than five years ago, out of the blue, I received in the mail a book contract for my then-new, NAME-DROPPINGS: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH THE FAMOUS AND NEAR-FAMOUS. Because I had fired my agent, it was difficult to find a quality publisher, so I was elated by the unexpected book deal. My wife Sue and I popped the cork on a bottle of champagne.
I’m a member of the Authors’ Guild, which offers us the service of reviewing such agreements, so I fired it off to them before signing. What a lucky move! The next morning, I received a message from AG, telling me to tear up the contract. “We’ve had nothing but problems with Tate Publishing,” the message said. I tore it up and eventually went with another (reputable) publisher. Others were not so lucky. Just this week, the following appeared in the news:
“The publishing industry was rocked (and many authors were ELATED!) last week when warrants were issued by Oklahoma Judge Jack McCurdy for the arrests of Richard Tate, the Founder of Tate Publishing and Tate Music Group, and his son, Ryan Tate, the CEO. They were apprehended the same day. They’ve been charged with nine felony counts of embezzlement, extortion and racketeering each, as well as misdemeanor charges.”

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