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When I signed a contract with Tate Publishing in 2012, I knew the founder would soon retire. I also knew his desire to build a successful business and leave it to his son might cost him. The cost was more than I could have imagined.

The Epistle of James points to our desires as the source of deception and sin, not the devil. Our desires deceive us into believing what we want to believe, and that often results in poor decisions to our own detriment. Tate had built his publishing house as a Christian business, then abandoned Christian principles by giving control of the business to his son, who lacked the character and integrity of his father.

I never had a problem in my dealings with Tate Publishing. They even keep an oral commitment to produce and run a TV commercial at no cost to me. In 2014, I noticed a difference in service when I received regular emails offering a reduced cost to purchase books. A little research revealed Dr. Tate had retired, and his son had moved the printing business to the Philippines. The difference in cost increased my profit margin, and I thought little of it.

The following year, my marketing rep informed me he no longer worked for Tate Publishing. That year, the Oklahoma Attorney General received over 800 complaints against the publishing house. December 2016, The AG had Dr. Tate and his son arrested on felony charges. The publishing house suspended operations in January 2017, ending my marketing journey. I found it difficult to believe Dr. Tate was complicit in the illegal activities that took place.

I’d had interesting experiences marketing my book and made several thousand dollars, but I was also relieved that I no longer had to sell my book. I returned my attention to NOLA’s faith blog.

When the Northshore Bureau Chief invited us to contribute to the new faith blog, the journalist of the Times Picayune considered the website an ugly stepsister. Real journalist did not have blogs. They write for the printed newspaper. An attitude I never understood. The printed page had a circulation of 200,000. The website received millions of views.

During Hurricane Katrina, the only way for the newspaper to continue operations became digital. That experience eventually brought the website to the forefront of their operations. When the 2008 financial crisis ended the Northshore Bureau Chief’s job, no one took her place, and I continued to write the blog unsupervised.

The same year I signed the contract with Tate Publishing, the Times Picayune reduced its daily printed distribution to three days a week. The following outcry created an upheaval for the publisher that lasted years. They eventually returned to daily delivery with a much thinner printed newspaper. Eventually, the website became their primary method of communicating the news, and they deleted the blogs that were not written by their journalist.

By the time my access to the Faith blog ended, I had written eighty stories. Many thought I was a journalist, and that perception opened the door to interview some well-known ministers. But I preferred to give a voice to the average, unknown Christians. Their stories were just as remarkable as those with large followings.


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